It's not surprising that the most refined and spare presentation I've seen at NY Design Week so far took place at the Jil Sander store in Soho, where Kvadrat celebrated one of its best-selling fabrics, Hallingdal 65, by inviting over thirty young designers to use it in new works. Since Hallingdal was designed by Nanna Ditzel in 1965 , it's become famous for its durability and rich color palette. It's been used in homes, hospitals and schools, but it's never been used for more artful purposes until this show for NY Design Week, at least not on this public scale.
Jonah Takagi's vintage camping gear-inspired Basecamp (above) that got such a positive response when it was shown in Milan was placed front and center. Around the corner was Stephen Burks' Play, a set of wooden room dividers covered in bright shades of Hallingdal 65. The dividers are joined by a zipper, allowing you to attach as many panels as you want to suit your space.
On the other side of Burks' dividers was the largest piece, Jonathan Olivares' Chaise for Hallingdal 65, which asks "What if a piece of fabric wanted to relax?" Surely, if any fabric deserves a break from all its hard work over the past 45 years it's Hallingdal 65. "Since fabric is normally used to upholster furniture designed for humans, Olivares thought it would be a fitting gesture to instead make a piece of furniture designed only to hold a piece of fabric." By setting up a roll of yellow Hallingdal 65 on aluminum castings and letting it roll out and drape naturally, Olivares invites the fabric to "stretch out, and maybe...relax."
The Chaise Lounge by Smallprojects was designed to mimic the shape of fabric in motion. "The unfurling cloth is frozen mid-flight as it unravels," from the the "flick of a local fabric trader's wrist," perhaps. The bulk of the fabric is left on the spool, which acts as the base of the chair.
Studio mischer'traxler made Frame, a seating system that clamps several different sheets of fabric over a cushion and between a wooden frame, literally framing the fabric like a work of art, keeping "the textile as pure as possible and allowing for easy changeability. The fabrics can be swapped without complicated handling."
Typically, fabric is used in furniture for its aesthetics—to cover a seat cushion or arm rest— but Philippe Malouin used tight rolls of Hallingdal 65 as a structural element in his Hardie Stools. "The weaving of the fabric is very hard wearing and deep," Malouin said, "and we began comparing the Hallingdal to certain fiberglass and carbon fiber matting." There's still some steel in these stools, though Malouin has also designed a line without any added structural support beyond the fabric itself - a true homage to the multi-faceted qualities of Hallingdal 65, the hardest working fabric for the past 45 years.