A bold sphere clad in Uniform Melange by Kvadrat Febrik – Bola by industrial designer Michel Charlot is a playful form that takes advantage of the unique material properties of knitted textiles.
For Knit!, Charlot sought to create an efficient, intuitive form, whose dimensions are dictated by the width of the rolls that Kvadrat Febrik textiles are produced in. Bola’s shape celebrates the pliability of knitted textiles, which can easily mould to cover both simple and complex geometric forms.
The sphere is dressed in a simple two-piece pattern, executed in contrasting hues, that highlight the elemental geometry of the piece. The two shades of Uniform Melange textile were chosen for the fact that they contain the same coloured threads, albeit in different proportions. When combined, they create a gently contrasting seam at the pattern’s intersection, with Charlot drawn to the mixed thread composition that gives the textile a wool-like appearance.
Through its simplicity, Bola serves as an analogue representation of the digital material spheres used in computer rendering, thereby providing a new dimension to traditionally flat textile samples. Charlot sees the sphere as the ideal shape to elevate the textiles from the two-dimensional: the form’s contours allow the textile to be viewed at different angles and distances, with the sphere playing with the light that bounces off its curves.
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We felt that the sphere was a logical shape in order to showcase the elasticity of the knitted textile.
- Michel Charlot
Michel Charlot is a Swiss industrial designer whose work prizes efficiency in conception, production and design. His practice has developed products for companies such as Vitra, Belux and Kettal, and he teaches industrial design at Lausanne University of Art and Design and the Tama Art University in Tokyo. In 2013, Charlot’s U-turn lighting for Belux won the Design Preis Schweiz and Swiss Design Award.