AN INSIGHT INTO OUTDOOR FURNITURE: PARASOLS
Parasols play a fundamental part in the dressing of a hotel’s outdoor area. Not only does it have to withstand the test of time and harsh weather conditions, it also has to be easy on the eye. SPACE’s Tonje Odegard spoke to Pierre Christiaens, Owner and CEO of Sywawa to find out how to make parasols and umbrellas that meet this standard…
What dictates the design trends of parasols?
Parasols are not a fashion item, which means the designs don’t change every season. As a parasol is very often combined with outdoor furniture, it follows the outdoor furniture trends. Freelance designers and relevant exhibitions, such as Il Salone del Mobile offer inspiration for the design.
What role do parasols play in the creation of beautiful and practical outdoor areas of hotels?
They play a very big role – a parasol draws a lot of attention and works as the ‘finishing touch’ of an outdoor area. The parasol is a statement that defines the overall look and feel.
How do you work with designers to create great parasols?
Sywawa mainly works with freelance designers and tend to give them a lot of freedom, as we don’t want to limit their creativity. Based on the first sketches, a certain direction is decided to complete the collection in a logical way.
What’s important when designing a parasol? What does it take to create top-quality and aesthetically pleasing umbrellas?
The main point is that the new design should ideally be made by an experienced manufacturer. A parasol is subject to many harsh influences, such as the UV rays of the sun, strong wind gusts and pouring rain. An experienced producer knows how to build a parasol that can resist these weather conditions. It must be strong, easy to manipulate and nice to look at.
How has umbrella and parasol design evolved over the years?
The product was invented about 3000 years ago in Mesopotamia or Egypt. The parasol has not fundamentally changed since then – it’s a central pole with a roof on it. The only evolution in design was based on materials and colours; a nice pole or a beautiful colour. Perhaps some ornaments such as embroidery has played a part. It was only in the 20th century that new designs emerged with cantilever parasols, up to four parasols on one pole, or even wall-mounted structures. In the past ten to fifteen years, even further designs have been developed. Sywawa is the only parasol brand that specialises in contemporary parasol design.
How do you make sure your parasols stand out?
With the most beautiful designs under the sun, Sywawa stands for mind-bordering, pioneering designs. By means of typically different shapes, materials and techniques, we infuse new ideas in the dull world of traditional parasol. Sywawa is trendy and timeless both at the same time – the parasols are surprising and playful. The designs have international recognition as top design, for instance proved by the 15 international design awards. Sywawa is the most awarded parasol brand under the sun.