Njusja de Gier

Curator

Over the past 13 years, Giulio Ridolfo has been the mastermind behind some of Kvadrat’s most successful textiles, among them Steelcut, Steelcut Trio, Remix, Hot, Recheck, Zulu and Canvas. His feeling and approach to colour is unique: Ridolfo’s use of ‘in-between colours’ and surprising combinations of coloured yarns give his textiles a sense of three- dimensional depth.

When we had to choose a textile for this third edition of Kvadrat Design Projects, we knew it had to be one designed by Ridolfo. His extensive experience of working with fashion design and tailoring provided him with the underlying inspiration for Canvas. The pronounced structure of Canvas features a soft weave and the expanded colour palette makes reference to the landscape of Skagen, the northernmost point of Denmark. Canvas highlights how beautiful a yarn can be, and projects a strong sense of craftsmanship: a combination of three coloured yarns is used in Canvas, with six hues in every colourway.

Kvadrat Design Projects are a celebration of creativity: the aim is to inspire the industry, to push boundaries in materiality and techniques, to rethink the use of textile and give a stage to emerging talent. We give the participating designers a blank canvas: there is no commercial drive, there are no limits, and they can use as much textile as they need. Participants can design whatever they want as long as their concept has the textile in the lead.

In line with the way Canvas is crafted, for this edition of Kvadrat Design Projects my fellow curators and I wanted to give the stage to design talents with a strong, craft-led approach.

The Israeli Boaz Cohen and the Japanese Sayaka Yamamoto form BCXSY, a multi-disciplinary design studio. Inspired by the beauty of the Canvas colour range and the desire to display all the colourways, they created Catwalk Bench, displaying the textile in an endless revolving loop.

KateChungDesign (from Taiwan) designed Blossom in Between: a reference to her cultural heritage. Inspired by techniques of fabric manipulation used in haute couture, Chung used the textile to create a beautiful three-dimensional form inspired by the lotus flower, which rises above the flat covering surface of her room divider.

Design studio GamFratesi – founded by the Danish Stine Gam and Italian Enrico Fratesi – is known for its experimental approach in both techniques and materials. Inspired by the idea that textile is the ‘mask’ of a piece of furniture, they created the whimsical, expressive installation MASK.

Swiss designer Moritz Schmid always has a great eye for detailing. His project HOODS is an architectural interpretation of textile where Canvas itself creates the actual shape instead of following the form of the design it is upholstered on.

As digitalisation is so much part of our everyday life, I thought it would be interesting to invite a design studio of a different discipline. Having admired their work for a while, I approached ZEITGUISED, a Berlin-based digital creative studio focusing on the poetic character of shape, colour and human behavioural relationships. Their film emancipath features a set of moving sculptures created out of textile, playing with the possibility of metamorphous shapes as a physical reality.

I would like to say a big thank you to all the participating designers and my fellow curators Constance Rubini, Hans Maier-Aichen, Jeffrey Bernett and Yves Marbrier. It has been amazing and a true pleasure to collaborate with these talented people. Both as a curator and as a representative of Kvadrat, I can say that we are all very proud of the exhibition My Canvas, presented in Somerset House during London Design Festival 2017.

Njusja de Gier is the Senior Vice President of Branding and Communication at the Kvadrat Group. In her role, she is responsible for all global marketing and branding of Kvadrat’s eight brands: Kvadrat, Kvadrat/Raf Simons, Kvadrat Febrik, Kinnasand, Kvadrat Soft Cells, Kvadrat Shade, Sahco and Really. She has been a driving force behind Kvadrat’s design and art projects, including Textile Field (2011), Hallingdal 65 (2012), The Dwelling Lab (2013), Blue is Divine (2014), My Canvas (2016), and publications including Interwoven (2013), Your Glacial Expectations (2015), Daily Flower Report (2019) and Kvadrat’s online magazine Interwoven. Before joining Kvadrat in 2008, Njusja held positions at Wibroe Duckert & Partners, MTV, and Proctor & Gamble. She holds an MBA from Erasmus University/ Rotterdam School of Management and a masters from Nyenrode Business University.