The Standen Collection now open
Designers Peter Thwaites & Rebecca Aird have been commissioned to create a collection of modern hand-printed fabrics and wallpapers for the National Trust’s Arts & Crafts house, Standen in West Sussex.
As part of the National Trust’s contemporary arts programme, Trust New Art, the Peter and Rebecca have created a collection of three wallpapers and fabrics that will be used as bespokefurnishings for parts of the house, reflecting the ethos of Standen’s architect Philip Webb and textile designer William Morris, whose designs can be seen in many of the rooms. Webb’s views on the design for a contemporary house in 1894 are comparative to the principles of Peter and Rebecca’s design studio, Rapture & Wright, where they combine designs for the present with the best craftsmanship and materials.
Visitors will be able to see, and contribute to, the process as the designs are created. In May, the newly opened Servants’ Hall became a ‘design studio’; for staff, volunteers andvisitors to get together and discuss ideas and techniques. In setting up the design studio the artists have been collecting stories and images, engaging the visiting public to feed into thedesign process as they develop ideas into finished fabrics and wallpapers. Further ideas have also be encouraged via social media, a project blog and on propertyprinted questionnaires.
Through designing, producing and installing a bespoke collection in situ, Peter and Rebecca will draw attention to the ethos behind the making of Standen and its evolution as a forever-changing family home.
Peter Thwaites of Rapture & Wright said: "By taking the design process out of our usual studio and involving other people (visitors, volunteers and staff) we hope to inject new life
into our creative process and think more about how we might work collaboratively in the future."
The commissioned wallpaper has been hung in the newly refurbished Servants’ Wing, an area where there is little-to-no historical information regarding decoration and furniture. Textiles are placed in various rooms throughout the house.
Ben Dale, House Manager at Standen House & Garden, said: “This is an exciting project for visitors, volunteers and staff, at this time in the property’s history, to explore what they love at Standen and inspire a new collection. We’re looking forward to seeing how Peter and Rebecca bring the Servants wing spaces to life as they undergo refurbishment.”
Advocating a revival of traditional handicrafts and an improvement in the design of ordinary domestic objects, the Arts & Crafts movement was one of the most influential design movements of modern times. It began in Britain in the 1880s, at a time when Standen’s owners, James and Margaret Beale, were commissioning Philip Webb to design and build the house.
Non-conformist and socially progressive, the philosophy and ethos of the Arts & Crafts movement chimed with the Beales’ own political and societal values and they sought out the best architect to design their country retreat. Standen House & Garden are superb examples of this pioneering movement which placed the quality of design and materials in highest regard.
Visitors can see the final designs throughout the house from Saturday 9 September 2017 to Sunday 15 April 2018, and can follow and contribute to the project on social mediathroughout the year on Instagram @standencollection or by tagging photographs on social media sites with the hashtag #StandenCollection.