Based in Rotterdam, Dutch designer Richard Hutten graduated from the Design Academy in Eindhoven in 1991, after which he set up his own design studio. Now internationally renowned, Hutten's designs are often innovative and playful. He says of his work:
"Traditionally design is about solving a problem. I don't solve problems; I create possibilities."
Hutten's work is currently represented in numerous museums and exhibitions all around the world. As one of the most collected living designers, his designs are currently held in the permanent collections of over 40 museums worldwide. In his designs, Richard Hutten combines aesthetics with the importance of play as part of our cultural identity, producing designs which marry beauty with fun and optimism. He is one of the founders of the Dutch design movement known as 'Droog design' (dry design) which refers to the dry humour of the design elements it incorporates. In 2008, Richard Hutten became art director of Gispen, the most famous and second largest furniture brand in The Netherlands. He has won numerous awards for his designs, including the Red Dot Award, LAI interior award and the German Design Award.
Hutten’s "Layers" wallpaper design was inspired by a previous commission for a hotel room. It was in 2010 that curator Suzanne Oxenaar asked Hutten if he would design a temporary hotel room at the Llove hotel in Tokyo, Japan. The concept that Hutten came up with involved layers of tape which covered every element of the room, from the furniture to the telephone. It was such a success that a copy of this design became part of the permanent collections at both the Moti Museum in Breda in The Netherlands and the Vancouver Art Gallery in Canada. Seeing the potential of the design for a wallpaper, Richard Hutten has adapted the concept for NLXL into a colourful striped design which is now entitled LAYERS.
In particular, this design is based around the tape used to seal packaging with one of the tape strips showing the words 'fragile' and 'breekbaar' and others featuring the yellow and black of hazard tape. Other features include a strip that says ‘Eat Your Heart Out’ and, perhaps most fascinating of all, one which has a number of multiple choice boxes to be ticked. This has been used to great effect at the café of the Design Museum in London where visitors are invited to tick whether they are there to 'play' 'destroy' or 'forget' etc. As such, it’s easy to see why this would make a fun dining room or kitchen wallpaper where guests are invited to leave their mark. It would also be a great design for a creative working space or public space where people are invited to interact with their surroundings, such as a café, internet café or library. As this wallpaper is bright and colourful, it would contrast well with minimalist furniture.