Marco Manders

Professional in Street Furniture Design.

About Marco Manders

Tulpi-design is based in Nieuwegein, the Netherlands, founded in April 2011 and owned by designer Marco Manders. Marco Manders started his business in graphic design almost thirty years ago. He gradually gained interest in product design. He entered his idea for the Tulpi-seat during a Dutch government pitch, an event where professionals were invited to enter their new design ideas for public space design. His entry was well received, but not the winner. By that time Manders had fallen in love with design for public spaces after which he decided to further develop his first design the Tulpi-seat. The design proved to be an award winning design, awarded with the special GIO Award for most Original Design and Good Industrial Design (GIO) 2011, and the Golden A' Design Award Winner for Street Furniture Design Category 2014. The Tulpi-seat and Tulpi-bin are designed to create more fun and color in our outdoor environments. The organic design of the chair is an ode to the tulip. Tulpi's are high quality products: not only the exterior was a major focus point during the product development, he has also put a lot of work into the ergonomic and functional features. Tulpi's are highly innovative: the folding element of the chair guarantees a dry and clean seat and the movable petals of the Tulpi-bin are protecting the inner waste-bin. Tulpi’s are typical Dutch Design, which we can be characterized as: minimalistic, experimental, innovative, quirky and humorous. Marco Manders is currently working on more designs such as Tulpi-Grace, Tulpi-Glow, Tulpi-Floatline

  • 4-Time Winner of Street Furniture Design Award.
  • Specialized in Street Furniture Design.
  • 4 Featured Original Designs.
  • Highly Creative, Diligent and Innovative.
  • All Designs
  • Street Furniture
Tulpi-seat Chair

Tulpi-seat Chair

Street Furniture Design

Tulpi-bin Waste bin

Tulpi-bin Waste bin

Street Furniture Design

Tulpi Arabesque Waste bin

Tulpi Arabesque Waste bin

Street Furniture Design

Tulpi InMotion Bench

Tulpi InMotion Bench

Street Furniture Design


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Interview with Marco Manders

Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
I started my business in graphic design almost thirty years ago. I gradually gained interest in product design. And entered my idea for the Tulpi-seat during a Dutch government pitch, an event where professionals were invited to enter their new design ideas for public space design. My entry was well received, but not the winner. By that time I had fallen in love with design for public spaces after which I decided to further develop and design the Tulpi-seat.
Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
Tulpi-design is a Dutch product design company with a flair for innovative and playful design for indoor and outdoor environments. Tulpi-design embraces modernity and the cohesion of environment and people. Playfully contributing to, and thus enhancing, the value, appearance and importance of our surroundings. Tulpi products are designed to inject fun and color into our indoor and outdoor environments. The designs confirm Holland’s reputation for producing high quality products and can be characterized as: minimalistic, experimental, innovative, quirky and humorous. Not only was the shape a major focus point during the product development process, but a lot of thought and research went into its ergonomic features and user comfort.
What is "design" for you?
Design is a unique piece of your design which makes the world even more beautiful! It is a work process which has a user perspective and drives development based on your specific customer’s needs. Design will help you to find new solutions.
What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
Tulpi-seat. It is a perfect combination of design, ergonomics and sustainability with a huge fun factor! The Tulpi-seat automatically folds when its occupant gets up, guaranteeing a clean and dry seat for the next user! With full 360 degree rotation, the Tulpi-seat lets you pick your own view!
What makes a design successful?
A design is successful when it’s a pleasure to the mind and eyes, and a comfort for the body.
From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
To create a happier and more pleasant environment. Also I want to encourage good behavior in public spaces with i.a. Tulpi-Bin. A designers responsibility is to create a better and more Social Cohesion.
How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
More and more design becomes a “partner” of innovation. Consumers not only buy and use what is functional, but also the additional visual stimulus is important. Design is increasingly becoming a “Feel-good product” However more and more people start designing their own 2D and 3D items. For example designing logo’s, websites, stationary(2D) but also toys and jewelry(3D Printing)
When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
My last exhibition was in A’ Winners “Exhibition at “MOOD” Ex Chiesa di San Francesco, Como, Italy. Before that in October 2014 at “Dag van de Openbare ruimte, Houten, the Netherlands” Our next exhibition will be in May 2016 at the A’ Design Award Exhibition in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Tulpi-design is the organizer of this exhibition.
Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
Fieldtrips to cities and public gardens. Reading all kinds of books about design, art and architecture. Reading blogs and watching new designs. Watching movies. Interested in science fiction.
How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
The Tulpi is a typical Dutch Design which we can characterize as: minimalistic, experimental, innovative, quirky and humorous.
Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
The Netherlands Yes because the Netherlands is well known for its flowers, especially the tulip (Keukenhof) Everyone knows tulips. They are the jewels amongst our flowers, a great joy to many of us. A typical Dutch icon. They are a great inspiration to many artists and designers, including me. In the Netherlands is a high design quality. Being a designer you get, besides an excellent education also high appreciation and prestige. The profession of a designer is one of the better paid professions. A lot of freedom and scope for your creativity goes with it.
How do you work with companies?
I work as a graphic designer for companies to create and control their corporate identity. The companies pay me for my designs and services. As a Industrial Designer I work for companies on a project base.
What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
A designer can still be an important asset to the product to achieve, and adds a value to it. Select a designer on base of his portfolio, education, and his IDR ranking.
Can you talk a little about your design process?
It starts with thinking on how a certain “problem” could be solved. Then in an inspiring surrounding my own process of thing starts. To be followed with brainstorm sessions alone or with others who could be an asset to the designing process. Research , looking for solutions. And then the first sketches on paper appear, and work them out on computer. Presentation and prototyping. Followed by adjustments. Finally evaluation and producing the final model.
What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
1. Tulpi-seat 2. Banz-bord kast 3. Leolux bank 4. Apple Macintosh Macbook Pro 5. Harman Kardon Speakers
Can you describe a day in your life?
Average working day Administration, answering email, work at my new designs, customer acquisition, networking, production supervision.
From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
Positive: To create something new and being part of making the world a little bit better and more beautiful. Negative: Pressure, always pressure to have new ideas and designs ready to produce. Especially when customer assignments are in order. (deadlines)
Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
Pencil and paper - Indesign - Illustrator - Photoshop - Solid-works - Google - Macintosh computer - design books and magazines.
Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
When I get stuck in the designing process, stop with what I’m doing and work on something completely different. And to get new and fresh inspiration I take long walks through inspiring surroundings, a city, or nature.
How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
Depends on the product. In case of Tulpi-seat it took 4 years designing from beginning to end.
Who are some of your clients?
RVO.nl, .AgentschapNL , Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Osaka, Ontwerpgroep Lâle, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Moscow, Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Munich, UrbinD=sign, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ankara, UAB ELMER, Rasti GMBH, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Beijing Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Rio de Janeiro, Netherlands Business Support Office Hamburg, JMT International, Stadtbauamt Aarau Switzerland, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Bangladesh, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Brussels, Elo & Nitzan Ltd, AFAS Software Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands in New Delhi - India, Consulate General of the Kindom of the Netherlands in St. Petersburg, Alwyn Friedersdorff - Tasmania, Rabobank Amersfoort en omstreken, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ottawa, Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Düsseldorf, GEWOFAG Holding GmbH, Keukenhof, Binzomah tech Jeddah-Saudi Arabia, KOTOBUKI CORPORATION Japan, Nanola BV Vancouver, Nakheel Dubai, Ambassade du Royaume des Pays-Bas Rabat, Marokko, Royal Boon Edam International BV
What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
Industrial design. Because people can make use of it and it is tangible to everyone. And in our case, it is visibly part of public spaces.
What are your future plans? What is next for you?
Continuing to develop, elaborate and to produce the Tulpi-bin, Tulpi-seat-Chill and Tulpi-seat-Shine. Designing mercheandising goods. Designing various products on commission base. Starting a Dutch Design Collective.
Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
In the first place I develop the designs by myself but at the end I assemble a team to build the final design.
Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
The eye-catching Tulpi®-seat, developed by Dutch designer Marco Manders, is now also available in an upholstered version: the Tulpi®-seat-Chill. The Tulpi®-seat-Chill, made of high quality polyurethane, is a perfect combination of design, ergonomics and comfort! With 360 degree rotation, the Tulpi®-seat-Chill lets you pick your own view! This clever contemporary product is typical of Dutch design, entertaining and quirky. Tulpi®-seat-Shine, our Art project in collaboration with Tibbe Creates, was part of the Exhibition “Shapes”. Shapes that brighten or surprise you or are functional, iconic or changeable. Tulpi®-seat-Shine is the illuminated variant of the original Tulpi®-seat. Tulpi®-bin is designer Marco Manders new addition to the Tulpi product line stands out through its bright colors and innovative design. With its cheerful and eye-catching appearance Tulpi-bin creates an atmosphere that will encourage people to actually have fun throwing away their garbage. Disposing of waste will no longer be seen as “dull”. This way the Tulpi-bin contributes to a clean and beautiful environment.

