Innovators at Heart exhibition sets out Bolon's ambition to move beyond flooring

In the next instalment of our exclusive video series with Bolon, directors Marie and Annica Eklund explain how the Swedish brand's Stockholm Design Week exhibition marked the start of "a new chapter" for Bolon.

Bolon's Innovators at Heart exhibition
Bolon's Innovators at Heart exhibition took place during Stockholm Design Week 2017

Bolon's Innovators at Heart show took place at Bolon Lab Store, the woven flooring brand's new showroom space, during Stockholm Design Week last month.

It showcased Bolon's latest flooring collections alongside a range of experimental rugs and collaborations with leading furniture producers.

Bolon's Innovators at Heart exhibition
The exhibition presented a range of different experiments by Bolon

"Innovators at Heart is so much more than just an exhibition," says managing director Annica Eklund in the movie, which was filmed at the exhibition in Stockholm.

"[We are presenting] the possibilities of what we can achieve with our material. So you should understand Bolon's history, but also the possibilities for the future."

Bolon's Innovators at Heart exhibition
Bolon launched a new flooring design by Jean Nouvel at the show

Bolon launched two new products at the exhibition – a new Bolon Studio tile called Wave, which was informed by the curved shape of traditional terracotta roof tiles, and a striped woven vinyl flooring collection designed by architect Jean Nouvel.

"It's a typical Jean Nouvel look with a lot of energy, colour, and very architectural," says Eklund.

Bolon's Innovators at Heart exhibition
Bolon also presented a series of experiments combining vinyl with natural fibres

However, the majority of the show was dedicated to showcasing a series of experimental products including two rug collections called Villa La Madonna and Duet, which comprise vinyl thread woven together with other textiles such as wool and metalised polyester.

"What we present here are experiments, how we have really mixed vinyl with wool and glittering yarn," explains creative director Marie Eklund. "It's a completely new way of how we weave at Bolon."

Bolon's Innovators at Heart exhibition
Bolon teamed up with a number of furniture producers to refresh their products, such as Thonet's classic 209 Chair

Bolon also showcased a range of collaborations with leading furniture designers and producers, who reinterpreted classic chair designs by incorporating Bolon textiles.

German furniture company Thonet upholstered its iconic bentwood 209 Chair with the Villa La Madonna material used on one of Bolon's experimental rug collections, while design studio Doshi Levien used the Duet fabric to cover its Paper Planes chairs for Moroso.

Bolon's Innovators at Heart exhibition
BD Barcelona and Moroso also reupholstered chairs using Bolon's fabric

BD Barcelona reupholstered a series of Couture armchairs by Swedish design duo Färg & Blanche, who also produced a brand new armchair called Long Neck using Bolon's material.

"It just a fantastic experience to have visited these companies and factories and take part of their knowledge," says Marie Eklund.

Bolon's Innovators at Heart exhibition
Annica and Marie Eklund hope to develop a fabric range for furniture in future

The furniture pieces are all one-off experiments, but Marie says that the experience could help the company develop a dedicated fabric collection for furniture in the future.

"You really get feedback from producers how to use our material, to develop this material, to maybe in the future do a Bolon fabric collection," she explains.

Annica adds: "This is a new business area for us, and we can really see the potential of taking Bolon into a new chapter. We're going to dress walls, upholstery, design icons – even clothing, maybe. There are no limits."

Bolon directors Marie and Annica Eklund
Bolon directors Marie and Annica Eklund. Copyright: Dezeen

This movie was filmed by Dezeen for Bolon in Stockholm, Sweden. All photography used in this story is by Bolon, unless stated otherwise. Music is by Tobias Lindén of Fry Communications.

This movie is the fifth in a 12-part series exploring Bolon's history, design and technology.

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