With Signe Hytte Behind The Scenes
31st August 23 - By Nikolai Kotlarczyk, WriterArtist PortraitsInspiration
To celebrate the launch of Paper Collective’s first collaboration with Danish designer Signe Hytte, we visited her studio within the historic Frederiksgade 1 building in the heart of Copenhagen. We discussed her practice and the elements that unite her physical work with this first foray into print art.
I always try to add elements to my work that challenges and creates tension, resulting in an overall sense of contrast in the design.
Hi Signe. I know a lot of your work revolves around notions of balance and imbalance. What attracts you to these elements within your work and how you have brought this into your Tipping Point collection for Paper Collective?
This is something I think I always have been working with in my design process. It's not only balance/imbalance that attracts me, but the idea of having components that contradict each other. Something that challenges and creates tension, resulting in an overall sense of contrast in the design.
It’s always about finding that “right” balance, like a puzzle where I deep dive to find materials, shapes or elements that work together but also pull in different directions to act as a counterweight. It doesn’t need to be ”loud”, but it does have to make it interesting and create an emotional hierarchy in the work. It could be a rough aluminium surface that becomes a contrast to soft warm wood or a selection of shapes that bounce on top of each other to create a sense of movement and imbalance, as in the Tipping Point collection.
Can you please tell us about some of the materials and textures you have used in the Tipping Point collection?
To me it was important to use the materials that feature in my current work, such as textiles for upholstery and painted and textured surfaces. Each shape is created individually and cut out by hand, either from upholstery textiles or painted cardboard. The backgrounds and cardboard are hand-painted with a heavy texture - almost plaster-like - to give a tactile feel and look.
The shapes are combined with the background canvas, following a process where I continuously move them around until they tell the story I want to convey, almost like a collage of shapes. The process works when combining the analogue compositions with digital editing.
Both the textile and the plaster paint add depth and tactility to the prints. These are parameters that I also work with in my daily work as a product designer. It’s important to have an element that lures you in and creates curiosity. The goal is to get you to a place where you need to come in and have a closer look.
The shapes are combined with the background canvas, following a process where I continuously move them around until they tell the story I want to convey.
How do you see the Tipping Point collection interacting and working alongside materials and textures within people’s homes
The Tipping point collection is very much designed and made with the “home” in mind. It’s made to be a connector that ties the room together. The soft tactile and earthy tones don’t make too much noise, but still have a strong character and story. This allows people to seamlessly mix the Tipping Pont collection with their existing artwork and furniture.
Can you tell me about your use of soft and muted colours and tones within your work – what mood or feeling are you trying to elicit or promote?
The Tipping Point collection is created using a range of earthy tones to provide calmness and softness. Almost like adding textile in your home in the form of a throw, pillow or a rug. Something that offers warmth and a sense of belonging.
What does working with Paper Collective mean to you as a designer, and their connection between design and art?
In my work with product design, such as furniture, lighting and objects, I often work with a sculptural approach, where materials, shapes and balance are just as important as functionality to me. So making a collection of prints for Paper Collective has given me the opportunity to mirror myself in their work, because they also like to work somewhere in the intersection between design and art in many of their pieces.
To me, the juxtaposition of art, design and functionality is one of the most rewarding space to create from as a designer, and you really get to explore that working with Paper Collective.
By Signe Hytte