Iconic female designers: Hella Jongerius

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we are bringing in the spotlight Hella Jongerius – one of the most appreciated female contemporany designers. As one of the contemporary designers in the Vitra gallery, Hella brings a playful vision to the universe of the brand. Her passion for colors is easy to see in all the products she creates.

Hella was born in 1963 in a small urbanized village in the province of Utrecht, Netherlands. She founded Jongeriuslab – her own studio, in Rotterdam, after graduating the Design Academy Eindhoven. Over the years, Hella created for major clients like Maharam (New York), KLM (Netherlands), Ikea (Sweden), Camper (Spain) and, of course, Vitra (Switzerland). 

For Vitra, the Dutch designer has developed distinctive pieces such as the Polder Sofa and the East River Chair. Jongerius has consistently addressed the significance of colours and surfaces in contemporary design in her work with textiles, ceramics and furniture. She has been the Art Director for colours and materials at Vitra for many years and developed the Vitra Colour & Material Library – a system that enables the versatile combination of different materials and colours throughout the extensive Vitra product collection. Hella Jongerius has also written a book about this complex task entitled «I Don’t Have a Favorite Colour».

Works by Hella Jongerius have been shown at museums and galleries such as Design Museum (London), Galerie kreo (Paris) and the Moss Gallery (New York). ‘Breathing Colour’ is the title of one of the Hella Jongerius latest exhibitions. It is an investigation of the Dutch designer’s theories and concepts about colour, illustrating such phenomena as the relationship between colour and light over the course of a day.

In a recent interview for Vitra Magazine, Hella Jongerius shares some of her thoughts on the project.

„Colour touches so many different aspects of design: words, shapes, materials, physics, space, light. The experience of colour is completely dependent on its physical, visual, artistic and cultural context. What is the relationship between form and colour? When does a colour lift up a shape and give it a new dimension? What is the role of shadow? (…) With this exhibition, I want to make a plea for colours that breathe. I still have the impression of being an absolute novice when it comes to colour. Even though I have already learned a great deal, I still can’t really get my head around the subject. Colour is one of those truly wonderful topics that will always keep you feeling like a beginner. It is this quality that makes colour so worthwhile – just like life itself.”

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