Dutch studio Scholten & Baijings has created a collection of interior fabrics for New York textiles brand Maharam with a pattern large enough to upholster an entire sofa without repetition.
Blocks and Grid are the first two designs in a series of upholstery textiles that Scholten & Baijings are developing in collaboration with Maharam Design Studio.
Stefan Scholten and Carole Baijings, approached the project by embarking on an investigation into modern colour blocking.
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That led them to develop two large-scale compositions based on the amount of fabric typically required to upholster an entire sofa. The resulting textiles both have massive nine-metre repeats – the length of fabric before the pattern begins again – and a more standard width of 142 centimetres.
Blocks and Grid had to succeed both as freestanding designs and in application. "A nine-metre piece of fabric that shows the whole repeat has to be just as interesting as a single metre of fabric," explained Scholten.
"In a Mondrian painting, the composition fits perfectly within the parameters of the canvas," said Baijings. "Making a composition for an upholstery fabric calls for an entirely different approach."
Typically of the studio method they are known for working in, the pair resolved this challenge using a multitude of scale models.
Both textiles explore how colour perception translates into woven wool – the finished fabrics are 92 percent wool and 8 per cent nylon – and are designed to combine with each other.
Blocks features Scholten & Baijings' trademark colour juxtapositions, while Grid builds colour densities using parallel and perpendicular lines.
"The density of the grid determines how one experiences colour and gives the colour a more airy appearance than a monochromatic colour plane," said Scholten.
Blocks and Grid initially debuted as part of The Dinner Party, an installation at London's V&A museum during the 2013 London Design Festival, and in the Art Institute of Chicago’s exhibition, 3 in 1: Contemporary Explorations in Architecture and Design.
The designs will feature in another installation of Scholten & Baijings' work this summer at the Villa Noailles in Hyères, France, and both textiles have been acquired for the permanent collection of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.
A third textile, Tones, will be presented at NeoCon 2014 and introduced by Maharam in Spring 2015.
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