Raf Simons and Kvadrat inspired new launch goes beyond fabric | Architectural Summary
Despite their long relationship, this is the first time that Simons has designed an entirely new type of product for Kvadrat. However, the idea of branching out, he admits, had been swirling for several years. “I didn’t want to do something simple like a tote bag,” he recalls the first brainstorms. “I didn’t want to design a product that wouldn’t make sense to me, and I didn’t want to make a piece of furniture. I just wanted to do something a little further and think about how people experience their home environment.
A contemporary reinterpretation of the Shaker rail emerged as a natural choice, not only because of Simons’ longstanding fascination with movement, but also because he saw an opportunity to create a new way to interact with objects in the house. “I’m not the kind of fashion designer who’s interested in making an item that’s going to sit in an edition of eight in a gallery,” he asserts. “That doesn’t speak to me at all.”
Simons’ foray into product design, namely experimental storage systems, is not so surprising. Before embarking on a career in fashion, Simons studied industrial design at the Luca School of Arts in Genk, which earned him a deep reverence for 20th century art and design – radical and futuristic inventions. by Joe Colombo, in particular the adaptable domestic system presented at his 1969 Visiona 1 exhibition; the meticulous work of the leather of the French decorator Jacques Adnet; and the art of American minimalists like Donald Judd and John McCracken – which, in addition to the intuitive functionalism and economy of form of the Shakers, Simons cites as references he consulted when developing his new system.
Simons says he envisions different uses for the design, depending on its location in a home, and has designed a series of accompanying accessories: for the living room, a magazine rack, woolen throws and matching pillows; for the entrance, a coordinated key ring, a shopping bag and slippers. “Because at the end of the day,” he thinks, “an interesting and important object is one that you use all the time.”