bertjan pot combines NIKE’s flyknit technology and tire tubes to create resting area
image courtesy of NIKE




at NIKE’sthe nature of motion’ event for milan design week 2016, german designer bertjan pot experiments with materials, techniques, structures, patterns and colors, which leads him to surpass conventional production boundaries with textiles and weaving techniques. the series focuses on resting areas made from wheels, which symbolize momentum and movement, as a structural starting point.

bertjan pot presented nine pieces of different sizes 
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with coating of inner tubes of a car, wheelbarrow, truck and tractor with cables, straps, laces and NIKE’s ‘flyknit’ material, the designs start an unexpected encounter using traditional techniques of hand weaving and high-performance materials.

bertjan pot explaining his method 
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we visited ‘the nature of motion’ event to speak to bertjan pot about his pieces.


designboom: what was the starting point for this project? 


bertjan pot: the big difference between designing interior products, and things for NIKE, is activity. when I get home, I’m quiet passive. I thought that, that could also be the play. and then I thought, wouldn’t it be nice, if NIKE offered a place to rest during salone. all the other furniture brands are making people tired, while at NIKE, lets make people feel recharged. so that was the idea to make beds. I started to investigate netting. 

the designer looked at techniques of basket weaving 
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DB: but why netting at first? 


BP: because the nice thing about netting, as oppose to something solid, is the amount of material used. it fits with the idea of lightweight NIKE sport mentality – you don’t want to rest on a big block. when playing with netting, I noticed that everything needs to be oversized, because you need to attach it to something hard. this led me to think about attaching it to something soft. I saw this chair be william h. miller from 1944, where he puts a car tire with four legs. I thought it was a clever idea. 

each piece users inflated rubber tubes from automotive tires 
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I pushed the idea further by inflating the tire tube, which could allow to stretch the fibers. something I like about the ‘flyknit’ series, instead of taking a piece of textile, stamping out a shape with a die, or cutting it out into a shoe, they weave a clever piece that is a whole shoe. that allows them to replace a shoe that had 23 parts, with just one knitted piece. like basket weaving, I was thinking of making these in a similar fashion. 

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DB: was weaving something you’ve done before? 


BP: no, in 2012, I did a whole suit, which was study that never I showed. now, it’s in museum in rotterdam. it pretty much combined tailoring and basket weaving. 

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DB: were you nervous to work with such a big company like NIKE? 


BP: they were very kind. NIKE wanted to be inspired by all these projects. but, I’m always a bit nervous. this felt good, because when I presented this I only had three examples and no powerpoint presentation. I think I was the last in line, and they were relieved that I didn’t have anything, but just the prototypes.

the intricate weaving
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DB: at any point during the project, did you get frustrated with the results? 


BP: no, the first model I made was so pretty that I knew this was going to workout. but I was still very clumsy looking. I took four or five that aren’t hear that I had experiment with that didn’t look good here. 

just like NIKE’s ‘flyknit’, the material is all one piece 
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the daybed used wider material 
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portrait of bertjan pot
image courtesy of NIKE

the series was part of NIKE’s ‘the nature of motion’ event for milan design week 2016 
image © designboom


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