Design According to Anna Ebbesen

What makes a certain design ‘great’?

That question can be surprisingly difficult to answer, so we decided to go to the professionals for some answers. We asked the five members on the jury of our ‘Design Your Own Icon’ competition to help us break down what exactly takes a design from ‘good’ to ‘great’.

This week we’ve met with another member of our jury, Anna Vilhelmine-Ebbesen. Anna is the Senior Design Coordinator for Kvadrat, holding the leading position in Europe’s high-quality contemporary textiles market.

Textile Field by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec for Kvadrat
Textile Field at V&A, London, 2011, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec for Kvadrat. Photo by Studio Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec

Kvadrat was established in Denmark in 1968 and has deep roots in Scandinavia’s design tradition. Kvadrat continuously works to expand the aesthetic, technological and artistic boundaries of the use of textiles through a long series of collaborations with some of the world’s best designers, architects and artist such as Raf Simons, David Adjaye and Olafur Eliasson. Kvadrat fabrics have been used in some of the world’s most important architectural landmarks such as Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, Museo Jumex, Mexico City, Museum of Modern Art, New York and Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

Roksanda flagship store, London. Photo by courtesy of Adjaye Associates
Roksanda flagship store, London. Photo by courtesy of Adjaye Associates

Scroll down to learn what Anna believes truly defines ‘great design’.

What do you believe are the hallmarks of great design?

It´s a combination of a lot of different layers that all complement each other.

You need to have a coherence between high quality, function and aesthetics. A desire and need for design that is communicated from the design itself, is something that truly makes a great design stand out.

Masai, Sirocco and Noise from the Kvadrat/Raf Simons collection. Photo by Casper Sejersen

 

What are the elements of great design?

Great design contains elements of something unexpected that evokes curiosity and challenge your perception and preconceptions.

The different components of function, shape, color, surface, texture and pattern are each stand out, but are incomplete without the others. Design that can do this shows the beauty and true potential of a masterful product.

Sevil Peach, structural textile project, Vitra Design Museum Summer Workshops, Boisboichet, France, 2008. Photo by Deidi von Schaeven
Sevil Peach, structural textile project, Vitra Design Museum Summer Workshops, Boisboichet, France, 2008. Photo by Deidi von Schaeven

 

What first attracts you when looking at a piece of furniture?

It’s a very immediate and visceral experience. It´s an immediate reaction on how well shape, textile, color and details are linked together.

Fredrikson Stallard Hallingdal Table from the Hallingdal 65 exhibition, Milan 2012. Photo by Angela Moore

 

 

What role does color play in furniture design?

Color is a strong signature. It communicates, creates identity and immediate speaks to your senses and influences your overall opinion of the furniture.

Color create richness and evokes feelings. It brings extra value to a design.

Layers Cloud Chair by Richard Hutten from the Divina, Every Colour Is Divine exhibition, Milan 2014. Photo by Casper Sejersen
Layers Cloud Chair by Richard Hutten from the Divina, Every Colour Is Divine exhibition, Milan 2014. Photo by Casper Sejersen

 

What is the importance of color selection in furniture design?

That you are aware of what you want to communicate and consider the context.

Noise from the Kvadrat/Raf Simons collection 2015. Photo by Casper Sejersen

 

Shape and color complement each other in an inspiring and meaningful way, and carefully considering the context that your end design must live in is crucial. A designer should consider context in order to ensure that you are communicating the feelings you want to communicate to the public.

Come back next week as we ask these same questions to the next member of our design jury as we continue to try and explore the many facets of design! Don’t forget to share your own unique icon that you’ve created for our competition with us on Instagram and Twitter with #RadissonBlu!

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