The Narrative of Tradition
The longstanding partnership of Denmark-based Kvadrat and US-based Maharam is founded on a shared philosophy of design innovation and service excellence. In fostering the talents of local designers and craftspeople, Kvadrat Maharam pays homage to a rich heritage of supporting the arts and creative expression and in DENFAIR 2017 the textile brand teamed up with LOCAL DESIGN and the expert eye of designer and stylist Emma Elizabeth to tailor a celebration of Australian design and textile innovation at the entrance.
Conceived by founder, designer and stylist Emma Elizabeth, the creative collaboration fused scenography, design and fashion to present unique colour and texture edits from the Kvadrat Maharam collection. Stylised narratives created as ‘designer’ vignettes brought depth and transparency to the overall installation, reinforced perfectly by furniture pieces by Tom Fereday, Tom Skeehan and Dowel Jones. To complete the story, Emma Elizabeth constructed an “outfit” for each designer along with a uniform moment for the concierge as a physical extension to the set.
Contemporary producers of woven materials for interiors are busy exploring all sorts of innovative directions in new materials, processes and applications. In 2017 DENFAIR welcomed back international fabric houses Pelle Leather, In The Sac and Boyac, and the arrival of new exhibitors such as Austex, Shibori and 3Beaches.
With inspiration a plenty it was easy to become mesmerised by the movement of fabric and the intrinsic stories they spoke. Gracefully and simplistic the structural design was hidden in the integrity of the choice of timber and fixing details of traditional Japanese construction techniques. Reminiscence of traditional Japanese Naoshima Yatai, The Textile Café recalled tradition with a contemporary twist, construction and design focused heavily on the construction method of Miyadaiku, renowned for its elaborate wooden joints and estrangement of glues. Use of chard timber produced a mute box frame with a linear row of Shibori dyed fabric was used to conceal the seating area much like the cosy and narrow street stalls in Shinjuku, Tokyo. The interior designed with a curved “pixelated” chandelier of hanging battens lit by black smoked glass pendants and a central chandelier which draped down in the centre of the seating area to subtly provide privacy between groups of dinners.
At the centre of Textile District, The Textile Café evoked an ambience of peace and rest, becoming a place to stop and recharge, offering visitors an intimate food and drink setting from which to admire the many brands that make up the Textile district. To sit with The Textile Café was to enjoy a moment of solitude in an overwhelming environment of colour. To enjoy this moment of simplicity one must question the challenges of the scale of this project and the integration of traditional craftsmanship and new age technology. Unique in its construction The Textile Café affirms the marriage of these combination as a practice for preserving tradition yet also reaffirming its relevance is our ever changing world.