London Design Festival 2011: Eindhoven couple Kiki van Eijk and Joost van Bleiswijk share a studio but usually work on independent projects. During the London Design Festival they present a chaise for Bernhardt Design that combines her textiles with his metal furniture.
The five textile patterns for the interchangeable seat pads, cushions and bolsters were inspired by configurations of timber offcuts, thread, paper and tape lying around the studio and workshop.
The chaise comes in a right or left version with a metal base in antique copper or brushed nickel.
The London Design Festival starts tomorrow and continues until 25 September. See all our stories about the event in our special category.
Here are some more details from Bernhardt Design:
Hailing from the career-making Design Academy in Eindhoven, Dutch designers Kiki van Eijk and Joost van Bleiswijk are the latest real-life couple to join forces in the studio for Bernhardt Design. Leading the new generation of Dutch designers, much of Kiki's and Joost's work is based on the traditions of the workshop and a respect of craft. Their personal studio became the inspiration and starting point for their aptly titled collection "Workshop." Consisting of forty textiles and an accompanying chaise, the project will make its international debut at the 2011 London Design Festival.
Although they have worked side-by-side in their studio since 2001 and often create exhibits together, Kiki and Joost have received considerable attention by focusing on their solo careers. While a student, the "Kiki Carpet" became an instant sensation and propelled Kiki onto the global design stage. Recognized for her nostalgic and playful work, Kiki's signature design statement is to use multiple layers. Joost, widely heralded for his Outlines Series, is currently working on his "no glue, no screw" collection. His passion for true craftsmanship and historical pieces has led to creating contemporary versions of forgotten objects such as an hourglass and a chessboard. Kiki and Joost have exhibited at galleries and museums worldwide including Moss Gallery and Zuiderzee Museum and have designed for companies such as Moooi, Skitsch and Venice Projects.
A visit to their studio from Jerry Helling, President of Bernhardt Design, was the catalyst for their first professional collaboration. Helling remembers, "The minute I met them in Eindhoven, I realized that although their work is very different stylistically, their chemistry was such that they could do something fantastic working in unison on one idea. I had the same feeling when I asked Jaime Hayon and Nienke Klunder to do their first joint product." Kiki and Joost's "hands-on" approach to design made Helling's proposition appealing, yet as challenging as many unknowns can be. "We agreed with the idea of doing something jointly and since the place we share in common is the workshop, we would develop the story there," says Kiki. She continues, "It would be a little scary as our relationship had never been tested by working together in this way."
Eager to begin, Joost laid the foundation using a variety of materials such as spray cans, paint brushes, wood bars, tape and stitching to form a structural base. Kiki, finding his work inspirational, quickly began adding graphic layers. Joost explains, "After working on the structural format, Kiki came in and does what she does best: layers and textures." The end result is a symbiosis of two very different worlds - Kiki and Joost - to achieve a dense and rich textile collection inspired by their workshop.
The Workshop Textile Collection is comprised of five distinctive patterns in eight different colorways: Connect, Stitch, Block, Score, and Brush. When viewing the textiles, they are quite simple to identify as each name corresponds to the method in which it was created.Using distinctive weaving techniques and a variety of different yarns, each textile is purposeful and markedly different. Connect, a very playful pattern that appears to be random sticks in different sizes, was inspired by an arrangement of wood bars in their workshop. Stitch is a very sophisticated pattern with rather humble origins consisting of lines of paper tape on a worktop with an overlay of string. The intensity of the pattern Block was created by combining wooden bars and squares, then coating with a light mist of spray paint and adding a final layer of paper tape. Score was conceived very spontaneously by engraving score lines through multiple layers of paint on wood. And lastly, Brush is a blurry and artistic pattern composed by using thin strips of tape to create a surface that appears to be painted with a brush.
Carolyn Smith, Brand Director of Bernhardt Textiles, sensed a domino effect occurring during the development process. "As the project came together, it was interesting to see the progression of the textures and how well the patterns complement each other.” After Kiki and Joost shared a sketch of a chaise they designed for their home, Smith thought it would be the perfect way to showcase the fabrics and expanded the collection to include it. Joost concurs, "Since Kiki is a master of layering pattern on pattern, all the fabrics work very well together, especially when upholstered on furniture."
The chaise can be ordered in a right or left arm version with a metal base in striking antique copper or brushed nickel. The clean and spare lines of the Workshop chaise provide a blank canvas for combining fabrics and creating unique and very individual pieces. The upholstered seat, pillows and bolsters can be specified in any combination of Workshop textiles, Bernhardt Textiles or leather.
Aesop said, "In union there is strength." How true.