Where There’s a Wall
This ‘Camber’ wallcovering made from capiz shells is one of an impressive 51 new designs that Arte is launching this season, and ably demonstrates the artisan approach that the company takes for every collection. “Research and development is the heart of our company,” said managing director Philippe Desart, introducing this wealth of new work from Arte’s headquarters in Zonhoven, Belgium as part of London Design Week 2021’s ‘Spotlight’ video series. “We try to give an added value to walls by using innovative design and tactility.”
Unusual materials and techniques are what make Arte stand out from the crowd, with some designs taking years to turn into a robust product suitable for hanging on the wall. This collection, Samal, gets its name from the island in the Philippines where the oyster-like capiz shells are harvested; once in Arte’s hands, they are cleaned, coloured and die-cut before being laid by hand in geometric patterns to create a unique gleaming finish. The wallcovering is sold in sets of five tiles, rather than on the traditional roll.
Other innovations to look out for in the new collections include ‘Rattan’, which Arte believes is the first time that hand-woven rattan has been developed as a wallcovering; and ‘Manila’, for which threads of thin rope are hand-laid into a lush leaf-pattern, before being convincingly translated into textured vinyl.