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Herringbone Hues by Raw Edges

Design duo Raw Edges have an innate talent for turning perspectives around in a playful and curious manner. Colours, pattern making and movement form a large part of their inventive approach and experimentation in design.

The multi award-winning design duo Yael Mer and Shay Alkalay, set up their London-based studio after graduating from the Royal College of Art, where they were tutored by Ron Arad. The work of the Israeli designers is characterised by a a research and results approach to matter experimentation on foam, felt, wood, jesmonite and more recently plastdip, as seen in the ‘Herringbones’ exhibit during Milan Design Week.

The aesthetics of the Herringbones project plays with use of coloured dye and liquid immersion, highlighting the distinct textures and ‘pattern of patterns’ when applied to wooden materials.

The planks of untreated jelutong and pinewood are dipped into buckets of colourful dye at a 45-degree angle, several times to create a multi-layered, multi-coloured pattern and then hung to dry. The dye soaks through into the top layer of the wood but still allows the grains and textures to remain visible, which adds another dynamic to the planks.

The research exhibition which took place during Milan Design Week in the 5VIE district, was curated by Federica Sala, whom spent a number of years as Assistant Curator in the design department at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, working on exhibitions including Ettore Sottsass and Philippe Starck.

Stripped back, Herringbones is another perspective on the parquet floor, which they have previously revolutionised for Stella McCartney retail stores across the world in Milan, London, New York, Paris, Tokyo and China. The project, which is also known as ‘Endgrains’, enabled the designers to experiment with the typology of wood and in turn they successfully developed an oak parquet floor by cooking timber in boiling dyes to produce a bespoke herringbone pattern.

Raw Edges’s are seemingly a studio with their fingers firmly on the pulse and we’re keen to follow them on their journey of discovery. Case in point, we’ve previously covered ‘Stack’ which was put into production by Established & Sons, and was acquired for the permanent collection at international museum MoMA in New York.