Hanna Werning

Hanna Werning feels her work carries two very different dialogues: design driven by concept and design driven by “intuition and color rhythm.” Perhaps this explains why, when we invited her to design one set of slipmats for our exhibition, she shot us a notably dissimilar double-serving. The repetition of the birch screen print on the “Björk” set clearly hails from her conceptual side, born from Werning’s extensive work with textile prints and wallpaper design. A graduate of Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design in London, she founded her own Spring Street Studio in Stockholm, which specializes in pattern design, art, and design. Best known for her AnimalFlowers works [wallpaper-posters that can be pasted to cover a wall or framed individually as art], she’s designed textile patterns for IKEA, Boxfresh, and Stüssy, among others. Working with Swedish wallpaper manufacturer Boråstapeter, her first full roll collection was released in 2006, consisting of whimsical color combinations and smooth floral forms that maintain a ’70s aesthetic while mercifully skirting the kitsch. For her second pair of slipmats, “Joakim & Hanna,” Werning collaborated with her sometimes-DJ partner Joakim Ericson to create self portraits using children’s beads. Undoubtedly born from the “intuition and color rhythm” side of her aesthetic, the ironic medium [and expressions] probably access the same instinct that inspires them to spin Toureg blues during their “From Mali to Memphis” parties, and Werning to declare her favorite dance move as “elastic, as a rubber band.” As to the importance of music to her designs, Werning says, “I can hardly work without music.” Keeping things in perspective, she assures us, “but I can listen to music without thinking work.”