Chinese design studio Neri&Hu has teamed up with Spanish textile brand Gan to create a modular collection of sofas, rugs and screens that aim to blend eastern and western design sensibilities. Debuted during Milan design week, Gan’s Lan collection, meaning blue in Mandarin, is made up of rugs, seating modules and dividers, all upholstered in hand embroidered indigo fabric.
Neri&Hu used an indigo colour palette to pay homage to the Chinese tradition of using the colour to dye fabrics that are used in home decoration. Arranged around a central rug, the Lan’s low-lying, bench-like seating modules are topped with a series of flat cushions and a wooden tray that functions as a side table.
Screens that feature a metal structure hung with a strip of hand embroidered fabric serve as a backdrop for the composition. Placed behind the seating modules, the screens form moveable backrests to lean cushions up against. “Neri&Hu includes architects, graphic designers, master planners, interior and product designers,” explained the Spanish brand. “LAN represents a synthesis of all these Neri&Hu skills,”
“Its design reinvents and questions the sofa typology by breaking it down into its various elements, which can then be assembled in different ways, organised around a rug that is an integral part of the set,” continued the brand. The rug is made from pure new wool and is manufactured using Glaoui – a method that incorporates both flat-woven and knotted pile sections over which different layers of geometric motifs are embroidered by hand.
The result is a rug that features a pattern of lines, grids and various different tones of blue. “Lan evokes the typical subtlety and beauty of the Orient,” said Gan, adding that the collection fuses “the sensibility of the East and the West, bringing together design and traditional craft”.
In 2013, the Spanish brand worked with Milan-based desiSpanishgner Patricia Urquiola to create a similar series that featured ice cream-coloured poufs and rugs. The modular pieces could be arranged to create various different seating configurations.