Dutch Profiles: Gijs Bakker

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Jewellery and industrial designer Gijs Bakker is considered to be one of the main pioneers of what later became known as 'dutch design'.
Gijs Bakker

Artist duo Gijs Bakker (1942) and Emmy van Leersum (1930 - 1984), both trained jewelry designers, created a furor in the late 1960's with their avant-garde jewelry and clothing that fused fashion, design, and art.

Read more about the artist

In the sixties, together with his wife Emmy van Leersum, Bakker started a revolution. They refuted the traditional ways of transforming precious materials into decorative jewelry whilst embracing abstract forms that radically investigate the relation between body and object.

Bakker has always believed in a strictly personal, autonomous approach to design, where the aesthetics are far less important than the idea.

In the nineties, Bakker founded a collective of young Dutch designers together with Renny Ramakers. They called it Droog. With highly praised presentations in Milan, Droog acted as the aggregator for a highly successful new wave of Dutch Design, with followers around the world. Since the early seventies Bakker has been teaching at various academies and universities, like here for example at the famous Design Academy in Eindhoven.

After he ended his activities for Droog, Bakker started a new project called Yii, where he encourages a group of Taiwanese designers to translate their unique ideas into designs that communicate to the entire world.

Video credits

Commissioning editor: Geert van de Wetering

Producer: Olivia Sophie van Leeuwen

Research: Liselotte Francken

Directors: Noud Holten, Alexander Oey

Camera: Stef Tijdink, Pierre Rezus

Sound: Carla van der Meijs, Steven van Dijk, Benny Jansens

Editor: Noud Holtman

Colour correction: Maurik de Ridder

Music Sound Design: Jesse Koolhaas

Produced by Submarine, Femke Wolting & Bruno Felix

Commissioned by DutchDFA

1 series

  • Dutch Profiles

    Dutch Profiles is a series of short documentaries focusing on well-known icons of Dutch design, such as Rem Koolhaas, Droog, Li Edelkoort, Hella Jongerius, HEMA, and Iris van Herpen.