This fall, Maharam announces a new collaboration between Dutch designer Bertjan Pot and the Maharam Design Studio, beginning with the introduction of two woven upholsteries, Twist and Shake, and two rugs, Hustle and Floss.
Working from his studio in Rotterdam, Pot cites material research as the starting point for each project, applying materials in unexpected ways and transforming them in the process. Perhaps best known for his lighting, Pot is also widely regarded for his baskets, masks, seats, and rugs which blend the mathematical and the organic. Often using repetitive techniques such as handweaving and machine stitching to create intricate constructions, Pot embraces the discoveries that result from his experiments with structure, pattern, and color. Interested in the architecture of textiles, Pot gives soft surfaces structure and imbues traditionally hard surfaces with pliability—textiles molded by resin, ropes stitched together to form flat surfaces, netting stretched taut to form seats.
“Bertjan possesses a relentless curiosity that he applies to everything he does,” says Maharam’s senior vice president of design, Mary Murphy. “His experimental approach stems from a desire to understand the world around us, pursuing logical, practical, and efficient solutions to design challenges, paired with his deep appreciation of the artistry found in everyday objects.”
Pot’s collaboration with Maharam expands upon his investigation of structural pattern rather than embellishment to form. Crediting Shaker design with this line of inquiry, Pot applies Shaker principles of repetition and material simplicity to upholsteries and rugs whose patterns derive from their construction. Iterative mechanical action combined with colorful plied yarns generates the zigzags, swirls, and spirals of Pot’s textile designs with Maharam.
Twist is a woven upholstery that enlists a tritone plied yarn across a contrasting warp to form a complex and randomized moiré that vibrates with visual energy. Reframing this same yarn-twisting technique as a stripe, Shake alternates two different groups of plied yarn to create a vivid interplay of color while at the same time strengthening the textile’s structure. Pot opted for a flat weave and dense warp coverage for both Twist and Shake to add extra tonal mixing to the patterns’ kinetic ripple effect.
Hustle extends the humble yarn-twisting method of the upholsteries to a handwoven duotone wool rug. As with Pot’s other textiles, Hustle employs vivid, high-contrast color combinations to emphasize textural variation and to provide a fresh counterpoint to the rug’s elemental structure and references.
For the second handwoven rug, Floss, Pot chose a similarly exuberant and vibrant palette to reimagine traditional hand-knotting techniques. Through an uncommon composition of evenly spaced hand-knotted tufts across Floss’s surface, Pot creates an inviting, tactile contrast of gridded expanse and standalone freeform shapes complemented by wool and organic cotton.
About Bertjan Pot
Bertjan Pot (b. 1975, Netherlands) graduated from the Man and Identity department at Design Academy Eindhoven in 1998. His designs first gained an international audience with his Random Light (1999), a strand of epoxy-dipped fiberglass coiled around a large balloon to form a globeshaped pendant lamp diffuser. Pot’s Carbon Chair (2004), made from epoxy-drained carbon fibers, paid homage to Charles and Ray Eames’s Eiffel chair base while experimenting with new materials. In addition to collaborations with Cassina, Established & Sons, HAY, Moooi, and Nike, among others, Pot has exhibited his woven masks, seats, tables, lights, and textiles internationally in both group exhibitions and solo presentations. His work can be found in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London; Rotterdam’s Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen; MoMA in New York; Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum; and the Textielmuseum Tillburg.