Fruit on Wheels, 1993

Fruit on Wheels

As a designer I’m always searching for useful materials. One evening I was cycling through Arnhem and saw an old, dumped washing machine. I re- moved the door with my Swiss army knife. I was interested in the glass eye, adding a metal frame and little casters from a tea trolley underneath, and then I had the prototype of the Fruit on Wheels fruit bowl. I soon had a list of orders. It turned that all the washing machines at thrift stores had different sizes of glass window, so I couldn’t work with them. I then purchased a serviceable glass bowl from a wholesaler and later we had this form produced in new glass. Sometimes upcycling is just like restoring an old house: it’s easier and cheaper to build a new one.The company that wanted to produce Fruit on Wheels was sold off, subsequently went bankrupt and was then restarted under a different name. As a designer you can be loyal to companies you work with, but companies are not always loyal to designers, even though a fine collaboration between a designer and a company can certainly have advantages for both parties in the long term. Fruit on Wheels eventually ended up with a Danish company, which decided to have it made in China, where all kinds of disasters happened. First came the version that I call ‘High on Wheels’, which is set far too high on the wheels. This was meant to be a prototype, but it transpired that they had already produced a whole batch. This production run had to be destroyed, but eventually the production problems were resolved and Fruit on Wheels was put back into production and marketed internationally.

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