Extended Interview with Marco Manders

Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
Education 1993 HKU University of the Arts, Utrecht, The Netherlands, Post Academic Study Art Direction Work experience: 2007 - Current Industrial Designer / Owner and Founder of Tulpi BV in Nieuwegein, The Netherlands 1993 - 2007 Graphic Designer / Art Director / Owner and Founder of OPUS II and Omnus 1990 - 1993 Desktop Publisher / Graphic Designer at Studio Grafitech (Apple - Adobe Europe) 1985 - 1990 Decorator / Graphic Designer at Parel Promotion I am an all-round designer with a strong timeless vision and devise concepts. After high school, in 1985, I started as a decorator for a graphic design company. In addition to staging and decoration I have learned many graphical facets in practice: screen and offset printing, pre-press and the traditional graphic drawing. Early 1986 I was one of the first and few in The Netherlands who started working with Desktop Publishing on the very first Apple Macintosh computers. Because of my expertise and skills in Desktop Publishing and Graphic Design I was asked in 1990 to work for Studio Grafitech (Adobe - Apple Europe division) In 1993, I got the opportunity to start my own Advertising/Graphic Design companies, first OPUS II.and not much later Omnus. Both companies became a success. Besides running OPUS II and Omnus, me being both designer and Art Director never stopped me from continuously improve my skills and over the years follow several training and courses During my career in graphic design I gradually gained interest in product design. I entered my idea for the Tulpi-seat during a Dutch government pitch, an event where professionals were invited to enter their new design ideas for public space design. My entry was well received, but not the winner. By that time I had fallen in love with design for public spaces after which I decided to further develop my first design the Tulpi-seat. The design proved to be an award winning design, awarded with the special GIO Award for most Original Design and Good Industrial Design (GIO) 2011, the Golden A’ Design Award Winner for Street Furniture Design Category 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 and the IDA Golden Design Award. My designs are typical Dutch Design, which can be characterized as: minimalistic, experimental, innovative, quirky and humorous.
What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
I love it to be this creative, there are so many ideas to devise, products to shape and restyle. it relaxes me to put my ideas, the visions in my head on paper (in computer) and see if I can make my designs come to life.
What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
I design (Street) Furniture for public places; eye-catching-landmarks. I like to design all products needed for spaces where people come together like parks, (sport)stadiums, shopping malls, hotel lobbies, airports. For example; chairs, benches, waste-bins, lanterns, fountains, tables, fences. Everything adapted to one style.
What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?
Look carefully around you, observe, watch closely. Respect other designers and learn from them. Try not to be better but rather be different.
What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?
A great designer has multiple successful, diverse and different designs wich will leave a piece of history to humanity.
What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
A good design is each a pleasure for the eye (mind) and comfort for the body (functionality).
What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?
Good design speaks. Good design tells your visitors you care about your product. Good design at the front-end suggests that everything is in order at the back-end. Good design is what separates the best from the “good-enough”. Unless you can really compete on price you better find another way to differentiate yourself. That other way is design.
What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?
Amusement park/Entertainment park like Disney World / Euro Disney.
What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?
A good mix of minimalistic, experimental, innovative, quirky and humorous.
Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?
Charles en Ray Eames, Arne Jacobsen, Marcel Wanders, Philippe Starck, Frank Lloyd Wright.
What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?
Coca Cola bottle by Alexander Samuelson, Juicy Salif by Philippe Starck, EA 117 Charles en Ray Eames, Gullwing 300SL Coupe by Mercedes- Benz. Timeless beautiful designs.
What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?
Tulpi-seat. It is a perfect combination of design, ergonomics and sustainability with a huge fun factor! The Tulpi-seat automatically folds when its occupant gets up, guaranteeing a clean and dry seat for the next user! With full 360 degree rotation, the Tulpi-seat lets you pick your own view!
How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?
To look more and better at the work of other artists and designers. Ask yourself if you could make/made it better/different. Use criticism as a supplement!
Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?
