A contemporary craftswoman

Hella Jongerius, who will speak at Design Indaba Conference 2015, creates a flora- and fauna-inspired paradise of new textile designs for Maharam.

There’s no stopping Hella Jongerius. This year alone, the Dutch designer has lent her impeccable fusion of craft and technology to high-profile brands Vitra, Artek, Maharam and Danskina (where she is design director). Her interest in handmade processes and her distinctive colour sensibility have helped revitalise the brands' output and brought a more human feel to their slick production. Jongerius has produced three delicate new nature-inspired fabric designs for Maharam that bring an element of the handmade to the American textile and rug manufacturer’s high-performance commercial fabrics.

The collections – Foliage, Eden and Carapace – offer a refreshing interpretation of the decorative genre of flora and fauna.

For Foliage, Jongerius used rubber printing blocks that she made using found leaves. The patterns is assymetrical, combining blocked out graphic leaf shapes with more finely detailed renderings of leaf skeletons and complex floral forms.

With its loose, staggered composition, Foliage resembles a collection of flower and plant pressings.

Eden is a slightly starker pattern that calls to mind the delicacy and drama of Japanese prints. It features “high-contrast plant silhouettes against a solid background”, the designer notes. “Colour-blocked areas create geometric shapes within the leaves and stems.”

The third collection, Carapace, was inspired by a series of painted dots that Jongerius gradually transformed into more organic shapes resembling insectand animal carapaces. It is a richly woven fabric, combining metallic nylon yarn with wool and creating depth and textural contrast to great effect.

Says the designer: “Carapace makes a conceptual connection between the design process and metamorphosis.”

Hella Jongerius will be a speaker at Design Indaba Conference 2015, which takes place from 25 to 27 February 2015. Secure your seat today: Book here.

Watch the Talk with Hella Jongerius