Why Scholten & Baijings work so well on paper
From prototype to final product, the designers have produced some of their best work using this simple material
For such thoroughly modern designers, Stefan Scholten and Carole Baijings favour a few antique techniques. While others use computer-aided design, Scholten & Baijings choose to craft their models using paper, cardboard, scissors and glue.
This preference is no simple nostalgia trip. “When you make models in paper and cardboard you get more information right away," Stefan explains in our new book Reproducing Scholten & Baijings, "because you can actually hold the cup and feel the roundness, the size, the proportions.” Indeed, the designers like this process so much that a number of their works owe a significant debt to this papery prototype stage.
In 2009 Scholten & Baijings produced their Paper Porcelain range for the TextielMuseum, in Tilburg, the Netherlands. These cups, plates and saucers are direct recreations of the folded, angular cardboard models the pair used to mock up this range. The final versions are even decorated with pencil lines, applied to the vessels’ unglazed surfaces by hand.
Danish manufacturing firm HAY put Paper Porcelain into production last year, shortly after commissioning another paper work from the pair. Scholten & Baijings’ Paper Carpets are simple, hand-woven, rubber-coated paper rugs. Measuring 220 cm by 80 cm, each has a non-slip backing and comes in a range of chromatic combinations that embody the pair’s lively colour choices.
Yet perhaps their simplest work on paper is also their most widely available. Swedish furniture giant Ikea put Scholten & Baijings’ poster series into production last year. Sold in the standard paper sizes of A3, A2 and A1, these simple sheets employ moderately expensive printing techniques, such as embossing, fluorescent inks and spot lacquering, yet retail for £12 or $19.99. Expensive for a dried and pressed wood pulp, yet reasonably priced for a decorative wall panels from one of the world’s best design duos working today.
You can find out more all these products and plenty more too in the pair’s latest paper production, our new monograph, produced in conjunction with the designers. Order your copy here.