It's a Mad Mad Maddie World

A small selection of figurines from the vast collection that overrun the home and studio Madelon Vriesendorp

A small selection of figurines from the vast collection that overrun the home and studio Madelon Vriesendorp

A creature jumping on my Spring Sunshine cushion

A creature jumping on my Spring Sunshine cushion

…and another sheltering under my Berry String lampshade

…and another sheltering under my Berry String lampshade

Take a look at this wonderful insight into the creative imagination of painter and maker Madelon Vriesendorp, published recently in the Observer Newspaper Design supplement (7th April). The pictures from the vast collection of eye-catching objects that have caught her eye over the years (and now almost overrun her Hampstead home and studio) brought back memories of the many happy hours I spent as a child. In 1975, my parents Elias and Zoe co-founded the architectural practise OMA with Maddie and her husband Rem Koolhaas, and often while the grown ups worked on their projects my brother and I would be left alone to play with all the incredible figurines from cursing nuns and Statues of Liberty to Russian cosmonauts and miscellaneous fingers, eyeballs and ears and other miniature monsters. It was a child’s paradise, full of boundless imagination - and a foretaste of a world of creativity where anything was possible. When I was a bit older, I was roped into staying up late to help colour large architectural paintings for competitions, one of which many years later I was proud to see on display at MOMA in New York). .

I still love to go round to Maddie’s and explore her cabinets of curiosities. Her latest creations are all the crazy creatures which have evolved from plastic milk bottles. She is the ultimate designer-maker and a total inspiration to me. Last October she very kindly lent me a few items to decorate a shoot for my new homeware collection, which you can see here on my website.

 
Photograped by Charlie Koolhaas from the book The World of Madelon Vriesendorp which accompanied her retrospective exhibition at the Architectural Association in 2008

Photograped by Charlie Koolhaas from the book The World of Madelon Vriesendorp which accompanied her retrospective exhibition at the Architectural Association in 2008

 
Joanna Zenghelis