bedMATE du mois #20 : Couleur Brute

Every month we visit a creative and inspiring person. She or he is the 'bedMATE of the month'.

The bedMATE is the most iconic item in our collection. The extra long cushion serves as a headboard, but also as a cuddle buddy, a friend who provides support.

We crawl into bed with the 'bedMATE of the month'. We take a look at their home and their colorful (bed)rooms. In conversation we discover how they experience the SUITE life. What's going on in their heads? Where do they get their inspiration from? And what color do they dream in?

This month, all-round creative Nicole Huisman visited Daniera der Haar and Christoph Brach, who together form the creative studio Raw Color, a studio where graphic design, photography and product design come together.

'Raw' stands for raw, for the pure and the essence. And 'Color' of course stands for color, but also for the visual and therefore encompasses more than just a creative field of work. Color is central and this literally provides the common thread and continuity in our work. It is a means of transport that allows us to move between various design disciplines.' Nicole is at home with Daniera der Haar and Christoph Brach. The creative duo Raw Color lives in a former Philips Factory: they live upstairs and the studio is downstairs. 'It was a great blessing that our current house and studio came our way. Piet Hein Eek and Iggie Dekkers developed this former Philips factory building together with a contractor in 2014
and renovated. We purchased one of the ten units. For financial reasons we had to combine living and working - which turned out to be great afterwards.'

Color plays a major role not only in the duo's work, but also at home. The characteristic, industrial elements of the house combined with soft colors and warm materials of the furnishings create a modern, but cozy family home. 'We have tried to realize all major interventions with designer friends. For example, the kitchen was done with Studio Mieke Meijer, cupboards with Daphna Laurens and Max Lipsey, beds with Scheublin & Lindeman. This makes the house unique and we therefore have a huge bond with the house. The architecture was white, black and delivered with concrete floors. We have added as much wood and other natural materials as possible, in combination with textures and textiles. This is to make the whole thing softer and more diverse in appearance. The smaller walls are painted in colors almost everywhere for the same reason.'

Both studied at the Design Academy Eindhoven, where they also met. 'We quickly developed a relationship and discussed many of our projects and shared our questions with each other. We documented our work together during the study by doing photoshoots. In fact, we gradually became accustomed to working together during our studies.'

After both graduated, they started working part-time together - to gain experience and to pay the rent. The first projects started in parallel. 'The intention initially was not to collaborate, this grew organically during the study. We shared a studio space, each with our own table, but we increasingly started working on projects together. Now here we are fifteen years later and we are still doing this - with great pleasure! We are lucky and get to work on fantastic and diverse projects together with our team.'

'You could say that our interior plays a leading role in our lives,' says Christoph. 'I think it is often underestimated how much influence your immediate living environment can have on your well-being and emotions. Our terrace is one of my favorite spaces. We don't have a garden, but our terrace is full of plants from various origins. It is a beautiful composition of green tones, sometimes yellowish, sometimes bluish, full and pale green next to each other. Fine leaves next to coarse leaves. I like to sit there and drink my cappuccino. It gives me peace to look at all the details, the light and shadow in the movement of the wind.'

Favorite objects in your home? 'The pink slow chair from Vitra, designed by the Bouroullecs. This was the birthday present for Daniera's 30th birthday. It is a round and gentle object, but remains transparent and light due to the open knitting. A second favorite is actually the contrast with the armchair: it is our bed that Scheublin & Lindeman designed and produced. It is constructed from beams of ash wood. Repetitive, angular and super simple. And it is wonderful. 'It's strange that such a bed typology couldn't be found.'

Of course we want to know (and see!): what is on the bed? 'It has become a combination of earthy colors with fresh shades. The duvet is dark red, which provides a firm, but warm base that matches the light pink walls of our bedroom. This is harmoniously supported by the ocher yellow bedMATE and the pistachio-colored sheets. In addition, deep green and light blue cushions provide a nice contrast, together with the pink dot as an accent

We were very curious to see how the duo would kick off a new project. 'In principle there is no one way' explains Christoph. 'Sometimes a project application has been in progress for a while and it can take days, sometimes weeks, before we start. During this time before the start, my thoughts can flow and develop for weeks. In the meantime, Daniera and I talk about it together. Sometimes she has an idea, sometimes I do. This can be at any time of the day, including in the evening, when we are in bed. It remains an important game of ping-pong through which concepts and lines of thought can develop. Then we sit down with the team and think further. I think exchange is always an important ingredient.'

And now, and the future? 'We are busy preparing for Dutch Design Week. We design two spatial presentations for clients. Both are inspiring processes. Sustainability plays an important role: together we must design and produce better and smarter. We also try to apply this to both exhibitions, without losing our sense of color. A concept will become a partly bio-based exhibition design. Here, flax sheets are dyed with colored flax oil in powerful yellow tones. This is combined with cardboard tubes. During the expo, seven design talents who are working on sustainable and social development will be shown. If no one can use it anymore, the plate will be composted within a year and the tubes can be returned to the paper production circle. Furthermore, our solo exhibitions Multiply can be seen in our studio at Strijp-R during the Dutch Design Week.'

'We hope that we can increasingly use our expertise to improve our world through design. There are major issues about climate and energy. We have set up our own project with Temperature Textiles that shows climate change data in a different way and tries to provide better insight into the problem. This tastes like more. We also hope to continue working on great projects with great clients!'