Chroma and Colorfield are the latest in a series of textiles designed by Hella Jongerius in collaboration with Maharam. Demonstrating Jongerius’s mastery of color and materials, Colorfield and Chroma manifest elements from existing concepts while proposing new aesthetic narratives.
Colorfield infuses color, texture and movement to the conceptual framework of Hours. Designed in 2011 by Jongerius, Hours translates atmospheric shifts throughout the course of a day into tonal transitions in woven wool. Woven in a dense double-weave construction, Colorfield combines multiple weave structures in a highly tactile surface. Various textures alternate in blocks: a two-toned grid dissolves into a patch of diagonal twill that then transitions to an expanse of solid basket weave. Stacked bands of color are counterposed, with broad columns of neutral texture offsetting their various rhythms. Like Hours, Colorfield comes in two variations: light and dark. Slivers of sky blue and olive meld with cherry red and burnt sienna on a light gray ground, while hot pink and emerald green are dispersed across a deep umber base. In both cases, these vibrant chromatic additions merge to form a rhythmic whole.
While similar in intent to Colorfield, Chroma creates pattern and movement using the most basic woven ingredients. Rendered in straightforward plain weave, Chroma’s 1-to-1 construction is enhanced by substantial wool yarns with a homespun character. A single weft—one variation in natural and another in gray—allows two custom eight-color warps to pepper the weave with a pixel-like graphic pattern. In this way, through her choice of color and materials, Jongerius updates a classic heavy woolen texture.
A graduate of Design Academy Eindhoven, Hella Jongerius has been a standout in the world of product design since her early work for Droog, the Dutch design collective, and now at her Berlin-based studio, Jongeriuslab. Jongerius’s unique approach to craft from the perspective of industry, and her ability to combine these seemingly oppositional methods of production, has allowed her to create individuality on a mass scale. In the monograph, Hella Jongerius: Misfit, by Louise Schouwenberg (Phaidon 2011), Jongerius writes, “our eternal crime is that we're forever standardizing everything." Her impulse as a designer is to find a way around such manufactured uniformity by incorporating the values of craft. Retaining and celebrating material nuances and the traces of the creation process, that industrial production tends to eliminate, Jongerius’s 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. Recent projects include the cabin design of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, interiors for the United Nations’ North Delegates’ Lounge, and design direction for Danskina, the Dutch rug company now under the joint leadership of Kvadrat and Maharam.
Hella Jongerius and Maharam have been collaborating since 2001. Several of the resultant textiles are now in the permanent collections of museums worldwide, including the Art Institute of Chicago; the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum; the Museum of Modern Art; the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen; and the Stedelijk Museum, among others.
Chroma by Hella Jongerius
Content: 100% Wool
Colorfield by Hella Jongerius
Content: 100% Wool