Window blinds have long been a means of providing privacy, filtering light and controlling temperature. They’ve fulfilled these pragmatic functions quite well - becoming increasingly savvy at saving energy and offering additional operational functions to increase the user’s control. But London-based designer Helena Karelson takes the window blind in a new direction with Contour Blinds. Instead of adopting the standard style and shape - she reinvents the window blind as a play of light and shadow.
Contour Blinds. Designed by Helena Karelson.
As designers or design students, you likely remember building topographical models composed of a series of section cuts (laser-cut in recent years, but hand-cut back in the day…). Karelson has used each of these section-cuts to create the individual slats that make up the window blinds. In their horizontal position - the slats compose the topographical model, filtering light through the irregular gaps to project “a rich tapestry of sunbeams into the interior space.” In the vertical position, light from behind the window frames the blinds perfectly in a subtle, warm glow.
“The series was born of the fascination with light and the relationship between form and shadow.” The designer explains. Karelson designed each of the Contour Blinds to leave minimum waste post-production. First edition ‘Contour’ blind premiered at this year’s D&AD New Blood exhibition, where it won the prestigious Best New Blood award. The Estonian designer also received an award from the sustainably-focused natural resource supplier Coillte for Best Use of Materials.