Color and Material Inspiration: Play with Lines

Substance Source recently released Play with Lines, a selection of materials inspired by natural Asian materials which transcend seasons and time.

How we chose the materials

First, the Source team must choose a theme. Here, the team selected a range of natural materials frequently found in some forms of Asian architecture – specifically those materials of a supple character, in understated tones. After this, they search for references.

Benedict Cumberbatch X Grazia China November 2016, Issey Miyake, Bae SeHwa, José Antonio Zapata, Aspen Art Museum by Shigeru Ban, In The Mood For Love by Wong Kar-Wai

Harmony is the essence of the Play with Lines selection. Deeper natural tones such as Brown Patina and Brown Granite possess an inherent warmth. A natural aesthetic applies to graphic patterns as well; shapes are created from woven wood, and textured weaves. The overall ensemble is a blend of the comfortingly familiar, and the strikingly innovative.

A generation of influential creators, such as Japanese architects Shigeru Ban and Taira Nishizawa, have made great strides in bringing such naturalistic materials and simplified forms to the forefront of architectural design. Indeed, this aesthetic has touched creativity beyond the architectural realm. Such tones and textures are present in the work of fashion designers such as Japan’s Issey Miyake; likewise, they can be seen in works of creators such as South Korean artist and furniture designer Bae Se Hwa.

A cross-media, cross-cultural presence

A truly noteworthy palette is one that establishes its presence across a wide range of media. In the case of these Asian-inspired nature tones and supple lines, this is absolutely the case. We see it in the works of the designers and artists noted above, but also in the work of remarkable creators such as Matthias Pliessnig, Shigeru Ban, and others, as seen here:

Architect Shigeru Ban’s designs frequently feature ‘the invisible structure’, a style in which fundamental structural elements of a building are directly incorporated into its visible areas. Of particular note are his designs incorporating paper, or cardboard tubing, as construction materials.

© Shigeru Ban Architects

Fashion designer Issey Miyake is known for his experimental, technology-driven creations. A winner of Japan’s Order of Culture, he is also known as the creator of Steve Jobs’ iconic black turtleneck sweater.

© Masaya Yoshimura

Taira Nishizawa is the designer of remarkable spaces such as the Sun-Pu Church in Shizuoka, or the Tomochi Forestry Hall. His design aesthetic frequently focuses on his buildings’ relationships to their surrounding natural environments, and he is particularly prominent for his innovative use of wooden construction.

© DimDesign

Artist Bae Se Hwa predominantly draws his inspiration from a traditional Korean interpretation of the harmony of nature, and the beauty therein. He has notably gained considerable renown for his steam-bent walnut furniture series.

© Bae Se Hwa

US-born furniture maker Matthias Pliessnig is notably known for his steam bending technique, used to created white oak furniture with a sinuous, almost fluid form.

© Matthias Pliessnig

How the Substance team used the Play with Lines theme

The theme is so incredible that we had to bring attention to it. We chose to incorporate it in the second segment of our Crossroads video, created by Ronan Mahon and produced by the Substance team.

Read more about the video here.