Home & Design

Aug 1, 2017

THREE-DIMENSIONAL COLOURS

For Latvian designer Germans Ermičs, the importance of colour goes way beyond its decorative sense. A great example of it, are his transparent pieces of furniture, perfect shapes merging in space.

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Born in 1985 in Riga, capital of Latvia, Ermičs made headway in multiple fields before he established his eponymous studio in Amsterdam, Holland, in 2014. A self-taught graphic designer since high school, he was working in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2006, when he cofounded the Latvian culture and music magazine "Veto", as its art director.

In 2007, dissatisfied with the limits of working in the two-dimensional plane of page and screen, he enrolled in the Netherlands's esteemed Design Academy Eindhoven, eventually settling on the "Man and Living" department, which takes furniture, interiors, and experimentation with material as its primary areas of study.

In 2010, while still a student, he entered the Paris studio of Austrian designer Robert Stadler. Upon graduating from school, he spent two years working on a variety of interiors and graphic design projects for international companies.

Ermičs is fascinated by the ways in which people interact with their environments and how design can affect these interactions. He frequently draws inspiration from his graphic design background to add a fresh approach to his object and furniture designs, often playing with perceptions of space. 

Since school, the designer has concentrated primarily on experimentations with glass and its chromatic qualities. According to Ermičs: "Glass is widely used in architecture, interior, and furniture design, it is often seen as cold, flat, and comfortless. I want to challenge this perception. My goal is to achieve softness and depth and to add subtle detailing to the material."

Titled "Shaping Colour", the glass furniture collection includes a purple mirror, a blue shelf, a green side table and a yellow console table, each featuring a gradient of colour.

"Colour gives a different meaning to the object by shaping it. Instead of finishing a product by just painting it, I started from colour, wondering about what would it look like if I stretch, turn or fold the colour as if it was a three-dimensional shape", the artist explains.

Bold colours feature where the panes of glass meet, fading away to clear towards the outer edges. The glass is curved in places to accentuate the idea of movement within the furniture.

To create the effect, Ermičs printed coloured ink onto a transparent film that was then sandwiched between two panes of glass and bonded together using heat.

The mirror is formed in two parts that meet together to form a small shelf, which has the strongest colour. The thin blue shelf has a similar off-centre joint where the colour is darkest.

The side table features the most concentrated green colour at its corner, where three sheets of glass meet, while the yellow console table has a more even spread of colour.

Different types of glass were used to create different finishes for each piece of furniture. The mirror pairs a pane of frosted glass with clear glass, while the shelf uses a frosted glass pane with mirrored glass. The low table features just clear glass, and the console is frosted glass.

The Ombré collection

This colourful glass chair is based on a seat designed by Shiro Kuramata in the 1970s. The Ombré chairs are assembled from panes of glass, joined together without screws or other visible fittings.

The Japanese designer Shiro Kuramata's 1976 Glass Chair, which was bonded together with glue to give the appearance of floating in the air.

Kuramata was prompted to create the furniture after watching Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, and finding himself disappointed by the film's sets – which relied on existing furniture, rather than new designs. "Almost invisible, these planes, without tangible support, hang in the air", said the designer.

The Ombré collection is completed by a pair of curved glass screens. A taller version is made from clashing gradients of pink, orange, blue and green, while a smaller screen features pastel pink that fades into orange.

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