Colorwheel and Vases by Hella Jongerius 06.12

A decade into their collaboration, Hella Jongerius is exploring a new chapter with Maharam: designing within the technical and financial bounds of true contract textiles. This presents a new challenge for Jongerius while also making her work accessible to a broader audience.

Launching later this month, Garden, Park, and Vineyard reinterpret Layers, Jongerius’ 2008 collection of embroidered wool felt, as woven textiles. Crisp satin weaves translate the wavering line quality of Jongerius’ original hand-drawn sketch while shifts in color stand in for Layers’ dimensionality. Drawing on landscapes viewed from above, these three patterns feature geometric substructures embellished by flourishing organic and decorative motifs.

Colorwheel and Vases stem from Jongerius’ enduring fascination with colors and materials. The densely placed motif in Vases recreates Jongerius’ iconic Red White Vase of 1997. Fusing ancient craft techniques with modern industrial technology, the Red White Vase is a mass-produced product that looks more like a handmade one-off. It's served as a neutral, three-dimensional canvas in a series of color experiments that Jongerius conducted in 2003, 2007, and 2010, when she arranged over 300 multicolored vases into concentric circles as part of an investigation into optically merging colors. Having most recently appeared on the cover of the Phaidon monograph, Hella Jongerius – Misfit, the Red White Vase now has new life in woven form. Vases employs a variety of textural weave structures—including plain, pinstripe rib, and twill weaves—to mimic the overlapping blocks of translucent color that Jongerius had previously achieved in ceramic glaze.

To see how her glazes would look after being in the kiln, Jongerius would apply various test colors to a plain white plate in a process that led her to adopt another recurring motif. The color wheel embodies Jongerius’ willingness to expose parts of the design process that are usually hidden away or discarded. Like the Red White Vase, this motif proved so resilient that in collaborating with Nymphenburg in 2004, Jongerius developed a layout that allowed the porcelain manufacturer to choose colors from their archive at will as a way of integrating the freedom of options into design. As a textile pattern, Colorwheel is notable for using a regular repeat to balance out a highly mutable motif. Again using weave structure to affect color gradation, Colorwheel’s implied sense of movement relates to the exploratory and transformative character of Jongerius’ design process.

Hella Jongerius has been a standout in the world of product design since her early work for Droog, the Dutch design collective, and now as Jongeriuslab, where material research largely determines design direction. Her unique approach to craft from the perspective of industry, and her ability to combine these seemingly oppositional modes of production, has allowed her to create individuality on a mass scale. Her designs are typified by contextual twists, historical archetypes, and by transformations from old to new. Jongerius’ work ranges from one-offs and limited editions exhibited at galleries to consumer products available through companies like Vitra, Nymphenburg, Royal Tichelaar Makkum, and IKEA. Two of the products designed by Jongerius in collaboration with Maharam, Repeat (2002) and Layers (2008), are part of the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, among others. The embroidered book cover she designed for Maharam Agenda recently received a European Design Award.

Colorwheel by Hella Jongerius
Width: 54"/137cm 
Colors: 7
Content: 62% Cotton, 38% Solution-Dyed Post-Industrial Recycled Nylon

Vases by Hella Jongerius
Width: 54"/137cm 
Colors: 7
Content: 62% Cotton, 38% Solution-Dyed Post-Industrial Recycled Nylon

Maharam colorwheel 000proto

Colorwheel Proto

Hi-Resolution file size: 380 KB
Maharam vases 000proto

Vases Proto

Hi-Resolution file size: 574 KB