Home & Design

Feb 1, 2018

SPEAKING OF QUALITY AND DESIGN

The next statement may seem like a British television commercial, and it is pretty much inspired in that particular case of advertising (it is also quite truth, by the way): "when you think of high quality and design fabrics, you think of Kvadrat".

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By NAHAN SULEIMAN

The company is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018. The Danish textile manufacturer Kvadrat was founded in 1968, by Poul Byriel and Erling Rasmussen, in Ebeltoft, Denmark. It was not an innocent choice to establish the company, since it was located close enough to Sweden and Norway, as well as to Central Europe and England.

From the very beginning, Kvadrat set a commitment to continuously push the boundaries of aesthetic, creative and technological advancement in textile design, keeping its deep roots in Scandinavian design tradition.

The founders worked closely with some of the most important designers of that time, such as Nanna Ditzel, Finn Juhl, Nina Koppel and Gunnar Aagaard Andersenand, who created the company's portfolio of furniture textiles. From this link resulted the creation of classic textiles such as Nanna Ditzel's Hallingdal that has kept a strong presence in private homes, hospitals, airports and trains but, most prominently, on DSB (Danish National Railways).

By the 1980's decade, Kvadrat joined the international design scene, as the company started to work with Italian-based American designer Ross Littell. Even with the internationalization, the company resisted international trends and kept its distinctive Scandinavian style.

Kvadrat's textiles were used as the bearer of national political symbolism when British architects Foster & Partners were commissioned to design the interior of the Debating Chamber of the Bundestag, in the Reichstag (national chamber of Germany). Senior partner and head of design explained that "the fabric needed to represent a strong image of Parliament", therefore, Finn Skødt's cobalt blue Topas textile was used.

In the 1990's decade, the direction of Kvadrat passed on to the next generation, when Anders Byriel (Poul Byriel's son) took over as the new CEO along with Mette Bendix (Erling Rasmussen's daughter) as the product director.

Currently, Kvadrat's creative partners come from very different design backgrounds and often specialize in fields other than textiles such as furniture, jewelry, porcelain, graphic design and architecture. The company's design collaboration, have resulted in a wide range of products and projects. What does this mean?

It means that the company's key clients, today, are split into three groups and the brand works with the best in the world across all of them: architects; design-oriented furniture manufacturers; and the finest retailers of design furniture, interior textiles and rugs.

Kvadrat's ambition is to continue to grow in each of the sectors the company inhabits: it is one of the most admired and specified textile brands in global architecture, by adding building component products and a sophisticated customer service. To continue the growth in the design sector, product designers and new products play an ever-important role. Kvadrat wants to maintain its relevance in the retail sector – exclusive collections such as the Kvadrat/Raf Simons project will help to such achievement.

Kvadrat has an especially close relationship with several partner suppliers. These trusted companies produce most of the textiles and play a vital role in assisting the business. Subsequently, the way those partners operate and their position in local communities and landscapes is an extension of the company's own sustainable and social values. Kvadrat's long-standing relationships with Gaudium in The Netherlands, Innvik in Norway and Wooltex in the UK have, in recent years, become even more significant: not only the textiles are made locally, but Kvadrat also own a share of the businesses. This means that Kvadrat is invested in the future development of these manufacturers and work together with them to achieve shared goals.

Contacts * www.kvadrat.dk * Kvadrat A/S * Lundbergsvej 10 * 8400, Ebeltoft * Denmark * Tel.: +45 8953 1866

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