Self-congratulatory company monographs normally go straight into our reject pile. But when the subject is Danish textile innovators Kvadrat, you know it's at least worth a quick flick through. Interwoven: Kvadrat Textile and Design is worth much more than that.
A collaboration with the publishers Prestel and Robert Violette, designed by GTF and with a foreword by Peter Saville, the book, and it's a whopper, is a celebration of more than 40 years of creative partnerships with artists, architects and designers. That list of collaborators is a remarkable roll call that stretches from Verner Panton and Nanna Ditzel through Tord Boontje and the Bouroullecs to David Adjaye, Thomas Demand, Olafur Eliasson and Saville himself. With contributions from many of those on the list, the book is the story of a company that has defined the use of textiles, and in many ways colour, in architecture. And for almost half a century. But also it tells of relationships that go way beyond the standard designer-client and artist-commercial patron arrangements.
A lot of space is given over to the brand's collaboration with the Bouroullecs - which seems right, given the perfect fit between Kvadrat and the brothers' particular poetic functionalism. But there is also a fantastic photo essay from Wallpaper* regular Joël Tettamanti, tracing the production of Kvadrat fabrics from yarn suppliers in the rolling English countryside to precision-printing equipment in Switzerland. And while Kvadrat's engagement with artists is relatively recent, its ongoing relationships with Eliasson and in particular Demand, are evidence of what is possible when an artist is given the chance to explore new materials and new technologies. As Saville says: 'Kvadrat is not part of some marketing strategy, deliberately making inroads into art to communicate their brand. That has not yet contaminated the way Kvadrat work and I hope it never will. They get more involved than that, supporting, developing and fabricating amazing things, and with a real spirit of liberal, creative endeavour.'