When Annica and Marie Eklund approached Jean Nouvel to work with them on their new Create collection, they knew the results would be uniquely Nouvel. Alice Blackwood and Mandi Keighran spoke with the 3 creatives at their Stand in Hall 16, in Milan.
23 April, 2012
The collaboration came to life in a gravity-defying installation that saw multiple cast figures of Jean Nouvel suspended from the ceiling, perched upside down against the wall, and sitting nonchalantly on a park bench.
The figures were quite life-like – one even wore Nouvel’s elegant black hat. Strategically placed lighting highlighted the rich textures and chameleon-like colours of the product, and played on the concept of flooring as an architectural skin.
Here we speak with Annica and Marie Eklund of Bolon, and Jean Nouvel, about the collection and installation.
Annica: We really wanted to work with an architect friend; we sat down to think about who we wanted to work with, and number one was Jean Nouvel. So we invited him for a meeting, we went down to Paris and presented our thoughts about the collaboration… and here we are a couple of months after with this final result.
We asked Jean and his team to do something really creative with the material and the new collection, Create.
We know Jean is always thinking beyond everybody else, and always challenging material, projects, architecture, so it’s fantastic that we’re here today.
Jean: Here I wanted to show that I like this material. I think it’s a skin in architecture. The skin has to be soft, but solid … I like to find for interior spaces the right skin – skin in architecture is a really big question outside and inside.
The floor becomes a huge carpet – like a fabric, texture. You can reveal different effects – it’s what I call the tattoo – when you have a wall or ground. You decide the texture and the nature of the reaction with light – it could be very matte, shiny, or [have an] effect of contrast with walls.
It’s the beginning of a project if you like, which kind of texture choice. It’s always an expression of skin. We have really different possibilities, so it’s stronger than a painting… you can do what you want.
[In this installation] I show that you can be lying on the material, [or interacting with it in various situations]. After I wanted to show someone lying on the material, and I had my head [and figure] moulded by a French artist/sculptor.
Indesign magazine’s deputy editor Mandi Keighran with Annica and Marie Eklund, and Jean Nouvel
Annica: The figures are amazing. The real clothes and the wardrobe… It’s also the sense of detail and lighting – where [Jean and his team] want the lighting to shine specifically on the flooring to create the right effect.
Marie: The colour of this collection is interesting, we play with strong colours.
The flooring is really alive, like a chameleon – changes with how you look at it. In one direction – looks quite sophisticated.
In another direction, it changes to give a strong effect in another way.
I really love it. It’s so strong and powerful when the sun is shining on it. When it’s dark it’s quite [mysterious] and sophisticated.
Annica: This is the beginning of a long relationship. We have so much in front of us with what we can achieve, with what we want to do. Our design and architect friends keep us in front all the time. We don’t see any limitation with what we can [apply] Bolon to. We will keep on developing to be more innovative all the time.
Bolon is available in Singapore through Floorspec.
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