By the time products hit our desks, we are seeing the final outcome—completely unaware of how it got from point A to point B. But that chair (or light or textile) starts as an idea and goes through many different versions before editors like me even get to see them.
It’s an interesting process—from idea to execution—and one that industrial designer Marc Thorpe and Jos Pelders, owner of the Netherlands firm Febrik, discussed during an event at Moroso’s New York showroom in early September.
The collaboration: Blur for Moroso
The background: Febrik, founded by Pelders in 2014, is one of the last remaining textile companies in the Netherlands. The company’s ability to rethink its techniques is what keeps it thriving.
Thorpe is a well-known industrial designer who founded his eponymous firm in 2005 and has collaborated with Moroso, along with many other companies, on a handful of products, including Husk.
The concept: Thorpe’s idea for Blur originated from the notion of invisibility in architecture. He wanted to shift from the traditional method of only seeing an object to feeling and experiencing it. That led him to gradient exploration.
The partnership: Pelders approached Thorpe—they were both working with Moroso at the time—asking if he had any ideas. Blur was the first thing Thorpe showed him.
The process: First, the New York-based Thorpe traveled to the Netherlands twice to learn the process behind creating the textile. Next, Pelders and his team got to work to execute Thorpe’s vision—something crafted, not digitally printed. Blur, a neon ombre, proved difficult. In fact, “it was a nightmare,” says Pelders.
The challenges: There were two issues with Blur: It was hard to make on the machine and the neon colors were hard to pull off. “Neon wool is hard to find,” says Pelders, because you need synthetic materials to make those colors. “It was a challenge to make yarns that were neon.” On top of that, Thorpe wanted more than just orange and yellow.
The finished product: In the end, Pelders and his team created the fabric by hand; it took three years to get it to the perfect place.
Reaction: “People loved it,” says Pelders. Moroso, for its part, has integrated Blur into the full identity of the company—not just on Thorpe’s sofa but on its Gemma chair, amongst others.