Divina: Every colour is divine

’Kvadrat is rediscovering important periods in its short history. Two years ago we celebrated our ’founding fabric’ Hallingdal, and our relationship with artists and designers like Nanna Ditzel and Gunnar Aagaard Andersen in the period after the company was founded in 1968. Following Divina the launch of Hallingdal in the 1960s, the next defining product for us was, which was launched in 1984. Many of the designers who are very successful today broke through around this time; the first application of Divina was by Ron Arad, when he started designing for Moroso, our first client in Italy.

Thirty years ago, when Divina was launched, Kvadrat’s art direction was in the hands of artist and graphic designer Finn Sködt. He got Kvadrat organised for this first aesthetic and creative leap. Sködt’s emphasis on colour and his joy in colour is the basis for our current reputation as a company with great expertise in this field and which brings out clear, distinctive, textile colours. Thanks to Sködt’s approach and his method of working with raw pigments, Kvadrat has a very personal approach to colour, rather than a simple ’coordinated colour’ vision. He’s been very important for our identity and, in my opinion, one of the reasons why we are perceived as being very contemporary.

Divina is so intense that it is almost like paint, or something that has been sprayed onto a surface; you could not have a colour that is more vivid or clearer than this. The cloth itself resembles a classic cavalry textile: dense and heavy with a very high wool content and an advanced finish. It works well as a transmitter of colour in a space, but when you get close in to the woollen textile you get quite a different experience.

For the Divina exhibition we have asked a team of curators to select emerging or mid-career designers and invite them to think freely and experiment with the textile. It will be inspiring and stimulating for us to see these designers interpreting Divina without having a solution or concept imposed on them.

Commissions like these are very important to us. These exciting design projects are part of our circle of practice, which also connects to our work with the world’s best architects and designers, and with engaging our global team in design. They have an educational effect on our corporate culture – maybe our audience will discover new and exciting names through this project?

After it opens in Milan, this exhibition will travel on to our showrooms and to different locations around the world. We hope that in doing so it will provide the participating designers with a platform for their work and ideas, becoming not only a celebration of our own history but a supportive gesture towards their future’.

Anders Byriel, CEO Kvadrat