Tell us about Grain
Grain is a mat with an organic pattern inspired by stone textures, and it can evoke associations of things close up or something viewed from a great distance. The mats consist of unique shapes that give a modern look and effectively hide dirt and dust.
What inspired the design?
The design developed from an idea where the focus was on pattern and texture rather than on a typical motif. I was inspired by different floors and architectural materials that had rough textures. I began a research process in which I photographed materials and stone surfaces whose surfaces I liked, before transferring them by hand and developing them into a pattern that formed the basis for Grain. It was the rhythm and abstract shapes of the photographs that formed the basis for the pattern, which appears repetitive but free, as no two shapes are identical – as in nature. The colours selected refer to different rock types and stones; Sandstone, Amethyst and Granite. We wanted to use natural colours with a clear, but muted tone. Finding the proper balance of colour contrasts was an important assessment. We chose to include subtle stripes in the background, as we felt that the design needed a ‘fixed’ element, something more rigid and geometrical, as a contrast to the organic forms.
“I envision that Grain would suit a young home where the mat would add texture to a modern interior design style”
What challenges have you encountered in the course of this project?
It can be challenging to cooperate and communicate online, as we had to do in this project. Heymat, the factory and I are all based in different places, and it has not been possible to travel to meet in person. We have solved this problem by always having the same physical samples in all three places to discuss via Teams or on the phone. Extensive testing of details and colours was required before we arrived at the right combinations. The coronavirus epidemic has meant that the process has taken a lot longer than expected, but it has also allowed us to spend more time on the project. I think that we have come up with a design that adds something new to Heymat’s product range. It has been rewarding to work with a manufacturer that is willing to allow the designer so much freedom, while at the same time being so interested and involved in the process.
How would you describe your design style?
For me, all products are different, and I begin each project with an idea that I develop in different ways. I think of my projects as independent, each with their own personality and distinctive nature. I don’t necessarily consider my projects as an extension of myself or my style. Of course, I do have a way of thinking and a style that will be reflected in my work, but it’s not really something that I am particularly aware of until I look back on things that I’ve done.
I think a lot about the balance between simplicity and anonymity when I work. I like simplicity, but there must be something more there to spark my enthusiasm. A join, a curve or a combination of materials could be all it takes.
For me, the mats that I’ve designed for Heymat feel like something completely new and quite different from my previous work. At the same time, I can see a lot of myself in them, and there is a thread running through them.