A renaissance in the language of materials
For the design of its new portfolio, GRIFFWERK enlisted professional support, consulting Professor Brigitte Steffen. Having studied textile design at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart, Professor Steffen is now a teaching fellow at the University of Reutlingen, lecturing on textiles, materials and surface design. She firmly believes it is time to reconsider the “era of performance finishes”, as she puts it. “Ever since the 1990s there has been a tendency towards a language of materials,” she explains, tracing a link from this to current trends in interior design. These favour “real” materials such as copper, while walls are stripped bare to reveal the raw concrete beneath. “It's all a counter-movement to the superficial engineering of surfaces that started in the 1970s and has long dominated the market for glass doors,” says Professor Steffen, adding that the material was considered less important than the finish. “That’s what sold doors,” she summarises.
Focusing on the material
In her approach to design, Professor Steffen seeks a fusion of raw material and processing to achieve a new material effect that breaks the barrier between the substrate and the finish. The process allows her to explore new effects and aesthetic qualities as she works with glass as a material. Of core importance to the concept is that the GRIFFWERK glass doors collection’s underlying material meets a demand for aesthetic quality in and of itself. Accordingly, the TEXTURES collection is produced using PURE WHITE glass by GRIFFWERK.
Microstructures instead of large-scale patterns
Steffen has completely avoided using large, bold motifs in the collection. Instead, her filigreed structures are reminiscent of fine, inlaid textiles. For example, SILKY MESH takes the form of a soft web-like structure that only reveals its intricate detail up close. This play on viewing distances runs through the entire collection. Surfaces that appear calmly structured from afar break down into a rich world of aesthetic detail on closer inspection.
Taking inspiration from textiles, technology and nature
For her designs, Professor Steffen chose flat, playble textures, drawing inspiration from a broad range of sources. The RHOMBIC design was based on a sketch that resembled and networked, industrial pattern. The drawing was digitally printed to create a multi-layered impression, and realised as a door made from laminated safety glass. In contrast, SILKY MESH is reminiscent of the structure of soft, web-like textiles.
The collection also borrows from the extensive vocabulary of forms and original language of materials from nature. The ACHAT glass door's design takes its lead from one of the main components used in the manufacturing of glass, quartz. This mineral also occurs in natural forms, such as the agate that displays the characteristic banding acting as inspiration for the ACHAT design, which recalls the natural phenomenon in a graphically calmer, stylised representation. Ordered in regimented lines, the bright bands embedded within the glass door can be arranged horizontally or vertically. ACHAT is available in either option.
The collection as a whole comprises four glass door designs.