Robbert Bakker

industrial design


I am Robbert Bakker, a 28 year old Industrial Desiger from the Netherlands. Designing and creating things have always been my passion. As a young boy of 10 years old, I was already designing remote controlled cars with a friend of mine. Of course, these cars were poorly designed and the technical limitations to jet-engine propelled remote controlled cars were not yet known to me, but my inner designer was already released!

A few years later, in high school, I had a good talk with my demented grandfather in which he showed me the ins and outs of his previous profession: architecture. From that moment on, the sky was the limit. I started designing houses and bungalows, but I soon realised that architecture was relatively limited. I went back to designing cars, and later added fully suspended mountainbikes to my design sessions (mostly in school time).

It may not come as a surprise that I knew I wanted to study Industrial Design, but the question was: where? As most of my classmates went to Delft, I simply followed them. After I started competitive rowing without finding a room, I didn't find enough time for studying and didn't get the grades that I was expecting. When a knee injury even stopped my rowing career, I decided it was time for a fresh start!

For that fresh start I went to Twente University, again for Industrial Design. I knew I had to get a room and shouldn't start competitive rowing. At the first one, I succeeded! The second one failed miserably and I started rowing again. This took a lot of my time and study points in my first year, but afterwards, I can only say I wouldn't have missed it for the world! In the next few years I completed my bachelor, including a minor that gave me my second degree in teaching science and a very valuable internship at Burton Car Company.

Where the bachelor was very informative, the Industrial Design Engineering master was much more practical and provided a lot more projects. In this part of the study program I learned by far the most. Creating ideas in a high pace, getting a sense for good and bad concepts, working efficiently in a group, etc. But I also learned how to work on individual assignments by being able to work independent from the first briefing up to the final design.

Ceci n'est pas une voiture

Where I do have a lot of hobbies, one of them is very present in my life and very relevant for my design philosophy. This is the Citroen 2cv, the funny French classic car that was originally designed for farmers in the forties. I have driven them all through west Europe and I am still driving them on a daily basis! I bought my first when I was 17, I have restored a 1963 one, transformed one into a micro camper and I am in the midst of galvanizing my own 2cv in order to make it everlasting. I even have had a mechanic internship of half a year at a 2cv rental service in Ibiza to get to know the ins and outs of the little thing.

What makes (or originally made) it so special is the very remarkable design briefing: it had to be within budget of the farmers and they had to be able to maintain it without help of the Citroën garage. Furthermore the car had to be able to carry two farmers and a goat, two sacks of potatoes or a barrel of wine. The most surprising requirement however, was that the car had to be able to drive at cruising speed through a ploughed field with a basket of eggs on the rear seat without breaking them. As a result, this car is different in almost every possible way from a standard car.

I have learned a lot from this nifty little car. Especially the way it has been designed. It isn't that they wanted to make everything different, but they had to to keep it within budget and easily reparable. A lot of small design solutions prove that with out of the box thinking, seemingly unrealistic requirements can be reached. The sliding hinges all around, horizontal interconnected suspension, folding windows, front brake placement on the gearbox and windscreen wipers connected to the driveshaft are a few of the cheap but effective examples.

As a designer I always try to think outside the box, create more with less. I try to figure out what is needed, not just what is asked. Where everything becomes more complex every day, I like to create things in the most simplistic and efficient way; improving by removing.


Location Netherlands
Phone 06 xxx xxxxx