The Asian inspiration is easily recognisable in the new LAN collection, with which GAN has taken a step forward with the customizable spaces project, that are always structured around its rugs.
Different elements can be combined with LAN such as the seating modules and screens, conceived by the multidisciplinary design studio Neri&Hu, combining textures, patterns and the colour indigo, the word for which translated from Mandarin gives the collection its name.
The studio directed by Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu, and based in Shanghai is renowned for giving meaning to its designs, which is precisely what they have done with LAN, with nods to both the past and the future. Respect for tradition (in China indigo is the colour of the traditional storage chest) is combined with a revolutionary design that liberates the sofa from its cumbersome dimensions to lend it lightness and mobility. The final result is an elegant and refined space that invites relaxation, ideally suited to spaces with lots going on such as offices, hotels, and other contract applications.
LAN was presented last April at the Salone del Mobile in Milan and has already been recognized by the prestigious NYCxDesign award under the Contract: Seating category.
Among the different elements that are included in LAN are the highly original seating module and backrest. The backing resembles the antique looms of old and pays homage to GAN’s textile origins. The cushions are arranged side by side on the seating module leaving enough space for a timber tray that can be used as a side table. The fact that the cushions and tray can be moved allows different configurations as preferred.
Other elements from the LAN collection include the back-less seating module and a movable screen that can also be freely placed to divide spaces. The collection redefines then the idea of a rug and sofa, by combining them to create something entirely new. “You can use a single piece, or equally two, or two and a side table … The idea is to bring craft and the flexibility of modern life together also inspired by notions of community and bring it all down to earth, to the level of the ground plane,” explains Lyndon Neri.
The indigo color of the textiles and the hand embroidery is what constructs and unifies the space. These textiles become a work of art in their own right. “They begin to create memory and a sense of home,” in the words of Neri.
The Asian approach to home interior design is also expressed in the careful attention to detail. The rug, for example, is made from pure new wool using the Glaoui technique that is superimposed using different layers of hand embroidered geometric motifs.
LAN came about slowly. For several years Neri&Hu and GAN worked side by side exchanging ideas and materials in an ongoing process. Neri compares this approach with the time required by the old craftsmen of China to produce artistic objects. “It’s not about coming up with new products every year but about producing long-lasting ones that mean something,” he adds.
Behind this interest in the technical quality of each product designed is the structural foundation of Neri&Hu which influences all their work. For this studio, it’s a question of a multidisciplinary approach.