Friday Five with Margriet Vollenberg

This week’s Friday Five showcases entrepreneur Margriet Vollenberg, who spearheaded Organisation in Design with Margo Konings in 2009. After Margo left in 2015, Vollenberg has soldiered on running the studio, which specializes in PR for designers, design studios, and design events, a projects department for design fairs, and design consultancy. One of the largest projects that Organization in Design produces is Ventura Lambrate, a curated exhibition of pioneering design during Salone del Mobile in Milan, which Vollenberg co-founded and continues to art direct under her Ventura Projects. Let’s see what the busy Dutch designer and design activist finds inspirational.


1. United Nude shoes
My favourite pair of shoes is designed by United Nude, a Dutch shoe brand by Rem D Koolhaas (not to be confused with his uncle Rem Koolhaas, the world-famous architect). I bought my first eight (!) pair of shoes years ago in New York. Since that moment I’ve been totally hooked. The shoe I love the most is the type called ‘Eamz pump’ (see above). The Eamz shoes are not designed by the Eames duo, but are an ode to them and their vision. I can easily walk in them, go dancing and wear them all night long. United Nude shoes are always an eye-catcher.


2. Kröller-Müller Museum – the sculpture garden
The Kröller-Müller Museum in ‘De Hoge Veluwe National Park’ is a nice place in the eastern part of the Netherlands for spending a free day. The place offers a great combination of nature, architecture and art. After visiting the Kröller-Müller Museum with its famous collection, you can hire a bike and ride through the park to see the sculpture garden called ‘Jardin d’email’ by Jean Dubuffet. In this garden you will find a wonderful collection which includes works by Henry Moore, Lucio Fontana, Claes Oldenburg, Joep van Lieshout and many more. For me this garden within the forest park is a place of surreal beauty.

Photo by Dan Flavin

Photo by Dan Flavin

3. Villa Panza – Milan
Villa Panza is a 19th-century villa situated in the hills of Varese, a town to the north west of Milan. Surrounded by a beautiful and huge Italian garden that overlooks the city of Varese, it offers a truly stunning view. It was bought by the entrepreneur and art collector Giuseppe Panza di Biumo in the 1950s, and features temporary or permanent installations such as the amazing wing of the building where Dan Flavin’s neon lights fill every room with their coloured and essential reflections… Villa Panza is a treasure just a few kilometres from Milan, something not be missed!


4. Flowers
Flowers, flowers, flowers and… flowers! I always have flowers in my home, it cheers me up and makes me very happy. I can hardly imagine a life without flowers! And it’s even in my name: Margriet, which is Dutch for ‘daisy’.

Original source unknown

Original source unknown

5. India
For my work I have to travel a lot. But when I want to have a relaxing holiday I choose to go to India. By now I have been to India five times. My daughter always goes with us, and she was aged just one and a half when she accompanied us for the first time. For me, travelling through India is the greatest experience. It is the only place where I can disassociate from everything at home and where I don’t keep an eye on my mobile phone.

Caroline Williamson is Editorial Director of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.