Self-described as “a design collective that showcases everything but the end product,” envisions takes it cues from co-founder and art director Sanne Schuurman. A shared fascination for experimental research unites the 20 multi-disciplinary designers that form the team. In their work, they question the boundaries that persist between the creative process and finished product. Previous collaborations and exhibitions sought to change conventional ways of working, and it’s an inquiry that continues with Heimtextil 2020 as envisions explore the Active Urban trend.
“As a collective, envisions adopts a working method with a focus on creating, by making and experimenting first-hand,” Schuurman explains. “Once surrounded by materials in the photography studio, we started to conceive and build directions for colour, texture and shape. The background sets of the trend visuals are designed using virtual reality to contextualise the materials and place them in a living environment to suggest applications. By collaging the virtual reality settings with the material photographs, we can expose zoomed-in aspects and subsequently cover specific details.”
It’s precisely these textural details that distinguish Active Urban as a trend. But finding the appropriate tactual balance presented a unique challenge. “It proved difficult to pinpoint the right level of softness and tactility within the overall slick and hard materials that are predicted within this theme. For example, recycled materials are aesthetically typically crafty and rough, whereas within this theme they need to be presented with a finished and sleek appearance and give the impression that they can be utilised as a common material, rather than a one-off or highlight.”
“Active Urban is about digital living, with a highlight on simplicity in living space and a select, minimalistic combination of materials,” says Schuurman. “So we decided virtual reality and photography are the best formats to capture this concept, and to present a successful combination between the digital/slick and the tactile/soft.”
The Active Urban visuals created by envisions ultimately show how the materials may be used in a real-life context. But it’s a collaboration that nearly didn’t happen.
“Initially, we questioned the link between envisions and Active Urban, as our preconceptions of the trend meant it would not have been our first choice. However, Anne Marie explained that part of the reason we have been selected for this trend is the way in which we document our work. This, plus our affinity for combining strong shapes with simple yet effective applications of colour and material, explains the reasoning behind the pairing.” The result? A testimony to envisions’ unique process.