The future of interior: an interview with Odette Ex

What will interior look like in the future? Odette Ex, founder of Ex Interiors, and ambassador of the sector Interior at Material Xperience paints a picture of her vision of the future of interior for us in this interview! Click here for a free entry ticket for Material Xperience!

How will we decorate our interior in 100 years, if it were up to you?
It is hard to predict, but for us, the future lies in the connection of ‘Tech&Touch’. This means that we use natural materials (‘Touch’) and combine them with technology (‘Tech’), to create a world that touches your heart.

What do you think is the best invention ever and why?
Smartphones. Smartphones have allowed the sharing of (individual) knowledge to grow explosively. Because of this, many developments have gained momentum and new forms of communication (and etiquette) have come into being. Smartphones bring a form of positive freedom, in which everyone is free to work where they want.

What are the most important material innovations within your sector and why?
Material innovations come into being by connecting two disciplines, such as technology and biology. The use of (natural) resources combined with new techniques will bring us new materials. A good example of this is algae. Algae produce energy, can be used in food, or can be processed into yarns and dyes. Other important innovations come forth from the reuse of materials or the use of waste materials. Think for example of chalk that from water treatment plants, which can be used in the production of carpet backing, or old jeans that are recycled into insulation material.

With which other sector is your sector related most or is the most cross-pollination when it comes to material innovation?
There are actually three: fashion, art and architecture. Fashion is the leading sector when it comes to trends and is therefore a source of inspiration for interior architecture.

In art, there is a certain layered structure and deeper meaning. By adding this structure into the interior, it enriches the environment and creates a place in which people can reconnect with their inner self.

Architecture is a sector that is more obviously connected to interior; after all, there is no interior without an exterior. The architect can be an important source of inspiration for the interior. A nice example is the Radboud Dentistry building in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. The brutalist concrete from the original building was used as the base for the new design. In the interior, colours and materials were chosen that contrast the characteristic concrete, and the emotions and wishes of various target groups have been considered.

Materia aims to connect various parties. Which other person or party do you think people should get to know and why?
The visitor should certainly get to know designers such as Nienke Hoogvliet, Billie van Katwijk and Diana Scherer. This new generation of designers looks at the available material and thinks how we can use these without negative consequences. They focus mostly on the use of natural and thus renewable materials.

Odette Ex at Material Xperience
Odette is the ambassador of the sector Interior at Material Xperience. Together with Materia, she has put together an exhibition with some of the most interesting projects within the interior sector. Want a sneak peek of what to expect? Click here.

Thursday 15 March, Odette will hold a lecture on the layers of interior and the growing awareness of the need for sustainable materials! For the full lecture programme, click here.

About Odette Ex
In 1994, Odette Ex founded Ex Interiors. Since then, the agency has grown into a leading, internationally operating firm where complicated projects are tackled with a genuine specialist passion.

Odette studied at Utrecht school of arts (1985-1990), receiving a honourable mention from the Dutch association of interior architects at her graduation. Continuing her studies at the Dutch State Academy of Fine Arts (1991-1993), she focused on the area between architecture and visual arts. From this field of focus, Ex Interiors was founded.

Ex Interiors is an aspiring, personal and professional firm. It has experience in designing for new building projects, restorations and renovations and works for various clients in sectors such as healthcare, education, hospitality, stores and shops, offices and consumers.




  1. pieternella de Schipper-Rokitta says:

    Hi Odette,

    I’m working for a tannery which makes leather for the automotiv industry.
    As we also have “rest-leather” pieces, we were thinking of a responsible way of reusing the leather mostly in a sustainable way and we would appreciate it very very much if you could help us to find a Partner who is interested and able to work with this Kind of leather components.

    Thank you so much in advance for your Support!!!!

    Kind regards,

  2. pieternella de Schipper-Rokitta says:

    Hi Odette,
    it’s me again Pieternella. On the top of this side, there is a picture from “plates” with wooden pieces in a square or triangle form. Here for example we can imagine that it also would be very attraktive with leather laminated. Or… we also have the possibility to Shredder the leather in very small fibres, that it can almost remind you of wool, or dust.

    I’m very excited already if you can help us.

    Kind Regards,

  3. Sigrid says:

    Hi Pieternella,

    Odette was our ambassador for interior at Material Xperience 2018, but she does not work at Materia, so we hope we can help you. It is great you want to do something sustainable with your leather scraps! There are several artists and companies who reuse this material to make new ones. Examples include Remake, which uses leather to make paper (, From Waste to Wonder that makes floor tiles (, artist Jorge Penadés who makes structures ( and even Nike (

    We hope this helps, and good luck with your project!

    – Team Materia

  4. Sigrid says:

    Hi Pieternella,

    The material that you’re referring to is Wood mosaic by Karooz ( They combine pieces of wood with rubber to make mosaics. Perhaps they are interested in a collaboration! Press the button ‘Request information’ on the material page to come directly into contact with the manufacturer. You seem to have a lot of ideas yourself, so we don’t doubt that you’ll find a new purpose for your leather scraps!

    Good luck!

    – Team Materia