Peter Van Riet is 34. In 1994 he graduated as a Master product designer at the Henri van de Velde Institute in Antwerp. Since then he has been involved in numerous projects for various companies.
After working at Print & Display (displays) and BULO (office interior) he started five years ago his own design agency, Product Projects. Peter Van Riet was laureate of the ‘king Boudewijn foundation (1997) and Bizidee (2004). He received several selections and nominations: “Enterprize”, business plan competition in 2003, Henri van de Velde price “Young Talent” in 2003, Design competition “Smart’n cool” in 2003, “New Fairy Tales” at Interior 2002, Henri van de Velde price “Jong Talent”, “Best Product”, “Public price” in 2002 and “Spring selection” of VIZO, Flemish Institute for Independent entrepreneurship, in 1999.
He did different lectures and was several times guest teacher at the Henri Van de Velde Institute for product development. In 1996 he was co-founder of Prime magazine, the first Belgium snowboard magazine, which reached an edition of 10.000 copies. In 1997 he started another project ‘beyond’ for the development of a new kind of snowboard binding. He is closely related with the Rhino Academy which supports the implementation of the CADprogam ‘Rhinoceros’. His last project ‘Platform’ is a platform for creativity.
Peter Van Riet’s work is based upon methodology. His designs are the result of a process in which technological, economical and human aspects are combined within the framework offered to him. Hence he values strongly the interaction with his customers.
Notwithstanding he does not believe methodology to be the only creative force.
The emotional language of products tends to gain more and more importance. The merely functional characteristics of an object need an emotional surplus value. Moreover companies increasingly lose interest in separate products. Designing has become a much broader activity, in order to create products that support and externalize the total image and strategy of a company.
Hence again, Peter stresses that designing implies a lot more than ‘styling’. ‘Nice’ and ‘ugly’ are not the main criteria to evaluate a product. A product should certainly be stimulating and exciting, besides meeting optimally the consumer’s needs. ‘Excitement’ and ‘satisfaction’ are two key notions for Peter when working at his projects. He sees product design as the creation of ‘lively’ objects.