In collaboration with the prominent British architect John Pawson, Tekla has so far worked on two limited series of blankets, all inspired by John’s home and its surroundings in the Oxfordshire countryside.
The British architect and his wife Catherine have spent five years turning a 1610 farmhouse and 18th-century barns into a retreat for the family.
They now call it Home Farm.
The patterns and the colours of the blankets of the first collection are based on the architectural references and specific visual memory of a graphic interaction between architectural space and light. The idea was to go beyond the neutral colour palette, thus the shades of red. It is ever-present at Home Farm. From brake lights projected onto the barn to amazing sunsets.
As for the ‘Shift’ collection, the hues derive from the idea of the seasonal shift, as it manifests in a specific setting — the woods, hedgerows and agricultural landscapes that surround John Pawson’s home in the Cotswolds. The way it reflects on the quality of the light and shadow and how this affects the way we experience colour and atmosphere in a space.
It resulted in earthy, red and soft grey colours, inspired by the rolling landscapes surrounding John's countryside home in Cotswolds. John’s way of looking up to the room is very interesting.
Even though very minimalistic, he puts so much thought into every element in the room, that it gives you so much tranquillity, that makes the homes so serene and warm. That is the trait that transforms well into the textile industry and what Tekla tries to achieve.
He designs things in response to a specific place with a purpose to create an emotional response to the atmosphere.
You want different feelings, different experiences, whether it is about the softness, the touch of something that you can escape in. It is always function before form, and that I think it is something Tekla can relate to when it comes to architecture.
You bought an old farm in Cotswold, that has been transformed into your country home within the past five years. Is there any reason why you chose this particular area? My wife Catherine and I had been spending a lot of weekends in the area, training for a charity cycle ride. As the weeks and months passed, we realised we felt a deep affinity with the landscape and with the different rhythms that are possible in a life lived at least partially outside the city. When we found Home Farm’s collection of derelict buildings, I knew there was potential to make something that was both deeply personal and exciting architecturally.
Your preference is always to design in response to a specific place. How did the Home Farm inspire the collections?
Each of the Tekla blankets is a direct response to observations made at Home Farm - to shapes and patterns found within the architecture and in the surrounding landscape and to the changing colour palettes of the different seasons.
How was the process of making the collection?
My preference is always to anchor each design process in the particular. A key starting point for the second collection of throws was a vibrant red Donald Judd chair that we have at Home Farm. Observing how this piece sits in its space made me interested in exploring how a single colour or a combination of colours can have a relationship with nature and with an architectural environment, but also register as a striking, independent, point of focus.
How important are textiles in your architecture work?
All of my work springs from an attitude towards space, surface, proportion and light and the idea of achieving a state of simplicity through reduction. It has always been important to me that everything I do expresses all of the thinking, even something as modestly scaled as a fork. My creative process is grounded in the act of repeatedly paring away until I reach the point when no improvement can be achieved by further refinement. When the visual field has this clarity, everything you put into it contributes to or detracts from the quality of spatial intensity. In this sense a blanket can be as much a vehicle for generating atmosphere as the more obvious architectural components of a room.