Most creatives within the complex world of textile design tend to base their creations on materials on which they apply their graphic signature. Through this process, the materials become bearers of an interesting graphic message. This is what Dutch designer Alei Verspoor has proposed since the beginning after entering this discipline.
A graduate in men’s clothing design of the Academy of Art and Design ArtEZ in Arnhem, with a Master’s in textile design from the Royal College of Art in London, after several years dedicated to fashion design Alei successfully crossed the line that separates the world of fashion with that of product design. The key: finding ways to lengthen the life of the products designed by focusing more on the work process than on the material itself.
“Above all, I am a fashion and product designer, and most of the work I do is directly related to the textile world because they are made of this material or because I use production techniques related to textiles, such as fabric. My work is a continuing exploration to make simple everyday things last longer and be more sustainable and durable. This is the basis of, for example, Pack Bags.”
“In order to make the Pack Bags, I was researching how to make a backpack that would allow for one of its components to be replaced”
The designer took a while to define her objectives, particularly because it was not easy to combine the different formal aspects within the same criteria that would form this project. “In order to make the Pack Bags, I was researching how to make a backpack that would allow for one of its components to be replaced, how to achieve a single material that would allow for easy repair and how to be update this original design as it deteriorates. I call it “repair design” or “design for disassembly”.
And how has been this process been? “Laborious, above all. I like to use graphical elements such as stripes or fading, but then I put so much effort into creating a specific pattern with this unique fabric. It is a purist way of working, although there is a lot that is intuitive. That’s why I love the work of modernist artists such as Sol Lewitt, Agnes Martin or graphic designers like Alvin Lustig”.
“I like to use graphical elements such as stripes or fading, but then I put so much effort into creating a specific pattern with this unique fabric”
Best of all, Alei enormously enjoys the creative process, both when she makes the prototypes as well as when different artisans give shape to her projects. “It is very satisfying in manual work to see how something beautiful is gaining life thanks to your skills with your hands.”
This article is also available in Español