Blocks and Grid by Scholten & Baijings 06.14

Maharam presents Blocks and Grid, the first in a series of products designed by Scholten & Baijings in collaboration with the Maharam Design Studio.

Scholten & Baijings, Studio for Design was founded in Amsterdam in 2000 by Stefan Scholten and Carole Baijings. Their work is characterized by minimal forms enhanced by simple geometric patterning and an acute sense of color. They've designed a range of interior products for clients including 1616 / Arita Japan, Established & Sons, Thomas Eyck, HAY, Georg Jensen, Karimoku New Standard, and Pastoe, as well as a concept car for MINI.

In response to Maharam’s open brief for an upholstery textile, Scholten & Baijings embarked on an investigation of modern approaches to color blocking. To allow for a nuanced exploration of this concept, they decided to develop two large-scale compositions based on the ten yards typically required to upholster a sofa. The resulting textiles, Blocks and Grid, both have massive 27.5’ repeats.

Working at this scale presented many challenges. Blocks and Grid had to succeed bothas freestanding designs and in application. According to Carole Baijings, “In a Mondrian painting, the composition fits perfectly within the parameters of the canvas. Making a composition for an upholstery fabric calls for an entirely different approach.” Throughout the development process, Scholten & Baijings assessed the efficacy of their designs on numerous scale models. As Stefan Scholten explains, “This obviously took a lot of working out, because a nine-meter piece of fabric that shows the whole repeat has to be just as interesting as a single meter of fabric.” Importantly, Blocks and Grid were designed to combine seamlessly, enabling the creation of a new visual effect with each application.

Both textiles are an exploration of color perception translated into woven wool. While Blocks features subtle colors lightly juxtaposed or overlapped to create effects of depth and transparency, Grid is an investigation into color densities built up by parallel and perpendicular lines. In Stefan Scholten’s words, “The density of the grid determines how one experiences color and gives the color a more airy appearance than a monochromatic color plane.”

Blocks and Grid debuted in 2013 at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum as part of “The Dinner Party” and at the Art Institute of Chicago’s exhibition, “3 in 1: Contemporary Explorations in Architecture and Design”, and will feature in an installation of Scholten & Baijings’s work this summer at the Villa Noailles in Hyères, France. Both textiles have been accepted into the permanent collection of the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.

In addition to Blocks and Grid, a third textile, Tones, will be presented at NeoCon 2014 and introduced by Maharam in Spring 2015. Tones continues Scholten & Baijings’s exploration of color at a reduced scale, featuring tints and shades of two distinct hues rendered by various weave structures as panes of chromatic gradation.

Maharam has worked closely with Scholten & Baijings and Dutch graphic designer, Joost Grootens, on the first monograph of Scholten & Baijings’s work. Reproducing Scholten & Baijings documents the design process behind several high-profile projects, including Blocks and Grid, and will be published by Phaidon inFebruary 2015.

Blocks Specifications
Width:56”/142cm
Colors: 5
Content: 92% Wool, 8% 

Grid Specifications
Width: 56”/142cm  
Colors: 6
Content: 92% Wool, 8%

Tones Specifications
Width: 56”/142cm  
Colors: 4 (TBD)   
Content: 92% Wool, 8%

Maharam scholten and baijings blocks 001

Blocks by Scholten & Baijings 001

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Maharam scholten and baijings blocks 002 detail

Blocks by Scholten & Baijings 002

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Blocks by Scholten & Baijings 003

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Grid by Scholten & Baijings 004

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Maharam scholten and baijings grid 002 detail

Grid by Scholten & Baijings 002

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Scholten and baijings grid 005 alcove sofa

Alcove Sofa Grid by Scholten & Baijings 005

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