Alain van Havre - In-house designer at Ethnicraft

For Alain van Havre, head designer at Ethnicraft, inspiration is everything. Over the 20 years he has worked in the company, he heavily influenced the
design identity of the brand: “I want Ethnicraft’s furniture to give people a ‘wow’ feeling every single day. Because if you’re able to transcend the purely
functional and evoke an emotion, people can build a relationship with their item and be happy with it for a long, long time. That is the ultimate goal.”


Alain van Havre on Mikado table Alain van Havre on Bok chair by the sea

Deeply connected to his environment and passionate about natural materials, he has developed an exceptional expertise for woodworking. Over the years,

he has created his own form language, translated into the Bok collection. He believes that for someone to connect with a design, it is important to bring it

closer to nature: “More human, more natural forms which are closer to our environment, forms which are familiar to us.” He describes.

Alain van Havre with surfing board by the sea

“More human, more natural forms which are closer to our environment, forms which are familiar to us.”

Alain van Havre

Alain van Havre with painting

To him, the functionality of design should not prevail on creativity. Take this building he admires, the Westrand in Dilbeek, Belgium, a 1968 brutalist building
by Flemish architect Alfons Hoppenbrouwers. Made mostly out of rough concrete, it is filled with smooth shapes and curves, making it an intriguing piece
of architecture. “If you were to look at design from a purely rational point of view, in this case to serve its function as a cultural center, you would never
attain these sorts of amazing results”, Alain explains.

Creating beauty out of complexity is another driver to his inspiration. An example of Alain’s well-thought-out designs is the Graphic sideboard. He cites the
Weisman Art Museum by Frank Gehry, whose talent for finding order in chaos inspired him to design the Graphic collection. “It started from chaos, but
after an extensive study of shapes, it became a visually enticing composition.”


Alain van Havre smiling Alain van Havre kiting


From Bok to Graphic and everything in between, it is obvious that experimenting with composition is a common theme in Alain’s work. In his own words,
he is on a quest to add movement to the surface. “I like to be moving at all times”, he says. “Biking, kiting, skiing, even driving the car, those things really
charge my batteries. I’m addicted to the freedom of movement in general, which is why I also strive to escape the static in my designs.”


Discover the Bok Collection: