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 & Co. have found plenty of space to play, as you'll see in this slideshow.