Dezeen promotion: a new short film, entitled As Far As Your Imagination Can Reach, shows how artists and designers are using metallic chain curtains by Spanish brand KriskaDECOR to create endless patterns and images (+ movie).
KriskaDECOR chains were first produced in 1926 and allow designers to create imaginative applications for interiors and architecture projects.
This video shows artists and designers from around Europe working in innovative ways with KriskaDECOR's chain material, which has been updated by the third generation of the family-run company.
Made from small, linking pieces of anodised aluminium that form a lightweight, versatile mesh, KriskaDECOR's chains are available in a wide range of brilliant and satin colours, and two densities.
KriskaDECOR aims to give designers the opportunity to reproduce almost any pattern in a metallic curtain on demand.
As Far As Your Imagination Can Reach looks at an installation created by artist Andrew Sabin called The Sea of Sun, which was one of the first creative works exploring the ability to create pictures and patterns with KriskaDECOR chain.
"In 1992, so we all were interested in computers and the way images were broken down into pixels. I thought these little dots of colours, pixels, would make an image move and pulsate," Sabin says.
"The chain is broken down into very simple units, so it's a single piece of a single colour," he explains. "You've got the potential to make great complexity out of a very simple basic unit – by your millionth link you've got something spectacularly complicated, which is so often the case in nature."
KriskaDECOR chains are produced using aluminium. The combination of the metal and the unique shape of each link forms a highly reflective mesh, creating a shimmering effect when light is shone on the material.
The chains interact particularly well with LED lighting, which can help interior designers to create innovative atmospheres, suggests the company.
"This material has two very interesting characteristics," explains Spanish interior designer Elia Felices in the movie. "The first is that it transmits light, meaning that the colours multiply through the iridescent projection of each pixel. And the second is that is demarcates spaces."
"When the graphic treatment of the material is dense, the separation is more marked – but at the same time it's ethereal," Felices adds. "It doesn't have the opacity that fabric does."
KriskaDECOR chains are produced in Montblanc, Spain, by members of the same family that started the company in 1926. Before the advent of air conditioning, many people in Spain used chain curtains in the doorways of their homes, stores or restaurants to help ventilate and cool the spaces in question.
"It has the ability to last a lifetime. They move in a really interesting way," says Fernando Amat, owner of Spanish design shop Vinçon, in the movie.
"The possibilities of these curtains seems endless. The manufacturing process seems like it hasn't changed much, but seeing the graduation of colours that are achieved, I am sure that new technologies have made it easier."
Burkard Meyer Architeken and Konform used KriskaDECOR's decorative metallic curtains for Talsee's bathroom furniture showroom in Switzerland, where customised chain lengths helped create a "rain passage" that divides the showroom into distinct sections.
KriskaDECOR curtains are available in two spacing variations – Standard Spacing, with each piece parallel to create a regular appearance, and Half-drop, where the links are off-set to create a denser, more opaque mesh.
"It is capable of many things," says Barcelona interior designer Alfons Tost. "It is a starting point in itself, and the result is whatever you want it to be."
"The truth is that it's very hard to find another element that has so many usable functions," he adds. "Even the way these curtains fall back into place. You can push them any which way you want, but they will always fall back into a perfect shape."
A large number of colour combinations allows designers to create almost any pattern or logo with the curtains, KriskaDECOR suggests.
The chains have been utilised by international designers and studios including Philippe Starck, Patricia Urquiola and Rockwell Design, and have featured in interior projects including a Wahaca restaurant in London, and Hotel Vincci Gala, Barcelona.
The founder of KriskaDECOR, Josep Maria Sans Amill, ran his business with the motto: "There is nothing that can't be done, one just has to find the way".
Sans Amill's son, Josep Maria Sans Folch, developed a technique for anodising the aluminium in 1957 to make the chains weather resistant, and improved it with a number of additional properties with the help of his wife, Josefina Esplugas.
The company is now run by Sans Amill's grandchildren, Josep Maria and Cristina Sans Esplugas, who intend to continue on the family mission.
Click here to watch KriskaDECOR's film, As Far As Your Imagination Can Reach.
Here is more information from KriskaDECOR:
KriskaDECOR is a company that makes highly original metal curtains and partitions. Their products offer an abundance of architectural, lighting and interior design solutions along with many options for demarcating and partitioning spatial environments. KriskaDECOR's products are manufactured with small, interlinked pieces of anodised aluminium that form a lightweight, versatile mesh.
There are infinite ways to stylise KriskaDECOR's curtains. Each customer is at liberty to create its own – from the combination of colours to the addition of logos, patterns and artwork. The manufacturing process is flexible enough to accommodate designers with specific projects and the company can fulfil all measurement requirements.
Thanks to the special anodising process, KriskaDECOR's chain curtains are resistant to most climatic factors meaning that they are suitable for use indoor and out. What's more, they are fully recyclable, easy to clean, nonflammable and very lightweight – weighing only three kilograms per square metre (approximately).
Founded in 1926 by Josep Maria Sans Amill, KriskaDECOR continues to be a family-run company. Now headed by the third generation, it is based in Montblanc (closed to Barcelona, Spain). KriskaDECOR exports 59 per cent of their output to nearly 40 countries, including the US, New Zealand, Russia and South Africa.
KriskaDECOR curtains have been used for de-marking environments, decorating interior and exterior spaces, as decorative murals, advertising elements and for stage and TV sets.
Curtains are ideal for bars and restaurants, hotels, nightclubs, offices, entrance halls and large public spaces and also as ephemeral decorations for trade fairs, conventions and lighting installations, or to create new experiences in architecture projects.