A love of ex­per­i­men­ta­tion and a unique ap­proach to colour in­forms the work of Dutch de­sign stu­dio Scholten & Bai­jings

VOGUE Living Australia - - CONTENTS - By Ver­ity Mag­dalino Pho­tographed by Inga Pow­illeit vogueliv­ing.com.au scholtenbai­jings.com @scholtenbai­jings livingedge.com.au

A love of ex­per­i­men­ta­tion and a unique ap­proach to colour in­forms the work of Dutch de­sign stu­dio Scholten & Bai­jings. Vogue Liv­ing speaks with stu­dio co­founder Ca­role Bai­jings on the duo’s lat­est project.

Our fo­cus on colour started as a sort of sur­prise,” says Ca­role Bai­jings, one half of de­sign duo Scholten & Bai­jings. The Dutch prac­tice is cel­e­brated for an oeu­vre that spans con­cept cars for BMW, porce­lain for Ja­panese firm Arita and, most re­cently, a line of mod­u­lar fur­ni­ture for Her­man Miller and a new tex­tile range for US-based tex­tiles com­pany Ma­haram. Bai­jings and her part­ner in de­sign and life, Ste­fan Scholten, launched their prac­tice in 2000; since then, the Am­s­ter­dam-based cou­ple has built a rep­u­ta­tion for a highly in­di­vid­ual take on colour. It’s a sig­na­ture that be­gan with a failed tex­tile sam­ple, which, af­ter com­pli­ments from friends, was de­vel­oped into a blan­ket that to­day re­mains a best­seller. “It taught us that some­thing that in our eyes was a to­tal fail­ure could, in an­other con­text, be a great suc­cess,” says Bai­jings. The pair’s flair for hands-on ex­per­i­men­ta­tion is cap­tured in their lat­est col­lab­o­ra­tion with Ma­haram, a her­itagein­spired range of three in­di­vid­ual fab­ric de­signs and the duo’s fourth col­lec­tion for the com­pany. Here, Bai­jings de­scribes her in­spi­ra­tion. Our new tex­tile col­lec­tion is based on Dutch

darn­ing sam­plers from the 17th cen­tury. Mary Mur­phy, the vice pres­i­dent of de­sign for Ma­haram, knows Dutch cul­ture very well. She sug­gested we look at our own tex­tile his­tory and in par­tic­u­lar, darn­ing sam­plers. It’s a Dutch tra­di­tion, used as a teach­ing tool to help young girls learn how to sew. Some are elab­o­rate works show­ing the meth­ods of re­pair on var­i­ous fab­rics us­ing dif­fer­ent yarn types and colours. They even­tu­ally be­came like works of art and are now bought by col­lec­tors and mu­se­ums in Ja­pan and Amer­ica. It’s im­por­tant to us to cre­ate new forms that you

can­not pos­si­bly de­sign on a com­puter. We mix our own for­mu­las, make our own ma­te­ri­als and even colours that are just right, and not just cho­sen from Pan­tone. If we send a Pan­tone colour to a man­u­fac­turer then they don’t use their own knowl­edge any­more — and we need them to re­ally cre­ate the colour we’re aim­ing for.

We just bought a new 3D printer and printed our first tex­tile. We cu­rated a show at the tex­tile mu­seum in Hol­land about Scan­di­na­vian de­sign and they asked us to cre­ate a col­lec­tion. We printed small so it feels leaves like in a dif­fer­ent fab­ric. It’s colours a sus­tain­able and con­nected ma­te­rial them — made from rice and corn — so, like leaves in na­ture, it will even­tu­ally dis­solve. Our Dutch her­itage has re­ally in­flu­enced the

way we work… from artists such as Mon­drian, Van Gogh and Rem­brandt to the way our coun­try is so flat with lin­ear land­scapes and hori­zons. It mir­rors the char­ac­ter­is­tics of Dutch de­sign, which is very min­i­mal but also ex­per­i­men­tal, in­no­va­tive, un­con­ven­tional with a sense of hu­mour. That’s in our DNA — although some­times our work is de­scribed as be­ing quite un-Dutch. I think maybe in the lay­er­ing and de­tail­ing and the way we work, al­most like an artist, but still work­ing with in­dus­try. In our opin­ion it’s ex­tremely im­por­tant to work with in­dus­try — that’s where the great­est re­stric­tions lie but also the great­est op­por­tu­ni­ties.

FROM TOP a co p Baij A g Sam­pler Large, one of the duo’s new­est tex­tile de­signs for Ma­haram, shown on B&B Italia’s Andy ’13 sofa.

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