The work of Raw Color explores materials and colours by mixing the fields of graphic design and photography. Founders, Daniera ter Haar & Christoph Brach, work on both self-initiated as well as commissioned projects in their Eindhoven-based studio. We caught up with the Dutch duo to chat about Dutch Design Week, their London exhibition and who we should be looking out for in Eindhoven.
Hi guys, where did you get your name from?
The name of the studio Raw Color comes from the project we started with in 2007, it was a big research project about colours taken from vegetables. The project was running for over five years with many different results as outcomes; from paper prints, to colour cards, to coloured textiles, all based on natural colours. This project was and still is, very important for the studio, it gave us our DNA.
After three years we were thinking how we could name ourselves. As the Raw Color project got quite a lot of exposure, we received post with the name Raw Color as the addressee. After a while we decided to make it our official studio name. Somehow it was given to us, and it really fits our work.
Why is what you do different to other people out there?
Our studio is very wide in its practices. Mixing art direction, graphic design, photography and textile design. One day we can work on a book, the next day on textiles and the next on a website. The combination of these different fields is the main strength of the studio and maybe the thing that distinguishes us from other studios.
Working across so many practices, do you have a favourite medium?
Not really, we like the combination. Of course, graphics is the most ‘dominant’ in the studio, as this is work that many clients need regularly. But when you’ve been working on a book, you are happy to work again on a textile assignment. Maybe in this regard the textile projects are more ‘special’ to us as they aren’t our weekly job. But we can’t really give one discipline as the favourite one.
Do you guys have any hidden creative talents that sometimes helps you on projects?
Yes of course! We have two employees; Anne and Iris, we really can’t do without them. They work on many projects and because of that we are able to do so many different things! We also work together with Mark Brand, he is a former student of ours, and he’s an expert in programming. He assisted us on projects like; The Fans, Chromatology and Feeds per Minute.
So as a team, what are you busy with at the moment?
Dutch Design Week started on the 21st of October and we’re the Art Directors for Broeinest. We’ve created eight different 'Trend Worlds' with the nine Broeinest partners. Themes include 'Rusty Earth', 'Modular Geometry', 'New Natural' and they present the different products and materials from all the partners in one space. The dialog of this is making a strong image and shows the different qualities of the partners.
We also have a solo exhibition at the Aram Gallery in London which runs until the end of October called BLEND. We were there one month ago to set up the whole presentation. The space is about 90 square meters and the gallery has a long history of many good design exhibitions before us, so it’s great to be the next in line!
What is it like living and working in Eindhoven? What is the creative atmosphere like there?
We are very happy that we are based here. The atmosphere in the city is great. We have many nice people around us, mostly design friends who also stayed in the city after university and we now live and work in our dream house and studio. We were very lucky that we could buy one place in the former Philips RAG building. The designer Piet Hein Eek rebuilt this place and created ten different houses. The great thing about this project is that we were involved in many decisions about the division of the rooms and the total look and feel. It’s a special thing to build your own house.
What area(s) would you like to explore more in 2017?
At the moment we notice that more and more spatial design projects are crossing our paths. Maybe it’s because of the whole project of designing our own house. The project we created for Broeinest during the Dutch Design Week is also something we don’t do that regularly. But it’s great that we are asked to think into these new directions. It brings a new dimension to the studio and because of that we gain new knowledge as well. Probably these paths will bring us new projects in the future.
What work are you enjoying at the moment - who should we be looking out for?
We are big fans of the brothers Bouroullec, we really appreciate their tactile way of working on product design. We also really like the graphic work of Joost Grootens and Karel Martens. And we really admire Olivier van Herpt. He graduated by building his own digital 3D printer with ceramics. It’s really amazing that he managed to build and program the entire printer himself and created beautiful printed vases as a result.