A pioneer of performance-driven textiles for commercial and residential interiors, Maharam is recognized for a carefully considered and holistic dedication to design. Engaging with a diverse range of design disciplines—from graphic and digital to products, art, and architecture—Maharam balances a reverence for history with meticulous material innovation methods that are advanced through interdisciplinary exploration. Their latest upholstery textile introduction—Shift by Scholten & Baijings—is a continuation of a comprehensive catalogue of collaborative endeavors. “Maharam values collaboration with artists and designers in varied disciplines as a means of expanding our perspective,” says Ashley Smith, Senior Designer at Maharam. “Working with partners like Scholten & Baijings challenges us to keep innovating in our approach to textile design.”
Amsterdam-based Scholten & Baijings was founded by Stefan Scholten and Carole Baijings in 2000. Sinuously steering between artisanal and industrial processes, the design duo’s works are distinguished by geometric motifs, minimalist forms, and an acute sense of color. Building on an established and insightful exploration of the interaction between color and form, Scholten & Baijings experimented with scale and dimensionality to design Shift’s geometric grid pattern. Shift showcases an expansive gradient to transform a reduced grid across the textile’s surface.
The cleverly conceived pattern is a progression of previous investigations initiated by Scholten & Baijings over the last decade. “Maharam’s collaboration with Scholten & Baijings began in 2014 with the textiles Blocks and Grid,” says Smith. “Both are very expansive patterns and quite conceptual in how they are meant to interact with furniture. Scholten & Baijings’ aesthetic is also characterized by color and simple geometric patterning, and our next introduction in 2015 of Bright Angle, Bright Cube, and Bright Grid really highlighted that. Through time, the scale of their patterns became smaller – the delicate texture of Tracery and intricate weave structures in Darning Sampler. While that precise attention to detail is also part of their signature, it’s exciting that the color gradation in Shift opens up what would otherwise be a small repeat and creates a larger effect that will really transform a piece of furniture when it is upholstered.”
Dimensional Construction and Considered Colorways
Exhibiting the duo’s detailed design approach with delicate dexterity, hand-cut paper models were employed as an essential ingredient in the development of Shift. “Scholten & Baijings began their development of Shift with hand-cut layered paper models to explore multi-colored grids,” says Smith. “We all became very intrigued by these studies as movable pieces that could create shifting proportions of color, and that ultimately inspired the expansive color gradient.” In the pattern’s translation to a woven textile, an experimental play of layered colorways alludes to subtle sways of movement across the material’s surface. Moreover, a dimensional matelassé construction combines cotton, solution-dyed nylon, and polyester as it enhances the textile’s texture and depth. “The matelassé construction mimics a quilted surface that softens the graphic grid. It adds an element of tactility that will engage the end user,” adds Smith.
In an intriguing play of expressive colorways, Shift showcases shades of pewter, sapphire, copper, and honeysuckle, which symbolize the design studio’s shrewd sense of color. “The color gradient is an identifiable element of Scholten & Baijings’ work,” says Smith. “Some colorways of Shift feature fluorescent yarns for dramatic impact, while others favor a more subtle color wash. Two neutral colorways are graphic and architectural.” As the latest iteration of Scholten & Baijings’ evolving exploration of color and form, Shift combines clever construction methods with illustrative patterning and a signature spectrum of dramatic hues.