Fundstücke: Bedtime stories by Alfredo Häberli
von Sandra Hofmeister | May 8, 2008

When it gets dark in the children’s room, the curtains transform into a glowing picture story. Little ghosts float through the air and sprightly witches race one another on their broomsticks. There are moon faces and stars in the dark sky and bats sail silently through the room. Alfredo Häberli’s curtain fabric “Village” glows in the dark. The fluorescent line drawings on the fabric form nighttime scenes from fairytales. By day, they remain hidden.

“I did not want to be childish. It is more a matter of a particular view of the world,” is how Alfredo Häberli explains his designs. After two and a half years’ development, the Kvadrat materials by the Swiss designer are ready for production. They are upholstery fabrics and curtain fabrics with reduced, humorous line drawings. For the pattern for “Village”, Alfredo Häberli folded perspectives and spaces onto the surface of the fabric and arranged individual objects into small scenes and an overall surface pattern. This resulted in a kind of hybrid map, rolled onto a roll of material with a width of 1.40 meters. Häberli’s cartoons show a colorful mixture of people, animals and houses – adventure by day and by night. Garden fences and iron railway tracks link individual scenes, birds and wolves populate the designer’s fairytale world. “My son is actually entitled to the royalties,” says Alfredo Häberli and reminisces about his own childhood: “I used to have some curtains with a city maze printed on them. Ideal for playing with cars for hours on end.” The fact that Häberli still explores the world with a child’s eyes today is a spot of luck for Kvadrat. After Tord Boontje’s flower era, whose floral patterns determined the fashion of a season, Alfredo Häberli’s motifs are a welcome change – and have no less imagination or humor. “Flowers! It’s gone!” says Alfredo Häberli half seriously and half ironically. Instead of Flower Power, “Village” appeals to children’s power of imagination and remains, as is widely known, timeless.

“Fundstücke” is a joint project between Baumeister Redaktion and Stylepark.