Memory Wallpaper was created by Canadian designer Cynthia Hathaway. Hathaway was born and raised in Ontario and was an artistic director at the Design Academy in Eindhoven before starting her own firm in Amsterdam. This design is die-cut on a walnut grain adhesive vinyl. To give you some background on this material, Vinyl wallcoverings were introduced in 1947; self-adhesive vinyl was first patented under the brand name of Con-Tact in 1954. Con-Tact was 100% plastic with a pressure-sensitive back that stuck on contact to almost any surface. It was meant to revolutionize the wallpaper industry. Designed for the do-it-yourself market it was inexpensive, nearly indestructible, and all you needed to hang it was a pair of scissors. This piece was designed for a Canadian collective called Mother, with the project being to explore the best of the cabin experience. Hathaway chose self-adhesive vinyl because it is so ubiquitous, and the woodgrain pattern reminded her of log cabins. You’re seeing one of five different cut-outs that are located at various points along the roll: the others being a rack of souvenir spoons, a lantern, canoe paddles, and a Canadian Mountie. Hathaway has a strong interest in the recyclability of things and ideas and doesn’t think the past should be obscured by the present. When this wallcovering is applied over an existing wallpaper, the cut-outs give the old surface an automatic link to the present and allow it to become an integral part of the design. In this image the vinyl is laid over a 1960s wallpaper.
Sidewall: Memory. Designed by Cynthia Hathaway. Eindhoven, The Netherlands, 2003. Gift of Cynthia Hathaway.