Bearded, shaggy-haired, and heavily tattooed, Arne Quinze is the latest contender for the mantle of design-world bad boy. In a converted warehouse in sleepy Kortrijk, Belgium, the self-styled enfant terrible and his four partners in Quinze & Milan design everything from colorful, angular furniture to space-age vehicles. Among the firm’s recent projects were sneakers for Japanese brand Onitsuka Tiger and furniture for Rem Koolhaas’s Wyly Theater in Dallas, opening next year.
Q: What makes you tick?
Quinze: I get enormous energy from working on a project that is bigger than its individual components and developing synergies between people of different skills. I have an above-average drive for making the impossible possible.
Q: What inspires you?
Quinze: I love art books, but on planes I read science fiction. Raymond Feist’s books are my favorite. My iPod is packed with anything that has a groove. Music is my battery: It feeds my mind.
Q: How do you shift between designing furniture, apparel, paintings, vehicles, et cetera?
Quinze: I’m really an artist, not specifically just a designer, painter, or sculptor. The mix is what makes it work for me.