design products Utrecht Portland
Three designers in Utrecht and three designers in Portland have exchanged a slab of wood from a historical tree from their city. Each designer created a unique product from this urban wood which resembles the cultural history of the location this tree ones stood. The results are momentarily on display in a joint exhibition connecting cities, designers and a general audience.



Rob de Looff creates music boxes from specialty wood. He knows exactly where the tree stood before it was cut down, the tree continues to live and breath through his craftmanship and the musical tune you choose.
Merieke Werdler of Timberring crafts wooden rings from a diverse range of wood species. She can combine practically every type of wood and deliver a personal gift that can last a life time. A specialty are wedding rings or rebonding gifts for a 5 year anniversary, which is called Wooden Wedding.
Follow this link to her website
Thomas Geurts of Tag Woodworking is a Designer, Woodworker and Video Content Creator. He is both a dreamer and a perfectionist. It is his aim as a Designer to create mesmerizing patterns and combinations, which you will be able to gaze at for a very long time. Find Thomas on Etsy & Youtube
Portland Razor Co. is Scott Miyako, Alex Pletcher and Hunter Lea Hohnemeister. The company’s mission is to bring the lost art of straight shaving to a new generation of shavers. They are craftsmen with a common passion for American manufacturing, social and environmental responsibility, and a healthy lifestyle.
Kevin Poest is a woodturner/woodworker in Portland Or. He has been working with wood for 35 years learning from his dad and grandfather as a kid. Kevin takes great pride in carrying on old traditions and maintaining skills handed down from previous craftsmen. Find Poest on Etsy

LR Desig is MC Lemai and Allie Rivenbark. Together they create artesian furniture for a modern world and build functional design pieces for residential and commercial spaces.


Creativity and sustainability are themes that connect Utrecht and Portland. This project WOOD is a great opportunity to work with a small group of representatives from both city’s creative design community and combine cultural heritage and sustainability issues in a beautiful art exhibit.
Tafelboom (Table tree) focus on all aspects of the labor process from tree to table. They saw the logs, dry the shelves, design tables and other products in their workshop. All of which are made with urban wood from the city of Utrecht.
Sustainable Northwest wood mill and distribute wood according to the urban lumber principle. They work with high-quality slabs from Portland city trees that are removed due to disease, hazard situations, and development as the city’s urban density increases.
Sustainable Northwest wood mill and distribute wood according to the urban lumber principle. They work with high-quality slabs from Portland city trees that are removed due to disease, hazard situations, and development as the city’s urban density increases.
puha shop
Puha Shop offers a variety of products for men and women, from clothes to accessories, books, bags and jewellery. The designers create their collections mainly in the Netherlands, some are even based in Utrecht. Next to that they sometimes welcome designers from other countries.
BOYS FORT is a carefully assembled collection of handmade local, US made products and vintage one of a kind finds. Many local artists are incorporated into the mix, with a wide variety of styles for every taste and point of view. The FORT never disappoints.



Udo Prinsen, director / curator Early 2017 I was part of a group of Utrecht creatives visiting Portland, Oregon. Immediately I saw an opportunity to work with designers on a story including wood design from both cities. The simplest concept I could think of was to exchange a slab of wood, invite designers to work with that and organize an exhibit to present the results. The wood has a GPS location through which we can trace the individual story of each particular piece of wood to a slab with a story. By challenging designers to work with this wood we will eventually bring the different personal views of the designers and the cities they live and work in.

I am particularly interested in bringing the story of the artist behind the design. What makes them tick, how do they see the city they live in, how do they cope with issues of sustainability and what is their artistic take on each other.

Kim van Engelen – teaser: film & edit
Sander Houwen – teaser: music & sound design
Jasper van Nieuwenhuizen – web support


Portland Utrecht Network
Utrecht International Relations


31 August 2018
The Boys Fort in down town Portland will host the first exhibit of 6 of the 12 design objects in the USA. The other 6 will be exhibited simultaneously in Utrecht’s PUHA shop and later at the Damn Good Soap Store.

21 August 2018 Work in progress.
Merieke Werdler is busy working on two giant rings commemorating the friendship between the two cities.

merieke werdler timberring

Rob de Looff finished his musical boxes, they have been prepared and oiled and are left to dry.

25 July 2018
The wonderful PUHA shop in the centre of Utrecht will feature the first exhibit of our design exchange. Their window setting, designer hub and ambitions to combine design, art, business and sustainability makes them  the right group to present this project at. We hope to let this exhibit travel through Utrecht shop windows, starting here.

01 July 2018
Thomas Anton Geurts of Tag woodworking created a short poetic film, documenting the making of his object on his Youtube Channel.

01 June 2018
Both wood slabs have been exchanged and received to and from Utrecht and Portland. It’s great to see how all the makers respond with the same enthusiasm and amazement at seeing the particular shapes and lines portraying the history of our cities.