Scandinavian design redefining interior luxury in the new Range Rover Velar
In the search for a premium alternative to traditional leather upholstery for the new Range Rover Velar, Land Rover teamed up with the Danish textile manufacturer Kvadrat. High quality materials lend the vehicle’s interior an elegance hitherto unseen in the segment, making the cabin a place you want to stay. We talked to Charlotte Bastholm Skjold, Head of Design Management at Kvadrat to find out more about the company, its products, Scandinavian design and sustainability.
In a few sentences: how would you describe the Kvdrat brand?
Founded in the late 60s, Kvadrat is a living embodiment of Scandinavian design, and is today a leading player in our sector. We strive to be at the forefront of our field actively contributing to contemporary culture by engaging in projects with designers, architects and artists all over the world.
What kind of textiles do you produce, where are they being used?
Our textiles are mostly wool and wool blends, and can be found in interiors. We deliver textiles for both elaborate architectural projects such as office buildings and concert halls to residential projects – and of course to the furniture industry.
What distinguishes your textiles from others?
Longevity in both design and quality, and we are always vigilant about minimising environmental impact.
The textiles industry has been around for hundreds of years, what is it that makes Kvadrat different?
Working with designers coming from non-textile industries presents us with the challenge of implementing very specific concepts into textiles. A dialogue born out of respect for the original idea is where innovation starts. We are deeply passionate about the colours of our textiles: Kvadrat’s core strength lies in its wide-ranging knowledge of colours. They are renewed constantly in order to keep ahead of the trend.
And what is the role of design in that process?
We value simplicity in our textiles, by that I mean the precise and pure expression in the design. This should achieve a “present and future-forward” look, without losing any sense of its past. Our business revolves around curiosity, knowledge sharing and responsibility.
How does your work reflect Scandinavian design?
Working with designers from all over the world, makes Kvadrat as cosmopolitan as it is. In their own way they each infuse products with their own perspective and culture, while keeping it very “Kvadrat”. That said, insisting on quality and attention to detail, is also a typical example of the Scandinavian way of doing things. As far as trends go, textiles are a slow commodity in the sense that they should stay beautiful on your furniture for the next 10 years or more. Viewed that way, trends become less significant. It is more relevant to create something timeless.
You say that Kvadrat’s design reflects your dedication to pushing aesthetic, technological and artistic boundaries – how do your products reflect this?
We develop surfaces that change their apperarance depending on the viewer’s perspective. To achieve that we explore new yarns, weaves and production methods. And then there’s the way the textiles are used – by furniture manufacturers or artists. Their viewpoint is relevant for us to see where we can take it next.
Kvadrat was founded in 1968, around the same time as the first Range Rover prototypes codenamed VELAR were being built. How has Kvadrat evolved since then?
We have become a global player, specialising in catering to our main customers’ unique requirements, just like Jaguar Land Rover. We have established various product categories, also offering very high end products, such as the partnership with Raf Simons.
Kvadrat designed a bespoke interior fabric for the new Range Rover Velar – what sets it apart?
The wool blend textile has been designed and created to meet Land Rover’s leading standards for premium appearance, comfort and durability. Exhibiting many natural characteristics, this rich wool yarn is extremely hard-wearing and appropriate for all climates, staying cool in the heat and warm in the cold.
What are the benefits of the new Kvadrat interior for Range Rover Velar owners?
Above all, material comfort and the design’s premium aesthetics.
Regarding connectivity and future mobility, how do you think the role of textiles will develop within the next ten years, not only for private households but also for other industries such as automotive?
Textiles need not only to relate to new technology but also to the body. In the future technology will probably be integrated into textiles. Retaining an open-mind towards design and cooperation, we are pioneers, exploring new ways of combining materials and techniques in design and manufacturing. While doing so, we never forget our environmental responsibilities, thus guaranteeing sustainability through long-lasting design.