Constance Rubini


Colour is everywhere.

This is now the third edition of Kvadrat Design Projects celebrating its glamorous textile creations. In 2012 we celebrated Nanna Ditzel in Hallingdal 65. For that we selected a bunch of designers on the strength of their capacity to apprehend and transfigure the rich potential of the Hallingdal textile. In 2014, for a second exhibition in Milan, young designers had to deal with a very different textile: Divina, designed by Finn Sködt. Again, beyond their aptitude for forms, their sense of fantasy and creative flair, we were looking for designers ready to explore new ways of working with that very dense textile.

This year, the exhibition will take place in London. The elegant discretion of this city perfectly suits the textile that we are honouring this time. If Canvas seems to have, at first sight, the calm expression of a unicoloured textile, its pattern is, in reality, very sophisticated, playing with many hues.

I selected three designers whose personalities fit the spirit of this design: Maria Jeglinska, Felipe Ribon and Teruhiro Yanagihara.

Maria Jeglinska has played with the uniform aspect of the fabric, creating two-dimensional graphic colour compositions. These drawings are happily animating the 2D surface of the screen she designed.

Taking the opposite approach, Teruhiro Yanagihara has worked with volumes. His shelves are shaped thanks to the materiality of the refined woollen upholstery textile. His colour arrangements favour unexpected rounded shapes, only possible because they are made in textile.

The third proposition, Felipe Ribon’s piñatas, evokes a culture known for the richness of its coloured textiles. Colour here is symbolic of celebration, joy and tradition. How could we find a better way to celebrate Canvas? Hanging on a ceramic body, its elegant beauty is revealed as the hero of the party.

Constance Rubini is director of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs et du Design (MADD) in Bordeaux and has been working in the design field for 20 years. After a period as an art historian specialising in Old Master paintings, first in London, then in Paris, she oriented herself more towards contemporary culture. In 1997 she entered the contemporary design department of the Musée des Arts décoratifs in Paris, moving to the drawing department in 2006. While there, her exhibitions included Jean Royère, Decorator in Paris (1999–2000), François Bauchet, 1980–2000 (2000–1), Before (2002), Nobody’s Perfect (2002–3), Inga Sempé (2003), Dessiner le design (2009). In 2004 she curated the exhibition Lumières blanches: luminaires contemporains at the Villa Noailles, Hyères, and in 2005 of Objets de conversation, at Le Bon Marché, Paris. In 2010 she was general curator of the Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne, and curator of the exhibition La ville mobile (Mobility in the City). In 2012, she was co-curator of Hallingdal 65 for Kvadrat in Milan.

From 2004 to 2010 she was editor in chief of the design research journal Azimuts.

Formerly a lecturer in social studies at the École national supérieure des arts décoratifs and at Sciences Po in Paris, Rubini is now a lecturer at ECAL in Lausanne. Since 2013, she has been director of the MADD Bordeaux where she has curated the first retrospective of the work of Andrea Branzi (Andrea Branzi, pleased to meet you – 50 years of creation), as well as the exhibition Houselife – shown both at MADD and at the Rem Koolhaas-designed House in Bordeaux – and Oh couleurs! Design through the lens of colours (2017).

Rubini is president of the French Centre national des arts plastiques (Cnap).