Dutch designer Hella Jongerius has arranged pieces of Vitra furniture by shade to create a rainbow-hued installation displaying the brand’s colour and material library. Jongerius designed the Colour Machine installation for the temporary CasaVitra location near Milan’s Corso Como, with the aim of bringing the company’s archive of colours and materials to life.”The concept of the Vitra Colour & Material Library starts with organising all colours in four contrasting colour worlds: the reds, the lights, the greens and the darks.The library is like a living and growing organism – no colour is static, everything is open to change,” she continued. “The internal structure of the colour wheels keeps many options open.” Four giant spinning tops twirling on the floor were used to present the full range of the Swiss brand’s materials in four categories: light colours, dark colours, greens and reds.
Nine revolving colour wheels suspended above the space were each made from parts of contemporary and classic Vitra furniture pieces, including the base of the EM Table by French architect Jean Prouvé or the Plastic Chair by designers Charles and Ray Eames. Jongerius’ installation is the result of a long-term project in collaboration with the Swiss company aiming to study the properties and possibilities of the colours, textures, finishes and materials in its product portfolio.
The idea is to use this information to help the brand refresh its existing ranges, instead of just finding new designs to put into production.
“The goal of the joint project is to establish an intelligent system that makes it easy to create rich environments in offices, homes or public spaces,” said Vitra’s chief design officer Eckart Maise.
“In a multi-year project, hundreds of new references were created and applied to Vitra’s wide product range,” he continued. “Product by product, a dialogue with the designers, product management and technical teams has resulted in a process of designing, prototyping and finally defining new or updated versions full of life and energy.”
Jongerius is widely recognised as one of the world’s most influential female designers. She founded her studio Jongeriuslab in Rotterdam in 1993 after studying at Design Academy Eindhoven, and relocated to Berlin in 2008.
On 2015 Jongerius launched a manifesto calling for an end to “pointless products, commercial hypes and empty rhetoric” in design. (following post)