The design process of Elements
BY JOS KRANEN AND JOHANNES GILLE
The question that Monasch by Best Wool came to us with in 2019 was one that took us by surprise. After all, getting the chance to design a carpet collection had been high on our list for some time, but it simply hadn’t come to pass.
During an initial tour of the factory in Best, we were particularly impressed by the tufting machines that could make such beautiful carpets from a spool of wool. No matter how refined the final product may be: the machines are thoroughly industrial. Steel giants. The result of years of development and adjustments which, if it were up to Frank Conrad, Director Product Development, would not be the end of the story. After all, there is always something to improve or renew. And that is where we met. Frank Conrad and the machine on one side, Kranen/Gille and the ‘Elements’ concept on the other.
Whereas our ‘Elements’ concept was shaped by nature, Frank’s machines remained firmly in place. Our response to this was to build in an intermediate step, which meant that we did not want to capture nature literally, but rather our own interpretation of it, which we based on photos and paintings. In this way, we were able to enter into a dialogue with the machine through Frank. The next step was a colour analysis based on the photos and paintings we had selected and on the possibilities within the wool material. We translated this colour analysis to the machine by making a pattern of 505 strands of yarn with as end result a machine interpretation of the elements water, fire, earth and air, each seen in our own way.
Development and production took the better part of 2020 and proved to be a learning process for all involved. At the aforementioned crossroads, we designers learned once again how important it is to conform to a medium (at least to a certain extent) in order to achieve the desired result, Monasch by Best Wool discovered that open-mindedness and an open mindset lead to new insights.