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Art Design Why Colour Is So Important To The Work Of Dutch Designer Hella Jongerius

Why Colour Is So Important To The Work Of Dutch Designer Hella Jongerius

The Vitra Polder sofa features an asymmetrical form and varied colour combinations in shades of red, green, yellow and blue
The Vitra Polder sofa features an asymmetrical form and varied colour combinations in shades of red, green, yellow and blue
By Hong Xinying
January 16, 2020
The creative mastermind marries the beautiful mutability of colour with the snug comfort of textiles

“Colour touches so many different aspects of design—words, shapes, materials, physics, space, light,” says Dutch designer Hella Jongerius, who has made colour theory a crucial part of her career. “The experience of colour is completely dependent on its physical, visual, artistic and cultural context.”

As the creative mastermind behind the Vitra colour and material library, Jongerius has assembled an inspiring spectrum of shades in tune to the effect of colours and how their appearance can change throughout the day. The 56 year-old designer leads the creation of textile collections made exclusively for Vitra, which are designed to enhance the tactile experience of each furniture piece.

(Related: 10 Ways To Wear The Primary Colour Trend)

The East River armchairs by Dutch designer Hella Jongerius for Vitra
The East River armchairs by Dutch designer Hella Jongerius for Vitra

The Vlinder sofa, her new collection for Vitra, encapsulates this philosophy while celebrating the craft of weaving. “We live in a world of fast-changing fashion, in which textiles have become a throwaway product,” she shares. “We are losing skills like the craft of weaving, with its richness, quality of textiles and the expression that it has.”

Jongerius wanted to create a unique and innovative collection completely unrelated to her previous collection, the Polder sofa. “There are so many sofa designs—you have to have a very good reason to make a new sofa. Also, a sofa is a large object, so it shouldn’t be too loud, but on the other hand you want to give it some signature (elements). You can do that with textiles, so with Vlinder I designed a sofa that is driven by textiles.”

(Related: Virgil Abloh’s Basel Installation With Vitra Is A Look Into The Future Of Furniture Design)

The Vitra Polder sofa features an asymmetrical form and varied colour combinations in shades of red, green, yellow and blue
The Vitra Polder sofa features an asymmetrical form and varied colour combinations in shades of red, green, yellow and blue

The Dutch designer worked on five sofa designs before arriving at the Vlinder sofa, which features a colourful duvet-like cover draped onto the seat, back and armrests. This cover comprises yarns in eight shades and two different thicknesses to create seven types of jacquard weaves. The result is a beautiful tapestry in a spectrum of red or green tones, accomplished through the combined expertise of weaving specialists, her namesake firm Jongeriuslab and the textile experts from Vitra.

“The whole process of weaving—especially when it is so complex—is very difficult to predict but each time the results come from our mill, it is like a magical surprise,” she says. According to Jongerius, the Vlinder is a haute couture-inspired sofa that creatively “combines the human touch with the possibilities of digital technology”. Ultimately, Jongerius aims to further the importance of textiles in industrial design. “I hope to create textiles that speak to consumers on an aesthetic level and seduce them into engaging with the complexity of this material on an enduring basis.”

(Related: 10 Ways To Rock Classic Blue, The 2020 Pantone Colour Of The Year)

Dutch designer Hella Jongerius peruses the vibrant array of textiles used for the Vlinder sofa from Vitra
Hella Jongerius peruses the vibrant array of textiles used for the Vlinder sofa from Vitra

“The whole process of weaving—especially when it is so complex—is very difficult to predict but each time the results come from our mill, it is like a magical surprise,” she says. According to Jongerius, the Vlinder is a haute couture-inspired sofa that creatively “combines the human touch with the possibilities of digital technology”. Ultimately, Jongerius aims to further the importance of textiles in industrial design. “I hope to create textiles that speak to consumers on an aesthetic level and seduce them into engaging with the complexity of this material on an enduring basis.”

(Related: The French Brothers Who Have Designed Everything From The Champs-Elysées Bronze Fountains To A Samsung TV)

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Art & Design Tatler Homes design hella jongerius vitra designers

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