Curator Njusja de Gier
The topic of this show is Divina, one of Kvadrat’s iconic textiles. It’s known for its unbelievable colour range created by Finn Sködt in 1984. The woollen, felt texture of Divina makes the colours vibrant and at the same time it has a matt, absorbent quality, which makes it fit like a glove to pieces of furniture. These characteristics are some of the reasons for Divina’s enduring popularity among designers and architects and it continues to be, even after 30 years, one of Kvadrat’s bestselling textiles.
The Hallingdal exhibition we launched at Salone Internazionale del Mobile in 2012 set the tone: the conceptual projects were inspiring and refreshing, and we received an enormous amount of positive feedback. So the participating designers, and us curators, were faced with the tough task of raising the bar even higher for the Divina edition.
Once again, the brief was very open: create something with Divina.
There were no limitations to either the ideas or the amount of the textile needed, and there was no pressure on the designers for their concepts to be commercialised after the exhibition. It was a dream playground for a designer.
The designers I have chosen all have a very distinctive approach to how they work with colours, materials, and processes, and all have very different areas of expertise including graphic design, light design, and industrial design.
Long before Kvadrat started collaborating with the London-based creative studio Graphic Thought Facility, I was a big admirer of their work. They have a very clear, down-to-earth, but sensitive approach to design. Coming from a graphic design background, I expected them to bring an interesting perspective to the exhibition. Building on the key properties of the fabric, their Divina Calendar draws on the tactility, width, and harmonious colour range of the fabric.
Bethan Wood stands out for the elaborate patterns and colours of her furniture and accessories, which made her the perfect match for this exhibition. Working out of her studio in London, Wood’s unique approach to colour in design is refreshing and provocative at the same time. While on residency in Mexico, she was inspired with the idea for the Guadelupe Daybed by the colours and the craftsmanship of the local embroidery.
The United States is gaining momentum in contemporary design and there are a lot of emerging, talented designers who are putting American design on the map. Based in New York, Lindsey Adelman is one of them. Known for her show-stopping chandeliers, her work blurs lines, provokes, and inspires, carrying her unique style. This also applies to the Divina Chandelier, which hovers between being both poetic and gothic, like an undefined sea form.
The contributions of these three design studios showed me that Divina is a textile with endless possibilities. We hope they will inspire others to experiment and work with textiles in non-traditional ways.