Interview with kollektiv vier


Interview with Mirjam Huwiler, Johanna Widmer and Eva Zuberbühler from kollektiv vier.

TB: Hello Mirjam, Johanna and Eva, how are you?

kollektiv vier: We are fine summer has arrived, just moving our Atelier in Zurich.

TB: Can you introduce yourselves?

KV: Mirjam likes green, Eva likes the time around 22:30 and Johanna the Saxifraga flower. We are three designers working together in the field of textile and surface design.

TB: How did kollektiv vier start? What is your philosophy?

KV: The three of us met during our studies in Lucerne where we all studied textile design. During our last year we started working together and discovered that we appreciate the output we generate if we bring our thoughts and creativity together. While collaborating we found a new handwriting, which isn’t Eva’s nor Mirjam’s or Johanna’s but it’s kollektiv vier. After our studies we continued with kollektiv vier and founded our design studio.

“Travel without leaving” is our claim and the heart piece of our design philosophy. With our designs, we want to brighten up the surroundings of people. With every product we start to tell a story, which people can continue with their thoughts, memories or dreams. We give them some mind travelling equipment that they can loose themselves in our designs and drift away in other worlds.

TB: How did you get the idea to start designing wallpaper?

KV: Wallpaper have a long tradition and we are fascinated by them. We see a lot of potential in this field because you can change the atmosphere of a room using wallpapers. We did a project in a retirement home, where the atmosphere in the community kitchens was quite cold, straight and clean. We started the project with a workshop with the inhabitants to understand their needs and daily lives. On the base of this workshop we created wallpapers for seven community kitchens. Even though the inhabitants were critical in the beginning, in the end they were very happy with the result. They told us that they appreciate the change and more welcoming atmosphere. We think wallpapers are a great way to give half public spaces like hotels, bars and hospitals the suitable atmosphere.

TB: What is the major challenge while designing and creating a new pattern?

KV: That it works not only on the sketches, but also as a repeat, with measurements of the surface it’s for, in the technic in which it will be produced or the material you want to use it for.

TB:  What makes a good pattern?

KV: It has to transport an atmosphere and it’s important that you chose the right design to match with the surrounding and/or the product.

TB: What are your biggest influences in design?

KV: Being attentive in daily live, exchange with ourselves, nature, artists like Matisse, story tellers etc.

Tiffany Bähler


©kollektiv vier