Of the many brilliant designers featured in Gary Hustwit's product design documentary, Objectified (which Dwell was privileged to preview last week), I was particularly excited to get some behind-the-scenes perspective on the work of Hella Jongerius, whose colorful, craft-infused modern design has always appealed to me. Being a footwear fanatic, I was also delighted to see that Jongerius has teamed up with Spanish shoe brand Camper to do two sets of collections for 2010.
The Jongerius/Camper collaboration debuted in Milan last week, though the products won't be available for some time yet. Having become interested in Jongerius's creative process by way of the film (the miniatures produced in her studio during the development process for new furniture are amazing!), I enjoyed reading a bit of an artist's statement on her site about how the commission evolved and what approach she took.
Instead of design shoes from scratch, she chose to start with some of Camper's existing designs on her drawing board. "Before, I had no idea of the amount of parts a shoe contains," she says, "All those parts, and all the tiny details that are necessary to turn them into a unity, need to be designed and taken care of. Colours, forms, materials - they all come together in a collage of piled up details, a beautiful system."
The four collections are each very different from one another. One emphasizes pattern, another color and texture, another keeps color neutral and plays with material combinations. They are a really balanced integration of the two brands' identities, with the unmistakable Camper form made over by the crafty, curated but complex touch of Jongerius. "Sometimes elegance was underscored," she explains, "Sometimes we opened up a new world of possible closures, a new rhythm in patterns, or we infused the shoe with the idea of imperfection and randomness, qualities of which I think contemporary time is in need of."
Look out for the new lines when Winter 2010 collections start to hit the racks.
[lead image by Sam Grawe]