Designed by Nina Jobs
The Melange cushion is an exciting and colourful meeting between contemporary Scandinavian design and traditional Thai craftsmanship. Designer Nina Jobs has created six different patterns in collaboration with Thai weavers.
“With projects like this one cannot just create a computer file and submit it,” designer Nina Jobs explains as she talks about the Melange cushion family. In a single sentence she manages to describe how design and manufacture take place in a globalized world and what it is that distinguishes this particular project from how she and Design House Stockholm normally work together.
“When I was working with Melange in Thailand I had three weavers who acted as a sort of design notebook. They wove sketches,” Nina Jobs explains. This is undeniably an unusual working method for designers who are used to developing their products using computer programmes.
The cushion is the result of Nina Jobs’ long-term collaboration with the Kids Ark organization in north-western Thailand. Kids Ark was founded in 2000 in Chiang Mai province by Swedes Rita Holm Gustafsson and Allan Gustafsson with a view to improving the desperate situation faced by children who had lost their parents due to HIV/Aids. What started as a sponsorship programme to enable orphaned children living with relatives to attend school has grown to include activities that make it possible for women to work together to increase their incomes by making crafts, thereby improving the home conditions for the orphaned children.
Nina Jobs has long been familiar with Kids Ark and the organization’s activities in the Chiang Mai region. For almost ten years she has nourished a dream of collaborating on designs with the women’s cooperative that the organization supports.
“For the most part designers seek out Design House Stockholm and present their own ideas, but sometimes they just state: ‘I have something that I must tell you about’. That was what happened in this instance,” Anders Färdig, managing director of Design House Stockholm fills in. “What is interesting about Melange is the combination of our Scandinavian company and their Thai craft skills which are highly developed; and the entire product is woven by hand.”
Nina Jobs strives for simplicity and a clear-cut relationship to nature. With a background as a graphic designer, Nina studied product design at the Ecole Nationale Supériuere des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. She has worked with companies like IKEA, Uniqlo, MoMA, Askul Japan, Gärsnäs, Abstracta and Ericsson. Nina has also been working for the Swedish Government to curate Swedish Design and Architecture exhibitions in Asia and the US.