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Stichting Project Laura and Ahrend joined forces to make Laura Brussaard’s dream come true: the production of the De LAURA® chair. A chair with a story behind it. Laura Brussaard was studying Product Design at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam. By the use of the contraceptive pill, she has suffered acute cardiac arrest as a result of a deep vein thrombosis, accompanied by a massive pulmonary embolism. Because of that reason, Laura died at the age of 17. The proceeds of the chair will go entirely to the foundation Stichting Project Laura. This foundation is dedicated to raising awareness around the use of the pill, and thereby decrease the risk of thrombosis.
Imagine Laura, 17 years old and full of energy. As a first-year student in the Project Design programme, she is starting to make her dreams come true – designing furniture aimed at making members of vulnerable groups feel safe. Unfortunately, she never had the chance to see the finished product. Her life cut short before it has truly begun.
In the first three months of her study, Laura designed a chair that anyone can feel safe in. She sketches a chair that is reversible with a difference in height, for both children and adults. To bring out Laura's dream, its outline is prepared by fellow students accompanied by designer Bas Pruyser. They elaborated the sketch to a prototype and eventually came to life in the De LAURA® chair.
A harmless flu
What began as an innocent flu, eventually led to much more than that. After three months of studying, Laura begins to feel unwell; she is tired and occasionally dizzy. Her symptoms are vague and give her doctor no cause for alarm. The diagnosis: fatigue and a touch of flu coming on. But as it turns out, something much more serious is going on – Laura dies four days later. The initially non-hazardous ailment, proved to be a malignant result of the use of the contraceptive pill in combination with a genetic disorder. A thrombosis leading to a pulmonary embolism, and after four days to a fatal cardiac arrest. Therefore, Koninklijke Ahrend and Stichting Project Laura are carrying on her vision: a reversible comfortable club chair for both children and adults.
Arnold Struik, Concept & Design Director at Ahrend: “I well remember Gerard (Laura’s father) presenting us Laura’s story and her design. Both made a deep impression on us. We feel truly honored that we can help to achieve Laura’s dream and in this way mean something for Stichting Project Laura”.
Stichting Project Laura
Stichting Project Laura was founded by Laura’s parents: Gerard and Anita Brussaard. Gerard Brussaard: "In this way, the Foundation hopes to foster raised awareness among physicians in order to help them be more vigilant about this dangerous combination of factors. The pill can be very dangerous, specifically combined with a genetic disorder. With the sale of the De LAURA® we want to create more attention and awareness for doctors, to be able to discover this dangerous combination much faster.”
More information about the De LAURA® club chair, her story and information on thrombosis is available on stichtingprojectlaura.nl and ahrend.com/delaura.