Design | February 7, 2024 |

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Image courtesy of HeijltjesAkkaya


HeijltjesAkkaya is an Amsterdam-based design studio led by Simon Akkaya and Maarten Heijltjes. For more than a decade the studio has been active in creating sustainable products and social designs. Projects ranging from interaction-based apps designed to affect social situations for the better – an app for in-train use for Dutch Railways – to a biobased e-scooter proving plant-based materials can be designed into structurally strong, and beautiful, transportation vehicles. And much in between.

The studio’s process (and ambition) is to envision a desired future context for the new design, taking into account as broad a context as possible from a social and sustainability point of view. Then carefully designing and selecting individual elements to create the final version of the product or service. In the process constantly checking if moving towards or away from the desired (and evolving) future vision, using this future context as a framework for evaluation.

All items in our release are available through the Dutch design label Analogue®

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Image courtesy of HeijltjesAkkaya

A Simple Machine for Analogue®
The studio’s latest design is a range of (work) furniture for Analogue® – A Simple Machine.

“A Simple Machine was born from our experience of trying to improve our own way of working. Failing to find fitting solutions in current work furniture, we were curious what would effectively stimulate ourselves to have a more active workday.” Simon Akkaya, designer @HeijltjesAkkaya.

With the exception of sleeping, the greatest part of our days are spent sedentary. Sitting for hours a day can cause serious health risks. Still, many of us spend hours every day working in a chair behind a desk. And, increasingly, at the kitchen or dining table.

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Image courtesy of HeijltjesAkkaya

Regular breaks, staying active, changing posture – these are things we know are important to a healthy routine, yet too many feel like a distraction. At odds with our working ethos. Solutions for healthier working fall into roughly two categories; ergonomic office chairs trying to maximize our sitting potential, and nondescript electrically powered sit-stand desks that contradict the active behavior they try to stimulate in their users.

Changing behaviour is a challenge. If we are to find a new balance in our daily routine, the effort should be supported by a frictionless interaction, and the experience aligned with the values that inspired the ambition for change.

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Image courtesy of HeijltjesAkkaya

A Simple Machine brings autonomy. It is a low-tech answer for a more balanced and healthier workday, at home or at the office.

With the A Simple Machine collection for Analogue®, HeijltjesAkkaya has designed human-powered sit/stand tables that invite and inspire activity. Seemingly static objects that can be moved effortlessly and instantly. The motion of the user is mimicked in the moving parts and transformation of the objects; functional and transparent furniture pieces that reflect activity in appearance and interaction.
A Simple Machine combines ergonomics and engineering to promote physical activity in the workplace or when working from home. Its pulleys, weights and levers, powered by human energy, enable a new working rhythm.

With ‘A Simple Machine’ HeijltjesAkkaya aims to empower personal ambitions of being healthy, creative and productive.

A Simple Machine collection consists of Counterweight Table, Gas Spring Table, Hour Stool and complementary objects.

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Image courtesy of HeijltjesAkkaya

Counterweight Table
Counterweight Table and Gas Spring Table are almost inside-out constructions from folded steel and industrial parts, designed to last multiple lifetimes. For Counterweight Table a cylindrical counterweight balances the mass of the tabletop and its frame, resulting in a floating surface which can be fixed at any desired height.

Kettle Bell is a custom magazine holding extra weights offering the option of altering the counterweight mass and balancing a heavier load on the table.

Gas Spring Table uses a lever and gas spring to press a (skate)wheel along the underside of the aluminium tabletop – creating a weightless work surface. Moving the tabletop is done by effortlessly pushing it up or down.

Hour Stool is an archetypical rendition of height-adjustable work seating. Designed for an active posture, and to switch to standing regularly. Using a single steel profile and a wooden seat with an eccentric hole – inviting adjustment.

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Image courtesy of HeijltjesAkkaya

R16 – light is made from its own cardboard packaging
‘R16’ – design for zero waste: an autonomous project in which the goal was to design a product without waste. An experiment in which we strived to design a product that would challenge our views on ‘discardable’ materials – such as packaging.

Packaging waste today obviously is a huge problem. Ordering almost any product online has become ubiquitous, and shipping companies are flooded with packages usually with extra shipping packaging.

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Image courtesy of HeijltjesAkkaya

The cardboard material used for this is in most cases new, with full-colour print, and is discarded almost immediately after unpacking the product it only briefly contained. Even if the material used is recycled, time and energy have been wasted on it, not to mention the material waste from the production processes for these packaging. We believe a different perspective on the value of (packaging)material is necessary.

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Image courtesy of HeijltjesAkkaya

Our ambition was to design an iconic product with the characteristics of a well designed interior object, while at the same time not disguising, and even quite deliberately expressing its’ humble origins as a packaging material.

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Image courtesy of HeijltjesAkkaya

Cardboard tubing is a strangely underrated material. Soft to the touch yet structurally strong. Quite distinct as it is easily recognizable, yet neutral in tone and form.

R16 is our homage to this beautiful and versatile material. By applying laser cuts to a standard cardboard packaging tube, the integrity of form and material is preserved, yet its’ potential is fully used; It is both packing material and elegant luminary… without waste.

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Image courtesy of HeijltjesAkkaya

The pre-cut middle part of the tube can be easily pulled away, giving way to the led-tube inside All the parts fit inside the tube, except a simple standard pencil and 5-cent coin (things everyone has lying around the house) to fix the led tube in place – highlighting our ambition for using the least possible material with the maximum effect.

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Image courtesy of HeijltjesAkkaya

Ninebyfour Lighting
The trees that enrich Amsterdam’s city centre do sometimes get sick, or fall down during a storm. We use this beautiful material to craft unique wooden LED tube fixtures. The archetypical form is a canvas to showcase this beautiful salvaged wood. The LED tube emits a a warm white tone or a day-like light, ideal for illuminating your home, creative office spaces, galleries, boutiques etc. Minimalist aesthetics, sustainable in every way. An archetypical design from an atypical material, each piece is unique. Suspended and adjustable in height or mounted directly on the ceiling or wall.

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Image courtesy of HeijltjesAkkaya

After having withstood the force of storm Ciara, the battering summer storms of that same year eventually proved to be too much for a big Elm tree on Oudekerksplein. After being a silent witness to the bustling Red Light district in the city centre of Amsterdam for many years, her last months were spent in a quiet post-pandemic city. We’ve crafted 30 Ninebyfour lights from this beautiful city giant.

more. www.heijltjesakkaya.com

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Image courtesy of HeijltjesAkkaya
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Image courtesy of HeijltjesAkkaya
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Image courtesy of HeijltjesAkkaya

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