Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

Launch of the ‘Laura’ chair in commemoration of AUAS student

28 Oct 2016 12:20 | Communication

‘A highly promising design talent’, was how Laura Brussaard who studied Product Design at AUAS was described. In the first year of her programme, Laura unexpectedly and tragically died as the result of thrombosis. She was only 17. Her fellow students wanted to make her dream of becoming a designer come true and used one of Laura's chair designs to realise her ambition. Together with Laura’s parents and designer Bas Pruyser they developed the LAURA chair. The chair, which took four years to develop, will be officially revealed tomorrow by furniture manufacturer Ahrend at Tata Steel.

From a young age, student Laura Brussaard’s ambition was to become a designer, which made her feel totally at home on the Product Design programme. In 2012, during the first year, she suddenly became ill and died entirely unexpectedly within days of contracting thrombosis, brought on by the contraceptive pill.


Four fellow students wished to realise Laura's dream of becoming a designer. Product Design student Jannine van der Velden was in Laura's group and had seen one of her sketches for a chair; a chair which as a concept could be turned upside down to offer different sitting heights to suit children or adults.

Jannine and her fellow students recruited the help of their lecturers into getting the design realised, including the assistance of Bas Pruyser who was a guest lecturer at the AUAS. The students also involved Laura’s parents, who made Laura’s sketches of the chair available and have been involved in the design process from the very start. 


Ahrend produced a prototype, assisted by a series of 3D designs contributed by the students. The furniture manufacturer is now marketing the chair. The ‘LAURA’ is finished and will be officially revealed tomorrow at Tata Steel in IJmuiden. The LAURA is also intended to raise awareness about thrombosis. All profits will go to the Stichting Project Laura, an initiative set up by Laura’s parents to warn young women of the dangers of thrombosis from using the contraceptive pill.

Student Janninge van der Velden is extremely pleased with the initiative: "I think this has also been a fascinating process for Laura's parents as the project has given them the opportunity to experience what their daughter was immersed in every day of her life. That must have been very special."