My teachers, bosses and colleagues. My family is my biggest supporter.
What helped you to become a great designer?
To be open minded, young at heart, positive, eager to learn and not afraid to fail.
How do you think designers should present their work?
With great passion and full surrender. Clarity over the course of the design process.
What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
My next design projects are Tulpi-Grace (indoor version of the Tulpi-seat) and Tulpi-benche. More eye-catching landmarks.
What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?
To create/design products that people love, embrace, give them a smile and remember (even after my death).
What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?
To have ideas, visions they do not have and to translate them in design.
How does design help create a better society?
When people love/like their environment/public space they are more willing to open up to others. When you are happy you want to share it, people behave better in a clean environment / beautiful surroundings.
Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?
Tulpi-seat. It is a perfect combination of design, ergonomics and sustainability with a huge fun factor! It is now ‘planted’ in more then 34 countries! Even the Dutch Royals presented Tulpi-seats as a gift to other officials.
How long does it take you to finalize a design project?
That highly depends on the project. A new product to design, prototyping, testing, developing and producing could take about 2 years or more.
When you have a new design project, where do you start?
It starts with an idea on how a certain “problem” could be solved. Then in an inspiring surrounding my own process of designing starts. To be followed with brainstorm sessions alone or with others who could be an asset to the designing process. Research, looking for solutions. And then the first sketches on paper appear, and work them out on computer. Presentation and prototyping. Followed by adjustments. Finally evaluation and producing the final mode.
Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?
I think it starts at: design sets the trends and after setting this trend, many designs follow.
What is the role of technology when you design?
It helps me to realize ideas. It makes it tangible or visible for me and my customer. (Example: hard- and software, 3D printer).
What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?
Appel Macintosh MacBook Pro (Retina). Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and Indesign.
What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?
To create joy and fun in my designs; open the colorful world of Tulpi-design.
Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?
Marcel Wanders. I believe in co-design, not always but in specific situations it is better to work together.
Which books you read had the most effect on your design?
Supermarionation (world of Gerry Anderson), Jugendstile (Könemann), Honderd jaar Nederlandse architectuur (Sun), Kunst van de twintigste eeuw (Taschen).
How did you develop your skills as a master designer?
Mostly by teaching myself. To watch other designers and their work. Eagerness to learn. Taking lessons and following courses.
How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?
It is hard to act in the right way when being famous. To radiate success without being arrogrant.
What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?
1. Color: Fresh green. 2. Place: After Home, Vienna. 3. Food: Steak 4. Season: Spring 5. Thing: Mascot 6. Brand: Apple
Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?
After sketching the first Tulpi-seat on paper I decided to let it be worked out in a 3D -drawing - program. When finishing his work, the engineer called me and asked me whether I had invented a new baby rattle or lollipop..... I had to sketch again :)
What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?
To be proud of my own designs. To look at the bright side of life, listen to music which fits to the designing process.
What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?
Technology (computers/robots) will be taking over mankind. Living in a computer-game like world, hard to recognize what is real and what is fiction. But we designers, artists will always be needed to feed these machines with originals.
Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?
Tulpi-design is a Dutch product design company with a flair for innovative and playful design for indoor and outdoor environments. Tulpi-design embraces modernity and the cohesion of environment and people. Playfully contributing to, and thus enhancing, the value, appearance and importance of our surroundings. Tulpi® products are designed to inject fun and color into our indoor and outdoor environments. The designs confirm Holland’s reputation for producing high quality products and can be characterized as: minimalistic, experimental, innovative, quirky and humorous. Not only was the shape a major focus point during the product development process, but a lot of thought and research went into its ergonomic features and user comfort.

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