Dutch designer Joep Verhoeven happened to ride his bike past a gashed chain-link fence that had been hastily repaired with wire. Eureka! A company was born.
Verhoeven's Lace Fence applies the techniques of lace-making to the industrial chain-link fence, creating complex, handmade, lacy designs that are wired into machine-made fencing. The fences retain their barrier function while acquiring a hitherto unknown beauty.
The company employs a crew of 35 craftspeople in India to execute the designs, which are drawn out using basic 2D drawing software. Verhoeven says it takes the full-time crew about a month to produce 150 square meters of the lacy chain-link. Another 30 part-time workers are on call for large projects or tight deadlines.
Clients have included fashion brands like Nike and Hugo Boss, along with architects, governments, and schools.
"Designs like chain-link fence that are so 'perfect' in their function that you see them all over the world have always fascinated me," Verhoeven told Crave in an e-mail. "The challenge for me as designer is to find 'space to play' within such perfectly developed 'finished' designs."
Verhoeven and Co. have found plenty of space to play, as you'll see in this slideshow.