A ray of colour

"Colour Installation" highlights Scholten & Baijings' skilful approach in combining artisanal and industrial design.

Dutch design duo Stefan Scholten and Carole Baijings are master colourists, as exemplified by their significant portfolio of work amassed in more than a decade. Their latest contribution, Colour Installation, re-envisions their work by making connections between their design practice and their multiple collaborations with artisans and manufacturers.

The duo’s skilful usage of colour is illustrated by a multi-layered assemblage of pieces selected from studio archives. This includes Colour Porcelain, which is re-imagined tableware for Japanese company Arita. Through a careful study of historic Japanese ceramics and colour spectrums, Scholten & Baijings produced a collection borne of Asian craftsmanship and infused with their characteristic pared-down aesthetic.

Their unique approach to design has enabled them to manipulate discrete categories of design including furnishings for the Danish manufacturer HAY, tables for the Japanese artisanal wood manufacturer Karimokou New Standard, and a contemporary silver tea set for Georg Jensen. They move fluidly between art and design principles, artisanal and industrial approaches - all of which is highlighted in the installation.

The large-scale images integrated into Colour Installation to focus the eye on the exquisite detail and play of colour in the work were produced by Scheltens & Abbenes. Commissioned specifically for the exhibition, the meticulously composed images capture specific moments and relationships that frame connections between the duo’s work.

Colour Installation is on display at the Art Institute of Chicago until 5 January 2014.