Belgium. The return of paravent as heritage to be preserved

Nathalie Van der Massen and Charlotte Vlerick design for Hija studio a walnut wood and handcrafted fabric which is already a case study.

Presented at the Stockholm Furniture Fair, AKI is a walnut wood, linen, silk and rubber paravent that celebrates the return of a thousand year old furnishing as an autonomous object. Designed by Nathalie Van der Massen and Charlotte Vlerick for the Belgian Hija studio, AKI is inspired by traditional Japanese paravents and it has been created around the motifs of light and transparency, true starting point for the development of the partition wall.

Made by local artisans through a manual process with wooden fins, AKI presents a walnut structure finished with brass details and a complex fabric that was commissioned by the Flemish Institute of Architecture to study the light and the technical possibilities in the weaving phase. The warp is available in two variants – the tone-on-tone version “Ton” and “Akua”, derived from an original watercolor painted by Van der Massen herself – and it is composed of thin slits designed to infuse lightness and transparency by creating a fine play of colors. Thanks to its complex and experimental processing, AKI’s fabric has been selected by the Tilburg Textile Museum as a heritage to be kept in its permanent archive.

To be fixed in the room as a divider or to position in the center as an independent artwork, AKI is a study, art and technique object in loving memory of one of the most ancient symbols of living.

Nathalie Van der Massen and Charlotte Vlerick
Antwerp, Belgium
Jeroen Verrecht

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