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Is this why I do what I do?

Written by Lotte de Jong  -  leestijd 2 minuten


The day I visited the private house of architect Jan de Jong in Schaijk (NL) was the day I came to understand what STUDIO &lotte is actually all about, at least regarding the design process. This was the moment when my university education, my experience in design, and my vision all came together. De Jong (1917-2001) was an architect who chose a very sleek and sober style in his career, always playing with the leading rule of measurements and proportions: plastic ratio.


The plastic what?

The plastic ratio belongs to the Dutch style known as ‘de Bossche School’ and is an architectural theory. It’s also sister to the golden ratio (one of my favourites!). In the case of the plastic ratio, you aren’t only using the length and width, but also the height. ‘Is this not three-dimensional?’ I hear

you thinking.

Absolutely. And the theory doesn’t concern itself with the measurements of the space itself, but focuses on what the relationship is between the elements and the human being. And that’s what caught my attention, because I believe this is where human interaction originates.

One concept

Basically, it’s the same as with tone chargers, which are made up of whole and half tones, making it easy to create different pitches that you can distinguish by ear. Just as we organize sound with the consciously chosen thresholds of whole and half tones, the plastic ratio organizes dimensions in architecture. It enables the architect to ‘compose’ the relationship between volumes and spaces. Are you still with me? Cool! Now what if I replace ‘architect’ with spatial designer?


Up until very recently, the theory I have explained above was missing from the vision of STUDIO &lotte. Composing a concept is much better than saying: I don’t care if you find something beautiful or ugly (because that’s what I was saying till today). For me, every detail counts, and this is exactly the point from which I start to create an atmosphere that is the perfect fit for you and your audience.


Budget does matter

And this is when the fun starts, because when the concept is clear, we have the freedom to create. Within the concept, everything is possible for (almost) every realization with every kind of budget, space, time and capacity. And this reminds me once again of my vision: I am more than just design. I think in an analytical way, where every detail is essential. This is my nature. A different way of looking into the world, born out of curiosity, love and a passion for people and everyday life.



Lotte de Jong


PS It might look like it, but Jan de Jong and I are not related!

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