Very Aisslinger: The master of collages and honeycombs has indulged his playful instinct, this time for Vorwerk. Photo © Vorwerk
Elementary shapes for the floor
by Martina Metzner | Nov 20, 2014

At Vorwerk people have always looked beyond the edge of the carpet. It was as far back as the 1980s that the manufacturer, which has produced in the town of Hamelin in Germany’s north for some 130 years now, began collaborating with artists such as David Hockney, Roy Liechtenstein and Gerhard Richter, with fashion designers such as Karl Lagerfeld, Iris von Arnim and Vivienne Westwood, and with architects and designers like Zaha Hadid, Jean Nouvel and Ettore Sottsass – and has written design history in the process. That Vorwerk is now launching the product of a cooperation with yet another creative mind has its roots in the company’s sheer determination to blaze new trails in floor design and cross new thresholds, Managing Director Johannes Schulte explains.

After Hadi Teherani, who joined forces with Vorwerk in 2009 for the design of the “FreeScale” free-form tiles, the carpet manufacturer has now entrusted itself to the creative hands of Werner Aisslinger. The Berlin designer, who can look back on a career of 25 years and success stories such as his shelving system “Endless Shelf”, his mobile pavilion “Loftcube” as well as trailblazing furniture pieces made of gel and recycling fleece, received a “carte blanche” from the company. The only specification: the product had to follow in the footsteps of Teherani’s highly successful carpet tile. The result is very Aisslinger indeed.

The master of collages and honeycombs has once again indulged his playful instinct, which is evident in many of his designs. Aisslinger combines six basic geometric shapes – four end pieces and two rectangular connecting pieces – into a one-meter-wide patchwork, which can be transformed into different designs of varying lengths depending on how the tiles are combined. Small wool felt strips in matching bright colors serve to break up the carpeted area. The differences in shape, color and material culminate in a custom-made collage of different textures, making the jigsaw carpet perfect for jazzing up bare and smooth floors made of stone, ceramics, concrete or wood. Or, for example, creating attention-grabbing central zones that provide orientation and give long corridors a fresh look. In this way Aisslinger also succeeds in reinterpreting the traditional rug.

“Elementary Shapes” is available in two versions: in “Frisea” (tufted velour, polyamide, “Projection” contract collection) and in the new voluminous “Frisée Elara” (likewise tufted velour, but made of wool felt). Moreover, the anti-slip underside prevents the jigsaw carpet from becoming displaced. “Elementary Shapes” turns out to be incredibly flexible, offering almost infinite variation possibilities. In addition to “genuine” Aisslinger designs with predefined shapes and color combinations such as saffron with midnight blue and azure, berry tones with signal red or kiwi with pale blue, customized versions are also available, which, just like the Aisslinger designs, are delivered already pieced together.

Taking a look at Aisslinger’s latest project, the interior design for the “25hours” hotel complete with rooftop bar and restaurant in Berlin’s Bikini Complex, you will no doubt detect certain similarities. Here too Aisslinger embraced the very hip trend of transforming plain spaces into extensive playgrounds – or at least sexing them up by introducing a number of playful elements. “Elementary Shapes” would be a perfect addition to “25hours”. And potentially – just like the hotel – these carpet tiles are indeed a cheerful reflection of the sociotope that is Berlin: colorful, easygoing, individual, flexible, yet well designed and not just random.

Werner Aisslinger. Photo © Aisslinger Studio
„Elementary Shapes“ by Werner Aisslinger for Vorwerk – reinterpreting the traditional rug. Photo © Vorwerk
The jigsaw carpet is perfect for jazzing up bare and smooth floors, creating attention-grabbing central zones. Photo © Vorwerk
Aisslinger combines six basic geometric shapes for Vorwerk. Photo © Vorwerk
Small wool felt strips in matching bright colors serve to break up the carpeted area.
Photo © Vorwerk
Not only “Frisea” but also the in new voluminous “Frisée Elara” is available for “Elementary Shapes”. Photo © Vorwerk
Not a park with paths, but the new Aisslinger for Vorwerk. Photo © Vorwerk
In addition to “genuine” Aisslinger designs, customized versions are also available.
Photo © Vorwerk