Mark Braun: The DNA of wood
Jan 9, 2013
For the “Flooring Deluxe” concept, designer Mark Braun cooperated with the manufacturer Baltic Wood, photo © Studio Mark Braun

What led you to a closer consideration of the subject area “flooring”? Which aspects have you focused on in particular and what is the concept you came up with?

Mark Braun: There were two aspects that I found particularly attractive about a consideration of flooring and parquet.

a) The opportunity to take a closer look at materials and production techniques – particularly when it came to presenting the wood-embossing technique, which is in fact quite rare in such production flows. It allowed us to form a variety of DNA patterns creating an elegant graphic level rich in contrasts as well as enabling us to combine different types of wood in homage to the material’s diversity.

b) The idea of an intervention in the space – we chose a petrol-blue background for the wall and flooring, which then formed the canvas for the embossed parquet spread throughout the space in a domino-like formation. We consciously broke with parquet’s conventional application as a way of bespeaking the beauty of the product’s diversity in its materiality, color and surface feel; it could also be seen as a rediscovery of wood’s potential as wall paneling.

What was the greatest challenge you faced when implementing your project?

Braun: When collaborating with manufacturers it is always a challenge to really establish such new forms of collaboration, to recognize where each side’s potentials converge and then tap these sources. But to my great joy, Baltic Wood embarked on the journey together with a very open mindset and offering a great deal of support; they afforded me the freedom to realize this experimental installation in a production process that was far from standard for them.

Do you have a favorite type of flooring – both personally and from a designer’s perspective?

Braun: From a design perspective I find the elaborate parquet to be seen in old, stately apartments extremely fascinating – the plethora of patterns provide interesting impulses, which can be revisited and reinterpreted from a contemporary stance. Personally, I find old hardwood floors very interesting, the marks and traces they bear make for a certain illustrative quality and effect.

For the “Flooring Deluxe” concept, designer Mark Braun cooperated with the manufacturer Baltic Wood, photo © Studio Mark Braun
All images of the making of the “Pattern Intervention” concept © Studio Mark Braun