In June, we will devote each weekend to highlight one designer from De Design Shop in Hutspot Eindhoven. This week, we visited Christoph Brach and Daniera ter Haar in their beautiful home and studio in Eindhoven. Under the name RAW COLOR, they continue to experiment with material and color. We sat down with Christoph to talk about Index Collection, which features a refreshing series of graphic tea towels.
Hi Christoph. What are you working on today?
Hi! I just came back from a meeting with Dutch Design Week. We will be the Art Directors of the exhibition in the ‘Veemgebouw’, located in the Strijp S area in Eindhoven. It is going to be inside a parking garage that will be temporarily turned into an exhibition venue, so we are very excited to make it spectacular!
How did you guys start RAW COLOR?
Daniera and I both studied at Design Academy Eindhoven. During our studies, we would help each other out and continued to maintain an interest in each others work. Eventually, we managed to obtain a shared workspace and we started doing some projects together. This felt very natural, because we share the same vision on design and process.
What are the differences between how you work?
I believe that constantly harmonizing is not beneficial when working together creatively. You need to be able to understand and respect each others opinions, but at the same time be able to keep challenging each other as well. By sometimes disagreeing, you can only improve a product. For example, I am naturally more drawn to a kind of systematic aesthetic. Daniera trusts more on her instincts. These roles highlight our differences and can only improve a project.
Where did the idea behind Index Collection came from?
This project is actually a result from both our interests. Daniera comes from a background in textiles and I come from a background in graphic design. We wanted to combine our strengths in a project that is both challenging and that had an accessible outcome.
The numbers on the tea towels represent the percentages of color that are visible in the square depicted. The more white threads we added, the lighter the color would become. And mixing different colored threads would of course change the color completely.
Was it a challenge to work with the threads and yarns?
There is only a limited amount of colors that we could use, because we were limited to what yarns were available. We worked closely together with the product developers at Textiellab, because finding a technique that would enable the weaving of three yarns without creating any differences in texture proved to be difficult. We usually love these kind of projects, because we get to work with people that have a total different expertise than we have. Yet, we are all working to achieve the same end result.
How did you choose the colors?
We wanted to create a dynamic selection of color themes; a darker theme, a more bold one and a softer theme. However, we always aim to make a product that we also like ourselves, so there are definitely some personal preferences in there.
How important is research during the design process?
Research is definitely important, especially when you work on a project that involves techniques you are not familiar with. However, experimentation and intuition are just as important. When talking about Index Collection, we experimented and created many of weaving samples. Diagonal lines, triangles; they were all there at some point. On the last day, we suddenly decided to change everything and we came up with the final design last minute. This was a result of pure intuition and it felt like the right thing to do. Without all our experimentation, that strong intuitional feeling would have not been there. Trying out different things is sometimes more effective than holding on to your research for too long.
How is to work as a designer in Eindhoven?
Eindhoven has seen an impressive growth over the last 10 years. In the past, there were not as many exciting things happening here, apart from what Design Academy Eindhoven was offering. Most designers wanted to move to Amsterdam or Rotterdam, because there were more opportunities there. However, there has been such a growth in this city and it has positively influenced the attitude amongst all designers living here. There is a real pioneering spirit in Eindhoven, where creatives want to make this city as inspiring as it can possibly be. A real “Let’s do it together!” vibe is going on.
What projects are you most proud of?
When thinking about our own work, I would be most proud of the projects that show their essence. These projects might be complex to realize, but remain a simple appearance. This can make them very strong. For example, we developed an installation called ‘The Fans’, build up from 15 ventilators with multi coloured blades. When active, they created this beautiful and intangible mix of color. People walking past the exhibit in Denmark immediately understood and responded to the project. An explanation was unnecessary.
What is in the future for RAW COLOR?
We see that there is an increasing demand for 3D installations and products. This is great, because it allows us to venture into an area we can learn a lot from!
Graphic tea towels by RAW COLOR are available at Hutspot Eindhoven.