The Power of Colour
Architecture is the context in which the product ultimately appears. You need to know how architects work, what inspires them. I see it as my task to inspire textile designers with the world of architecture. Co-creation produces better engineered products. Products with better performance and functionality. Products that make sense and are wanted.
Christiane Müller – Müller Van Tol
‘I’m an external advisor for the Desso designers. I always tell them: look outside. Focus on architecture. Let architecture inspire you!’
Look at Architecture
Walking through Chicago Airport, you don’t have the sense of it taking a long time, because the light changes colour. It’s wonderful and it is a good example of colour having a function. These are the kinds of things you need to know in a design department. It goes further than making a good sample. You have to understand how architects work, what inspires them.
The floor is really the basis of the interior architecture. The floor carries the interior. I feel that it’s vital that the people at Desso realise that.
‘People in general have developed more sensitivity to the use of colour. You see it in an enormous range of shades.’
Although the Desso designers are very good with colour, it’s always good to receive new training and stimulation. It’s valuable when someone from outside observes them, advises them and guides them. They need to know that other materials are involved in the interior too. How materials absorb the colour, what you give colour to and how you apply the colour. Different materials and structures need their own approach in using colour. That is the strength of Pallas, Tempra and Torso, for example. These products work very well with other materials. They’re easy to use. It’s good that these three products are coloured by different people. I feel that products receive their own identity through colour. That enables you to offer diversity within the whole product range. It’s about the architect saying “wow, I’ve got a wide choice here, which offers endless possibilities!”
‘The design awareness of the design department must be rooted throughout the company.’
Today, architecture is very much about identity. Look at what’s being built in the Netherlands and abroad: big office buildings and public spaces really have a face these days. In the Netherlands, the demand for colour within commercial interiors has increased in recent years, which is visibly evident in the enormous range of shades. The old adage that colour is too ‘heavy’ is old fashioned. Colour is not too ‘heavy’. It’s about choosing and coordinating. You don’t need to explain that to an architect.
At Desso, we are aware of this trend and have responded to the rising demand for colour. But design aesthetics doesn't just come from outside, it has to be rooted within the company. We used to focus very much on aesthetics. I think we need to look further now. The next step is to link design aesthetics to functionality and Cradle to Cradle® and to look at them in total while designing.
It is my goal that in a few years time, people were to say: “let’s look at the Desso colours first and then sort out the rest.” Yet that's something you have to earn and that takes time. Time to develop and present yourself to the outside world. I'm trying to communicate that enthusiasm. There’s a dynamic feel throughout this company that’s very stimulating for designers. It is a joy to be part of that.