Continuing its collaboration with Pullman hotels & resorts, Wallpaper* commissioned artist Adam Nathaniel Furman to create three exclusive patterns for a new Art at Play project
Adam Nathaniel Furman’s adventure into graphics, urbanism and hospitality began with a forensic exploration of Pullman’s hotels at London St Pancras and Paris Tour Eiffel. The London-based designer, who works on everything from large-scale architectural projects through to interiors and ceramic products, wanted to acquaint himself with the international hotel brand’s overarching ethos and graphic identity, and get inspired by the lifestyle of Pullman’s ‘global nomad’ customer and its ‘Our world is your playground’ mission statement.
With Pullman extending its commitment to showcasing the accessibility of art across new and innovative platforms in its portfolio of hotels, Furman used his stays in London and Paris as research and development, embracing the opportunity to create something dazzling and unique.
For the new Art At Play project, Wallpaper* tasked Furman with adapting his fluently eloquent colours and shapes, and his expressive graphic language, to develop a collection of exclusive products for hotel guests, including magnetic card holders, room key cards, ceramic mugs, paper cups, door hangers, stationery and tote bags.
During his trans-European stopovers. the artist noticed ‘frequent moments of breakout’. He became inspired by ‘efflorescent instances in which another side to Pullman – a bubbling vivacity that is always present but is normally more contained – bursting forth like a pair of young entrepreneurs jumping onto a table to dance in a moment of wild abandon after a hard day of successful meetings.’
The Pullman brand is all about working hard and playing hard,’ says Furman. ‘It’s about peak performance and wellbeing, about being connected and being relaxed.’
With this ‘dynamic mix of binary opposites’ in mind, Furman cultivated three different pattern concepts. The first, Cosmopolitan Totem, has a circle at its centre radiating outwards to communicate global presence. ‘Strong diagonals and a regular use of vigorous black areas maintain a distinct and masculine sense of movement and energy,’ he explains. ‘This is a totemic pattern for the international cosmopolitan with a zest for life and work.’
The second, Global Rotations, represents Pullman Hotels’ multiple locations in cities around the world – diverse and different, mixed and vibrant. ‘The stripes of the brand’s binary opposites are rotated within all its multiple locations, with this simple geometrical transformation being used to create dynamic diagonals.’
Work/Play Walkway, the third pattern, references the face of an analogue clock acknowledging the day/night, work/play schedule of the Pullman Hotels’ guest. Stripes represent hotel walkways ‘extending forever in their energetic dance… pyramids, both broken down and dynamic, imply peak vitality and intense energy.’
Trained in both architecture and fine art, Furman honed his own intensely energetic talent for shape, form and colour as one of the London Design Museum’s designers-in-residence for 2013. He was also awarded the prestigious Rome Prize for Architecture 2014-15 by the British School at Rome. ‘In all my work, I explore the relationship between memory, imagination, history and communication at multiple scales,’ he says, ‘always with an eye towards the ways in which sensual architectural form – in a dialogue with the past and the future – can communicate complex issues through eloquent and expressive shapes, colours and environments.
Of his three Art at Play project designs, Furman says, ‘I like to create moments of thrilling contrast that are in dialogue with, but are clearly distinct from, the main graphical and decorative scheme used in Pullman’s hotels. So, while the hotels and rooms will stay the same overall, these patterns can be used to create flashes of intense, invigorating colour, vivacious glints of coloured jewels amid the muted calm of contemporary hotel life.’
See the April edition of Wallpaper* magazine for a special preview of the Adam Nathaniel Furman + Pullman Hotels Art at Play collection.