Everyone has at least one childhood story that features a chain link fence. These tales usually involve appendages getting stuck in the diamond-shaped holes, followed by various injuries, the most common of which seems to be a broken leg. Sound familiar? My cousin in Cuba has a great chain link fence mishap: he and a friend broke into the ice factory to steal a block of ice, but getting the block of ice over the fence proved nearly impossible.
Lace Fence. Designed by Joep Verhoeven for Studio Demakersvan.
By the time they succeeded in getting the block of ice to the other side, my cousin had done some damage to the nether regions. But the ubiquitous chain link fence is no longer a monolithic stretch of ugliness. Thanks to Joep Verhoeven of Studio Demakersvan, the fence wire is undergoing a transformation. The result is that the fence no longer symbolizes caution and danger. The message of Verhoevan’s new Lace Fence is decidedly not “Keep Away”—it is instead “Enter.” With the various patterns of the Lace Fence, the industrial-strength wire says, “Enter a New World.” It should become a portal to a vastly different life experience, something akin to Alice’s rabbit hole. Available patterns are Original, Blossom, Wallpaper, Drops, Classic, Leaves, and Border—all of which integrate curvilinear and organic motifs. The chain link fence has been reborn.
Blossom Fence. Designed by Joep Verhoeven for Studio Demakersvan.
Leaves Fence. Designed by Joep Verhoeven for Studio Demakersvan.
Designed by Joep Verhoeven for Studio Demakersvan, Lace Fence comes in two types of wire with an outside wire diameter of 2.5 or 3mm; and in galvanized iron or PVC coated. The panels come in various sizes. Lace Fence is strong enough for outdoor use, yet soft enough for interior use: “Dutch design house Demakersvan combines the small and sensitive with the powerful, large and industrial.” Its suggested use is for room dividers or staircase railings or building facades (or even fencing). Lace Fence could improve urban landscapes everywhere. Wouldn’t it be better for children to look into their schoolyards through flowery patches of fencing? Lace Fence might even be put to use everywhere in public spaces, changing the very meaning of chain link fence to something utopian. Studio Demakersvan explains the whole philosophical about-face quite succinctly: “Hostility versus kindness, industry versus craft.”