THE 0.36M2 (OF PINBOARD LINOLEUM)

Interview with the initiators of the 0.36m² project; Thomas & Marijke

October 2020

During the recent lockdown, Thomas and Marijke came up with an exciting plan: for their 0.36m² project they offered a selected group of creatives a pin-board with Bulletin Board of 60 x 60 cm and invited them to use it in any way they wanted. Here they explain the story behind this idea.

How did you come up with this project?

“In March, when the lockdown in The Netherlands started, we had a meeting. Talk­ing about working from home, we said it would be interesting to have a sneak peek in the work­places of creatives. We were curious to see both the workplace itself and their creative processes. A pinboard is always a good starting point, because it shows both inspiration and current projects. In a way, such a board is like a capsule; a word that is also covering the whole mood of this lockdown, because we all lived in our own bubble. We contacted designers, stylists and photographers we admire, some of them already worked with Forbo in earlier projects. All were happy to join the project. Some of them suggested even more names of potential participants, and that’s how in the end we provided 34 enthusiastic creatives a linoleum pinboard.” Were there any restrictions?

“No, there was complete freedom, except for the dimensions of the board (which is 60 x 60 cm hence the name 0.36m2). The Bulletin Board (pinboard linoleum) that we produce at Forbo Flooring is a natural material. The biggest difference with our flooring ­lino­leum is the high percentage of cork. As our factory primarily produces semi-finished materials we asked Smit Visual in Geldrop to apply the pinboard linoleum to a MDF panel, resulting in a beautiful board ready to be use. We asked the participant to sent us a frontal picture of their finished board, as well as a picture of the board in their (home)work­­-space. Resulting in a triptych of each participant: the person, the board and the room. The triptychs are posted on social media.

Were there any restrictions?

“No, there was complete freedom, except for the dimensions of the board (which is 60 x 60 cm hence the name 0.36m2). The Bulletin Board (pinboard linoleum) that we produce at Forbo Flooring is a natural material. The biggest difference with our flooring ­lino­leum is the high percentage of cork. As our factory primarily produces semi-finished materials we asked Smit Visual in Geldrop to apply the pinboard linoleum to a MDF panel, resulting in a beautiful board ready to be use. We asked the participant to sent us a frontal picture of their finished board, as well as a picture of the board in their (home)work­­-space. Resulting in a triptych of each participant: the person, the board and the room. The triptychs are posted on social media.

What makes this project relevant today, besides the fact that it started during lockdown?

“In a broader sense, this whole idea started with being connected. By seeing the work process and studio of creatives, you feel attached to their ideas. It is very intimate and inspiring to see the different ways in which creatives think and work. We invited people from within a wide range of backgrounds, professions and ages. For example: there is a pinboard of the emerging fashion label Nelson/Johnson, young designers that upcycle leftover denim At the same time, we also show the work of established illustrator Piet Paris. He actually links his board to the rest of the room by pinning ropes, in this way literally connecting the dots between his work and workplace. Photographer Mirella Sahetapy choose a specific colour of linoleum that blends in with her studio: a subtle hint to the dialogue between workspace and work process.”

Are there other special pinboards to pinpoint (pun intended)?

“Yes, so many. Designer and stylist Claire Vos shows her current project, including material tests to show the process. Fashion designer Sjaak Hullekes used his pinboard to showcase the collection of paperclips he collected over time, picking them up from the street. His collage is like a visual diary. Phil Proctor is the only one who worked with the material of the board itself, by carving into it. Or that of Belgian designers Studio ­Plastique, who state: “the world is bananas”. Their board shows a banana in different stages of decomposition, to show their fascination with material cycles.”

How about your own boards?

T “I was inspired by a trompe-l’oeil painting by Edwaert Collier: by spanning a rope, I made a raster in which I clamped ­pictures and materials of the Rietveld Project I worked on for Forbo last year; the raster is based on a diamond shaped pattern that I use more often in my personal work. The pinboard itself is the same colour of my workspace at home.”

M “I made a pinboard that celebrates the heri­­tage of Forbo, with old items and materials from the archive. It is like a small exhibition combining past and present, making the archive tangible for an audience. I think it is important to honor the beautiful heritage we have as a company.”

Do you think this period of lockdowns changes the way creatives work in the long run? “The focus on working from home, or closer to home, will probably remain for a while. It means that people need a more comfortable place to work in: even with little space, you can make your work spot an entire world. This resonates with the vision of Forbo Flooring, that is really all about creating aesthetically pleasing, durable and easy maintaining spaces.” Will this specific project be continued? “At the moment there is not a specific plan as we are still working on presenting the current project. However, we talked about the idea to ask interior stylist to create a setting on a 60 x 60 table with a furniture linoleum top. Whereas these pinboards are vertical, the sequel of the project will be horizontal.”