Italian porcelain tile manufacturer Mirage has launched its Pop Job collection in Dubai, a collaboration with Dutch firm Studio Job.
The collection features ceramic tiles for both walls and flooring, created using the iconic images of a brick wall and wooden parquet floor. The colour range includes six colours characterised by neutral and pastel tones. The shiny, smooth surface is obtained through the innovative “twin-surface”technique, which involves the use of thick glass applied on porcelain stoneware surfaces.
Job Smeets, co-founder and art director at Studio Job was present at the launch, explaining how the idea for the collection came about and what makes it ‘pop’.
“When we develop projects, we always try to create something that we would like to have in our own house. And what we always try to do is create things that look like they are real but they are not real,” Smeets explained.
“What we did with Mirage was professionalise the idea of a grungy old wooden floor but in ceramic. And the same with the walls. We always work very much with icons so for us a floor in an interior always [resonates with] the oak, parquet fish-bone floor- it is the most iconic type of floor you can have. And the most iconic type of wall you can have is a brick wall. We tried to play with that aspect and make it more ‘pop’, more graphical and more contemporary.”
One of the main approaches in creating these effects was to make it clear that the structure is not what it seems. The market has seen a rise of imitation wood and stone effects in ceramic tiles, and Studio Job wanted to make it as unrealistic as possible.
“We didn’t want to do it too literally. These days you have a lot of oak-grain flooring that are laminates or flooring that looks like wood. We exaggerated it so you see immediately that it is not real wood. We just used the structure.
“It is a really refined collection. If you look at the bricks, the small edges around it make it appear as if it is little bit crumbled and these details is what makes them pop, and they make it archetypical and iconic,” Smeets said.
Smeets was involved in other aspects of the collection as well, including the name and the logo as well as monitoring the production process.
“Just creating a product line is fine, but what makes it bigger is when it becomes a full project, it gives it more identity,” Smeets explained.
He explained that the wood pattern used as part of the flooring graphic for the Pop Job collection has in fact been used in previous works, including the National Ballet building in the Netherlands as well as fashion shows in Paris.
“I really like that patterns develop, and it’s not just one pattern for one company- they go along in your body of work. And then a pattern and a structure develops a meaning, and it’s not just a structure or a pattern. It starts become a part of your identity. So if you keep repeating the same kind of identity, then you own it. It’s like a pattern of itself.
“It’s a very narcissistic way of looking at it, but it’s true,” he added.
Studio Job is famous for its whimsical and often flashy bronze sculptures that tell various narratives. Some of their work has been previously exhibited in Dubai during Design Days Dubai through Carpenter’s Workshop Gallery.
“I see this collection and our bronze sculptures and I think they go very well together. I always think in spaces so when you have a bronze sculpture in the middle of the room, how does the rest of the room look? And then you have to start thinking about the floors and the walls. And that is why we are designers. We think in spaces. And I also think that that’s a very classical way of thinking,” said Smeets.
The launch event took place at the newly opened Mirage Project Point located in the Dubai Design District.