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Hella Jongerius: Directing Danskina

Hella Jongerius is the newly appointed Design Director for contemporary made-to-order Dutch rug company Danskina. We caught up with the designer during Milan Design Week to hear more about her creative vision for the company.

Hella Jongerius: Directing Danskina


The Danskina stand at the Rho fairgrounds during Salone del Mobile 2014 was decked in rugs of seemingly every cheery colour and hue. These were the first product presentations by its new Design Director Hella Jongerius, who was appointed to the post just last year by the company’s co-owners Kvadrat and Maharam.

Danskina was founded in 1973 in the Netherlands by Piet and Ina van Eijken and is recognised for its product quality and innovation. It is also known for having collaborated with design talents such as Ulf Moritz and Cristian Zuzunaga. Now, the company is ready to chart a new course. Under Jongerius’ leadership, it has launched a renewed product range, and has extended its offering to include products not just for the residential market, but also for contract. We find out more from Jongerius herself.

New – Cork & Felt, an innovative combination of cork and wool

What is your vision for Danskina now that you are its Design Director?

The idea is to [focus on the] design [of] the yarns. With the special yarns we will start to design carpets. It’s not about huge patterns, but it’s more about nice structures, nice techniques, nice materials, and also innovation, like the Cork and Felt collection, which is a new idea.

With Danskina, innovation with the yarn was always important; they were always looking to the yarn.

New – Duotone (swatch sample shown here) is made from 100 per cent pure New Zealand wool and is handwoven by skilled weavers in India

What do you see as some of the similarities between your own design aesthetic and values and a brand like Danskina?

I think in my other textile work, it’s also about material innovation, and also to have combinations where you take an old technique and a very new yarn and mix it to get interesting new combinations. I think that’s what you see here [with Danskina]. But also, the colour work [in this new collection] is, I think, my own ‘signature’.

[I’m presenting] a few of the ideas here, but [at the beginning I] was more focused on finding good suppliers that have the quality that I like. So it was first to get the basics right for the company. And now that we have a nice network of suppliers, of producers, we can come out with a nice collection. Also, what I find important is that the collection is not only done for the residential market, but is also for projects. There’s not a lot of rug design companies that fulfill [both] the contract and [residential markets].

New – Bold (swatch sample shown here), is also made from 100 per cent pure New Zealand wool in India. Thick, warm and tactile, they each feature an appealing irregularity that comes from processes used in their making

The collection certainly includes a good amount of striking colour choices…

Years ago, people would only dare to bring some colour into the house with cushions. But I think people are now becoming more daring; [they are willing to] have a more explicit carpet on the floor. I saw it [at the recent] IMM Cologne… the colours sold the best.

Hella Jongerius


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