BE9 by Design

A.J. Velthuizen graduated from H.K.U. Art Academy in Utrecht (BA) in 1994 and from the Design Academy in Eindhoven (MA) in 1997.

The brand name "be9" is short for "benign" and signifies being harmless, gentle, safe and even favorable.

Logo on a green background
The BE9-logo designed by Studio Bassa.

Vision & Mission

The mission of BE9 is the creation of everyday products applying bio-based materials and green manufacturing techniques. Bio-based materials can be sourced from surpluses from agriculture, or residual flows from gardens, forests and food industry or can be sourced from plants especially grown for non-food purposes ("agrification"). We need to grow fiber crops for non-food purposes instead of feeding it to cattle. This way the bio-based economy can finally be kick started and products would ultimately be renewable. Although wood is also considered to be bio-based, the use of timber should be reduced. Fast growing trees like Poplar and Pine could be used for products and architecture like timber frames. Ideally bio-based products should be "tree-free". We need trees for carbon absorption, and they should be replanted to let nature and biodiversity to recover.

Organic Brutalism

The focus is not on styling, which is considered to belong to the 20th century, but rather on the application of natural materials for their beauty and benefits. The only "ism" from that era which is considered useful is Minimalism, because it saves materials. Popular materials from bygone eras such as metals, plastics, cement and ceramics are considered decadent, clinical, pretentious and not compatible in a modern interior. Interiors are not machines for living, chairs are not machines for sitting in, instead they should provide warmth, healthy and inspiring conditions to its occupants and other users. Perhaps "Organic Brutalism" would be the most accurate description for the return of banished nature into homes. In terms of styling the Japanese philosophy of "Wabi Sabi" best matches this Organic Brutalist concept.