The creative forces behind the design duo Doshi Levien, Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien illustrate the inspiration behind Pilotis – a curtain collection which pays tribute to Le Corbusier’s architectural principals and the elements of nature. The series of curtains in the collection are entitled: Rocket, Fiction, Utopia and Lake. “Pilotis actually means columns,” explains Nipa. “It’s a very modernist architectural term and Le Corbusier created these big columns of Pilotis of concrete which are very sensual in shape. So we imaged creating these big columns of textiles,” she notes. “We wanted to create these solid, monolithic pillars,” adds Jonathan. “It’s an extension of this idea of creating this material for an interior, rather than a fabric in a sense, which echoes the starting point of the project.”
In 2013, the designers were commissioned by Kvadrat Maharam to design Pilotis. The duo visualised the curtains to encompass glass buildings across the world, while architecture served as a focal point for inspiration. “We wanted to make a series of textiles that were inspired from architectural materials,” explains Nipa. “For example, machine concrete, perforated sheet of aluminium and glass.” Doshi Levien presented Kvadrat Maharam with approximately 30 castings in plaster which evoked machine concrete, emanating a play of shadow and light which eventually transposed into textiles. “Our idea was ‘How do you inspire architects to use colour, to use textiles?” reflects Nipa. “To use them in an interesting way and to have colour and a fabric almost like an architectural material,” she explains.
Rocket, a knitted curtain, comprises of a colour palette which derives inspiration from sun-faded colours. To compliment Rocket, is a knitted fabric entitled Fiction, which can be layered with Rocket. In addition to the series is Utopia, which transposes the castings the designers originally presented to Kvadrat Maharam. “We created a sense of texture, light and shadow in a fabric like this,” explains Nipa, on the elements of Utopia. She adds, “When you see these fabrics from a distance they are more of a texture than a pattern, because I think most architects find it difficult to work with patterns, they prefer much plainer colours.” The designers' background in furniture design is prevalent throughout the collection,“Our world is very three dimensional," explains Jonathan. "So it felt natural for us to approach this with a three dimensional effect using the casting process – and to see how the light plays on that with light and shade, then creating it as a pattern,” he says. Casting a calm backdrop to the Pilotis collection, is Lake. The iridescent hues of silver and blue of the lake situated at headquarters of Kvadrat Maharam in Denmark are evoked in the fabric. “It was called Lake, because the moment we put them out to the light, it reminded us of the steely, sheen of the Danish lakes,” explains Jonathan. “When the sun is low, there is this incredible steely light effect from the water,” he notes.
Following three years of quality assurance testing, colour palette and fabric selection, the Pilotis collection launched to critical acclaim at the Kvadrat Maharam showroom in Dubai.
For further information on the Pilotis collection by Doshi Levien click here