Spark management interviewed in Items

November 1, 2004

Ir. Robert Barnhoorn and ir. Maarten Wilming, the two managing partners of Spark, have been interviewed on the luxurious suitcase HENK in edition five of the design glossy for Dutch designers.

Robert Barnhoorn

‘HENK’ is the story of a Dutch businessman who one day during a business trip was walking in the snow through the streets of New York with 12kg luggage in his trolley. At that moment he realized that people all over the world are annoyed with their heavy trolleys with noisy and instable wheels that cannot take any obstacles. He decided to design a luxuriously suitcase himself. For twelve years he worked with design offices all over the world, but didn’t achieve the technical fulfilment with a weight of around five kilos. Finally he came to Spark, known for their years of experience in the field of designing complex and high-quality products that are visually appealing at the same time. As well as for their knowledge and wide experience with the whole process of product development – from concept and strategy to prototype and market introduction.

Robert Barnhoorn: “The limits of the feasible have been moved on all kinds of fronts. For instance we made suppliers of components and materials implement new processes. We selected a range high-quality materials like carbon fibre, titanium and magnesium and stretched the limits of the production possibilities. As a basis carbon has been used, a material that is often used in Formula 1 cars. Now it can be used for the first time in series.” For the interior HENK chose horsehair, because it goes with the charisma of the suitcase. “Like a Bentley doesn’t go with imitation leather”, explains Maarten Wilming. The interior of the HENK has also been covered with wood veneer that has been applied layer by layer, the push buttons are made of ebony wood because it feels warm and solid, and the different types of leather are very exclusive – from extremely soft cowhide to crocodile leather.