Born from a simple mission of 'wanting to design rugs', Spanish rug maker Nanimarquina is always looking for ways to reinvent the meaning and possibilities of their craft. Last year Nanimarquina celebrated its 25th anniversary on the streets of Barcelona’s Gracia district. More than 60 rugs were laid out in Virreina Square, where the public and friends were invited to interact with the giant rug show – the beautiful patchwork of colour and texture was an outdoors exhibition of two decades of work.
Interested in the traditional skills of rug making transformed in the hands of the designers they collaborate with, the rugs produced always focus on the process of making which explains why so many designers are keen to work with them.
One collaboration with brothers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec was inspired by traditional Persian rugs made using the ancient kilim technique. The Losanges collection is technically very challenging, combining 13 colours to achieve perfect rhombus-shape patterns.
Another involved Indian/English duo Doshi Levien and was launched at the Milan Furniture Fair this year. India is the starting point for the collection, inspired by the beauty and grace of the country and the people. In particular the Rabari nomadic tribes in Gujarat who work with mirrors and colourful threads and embroider by hand. In India where craftsmanship is generational, the process is just as important as the final design.
'Every colour is beautiful. It depends on how and where you use it. But I think the way I use colour, I like to take bright colours and make them a little bit dirty. Then to use strong metalics, or very bright fluorescent', remarks Nipa Doshi. 'The feeling is what I want to capture in the drawing. I paint a lot and I make collage but I always start with the feeling.'
The creative talents of Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien, who have been working together for more than 10 years, brings together a strong design approach seen in their first collection of tableware for Tom Dixon and Habitat, their interiors for Camper, sofas for Vitra, their Almora armchair for B&B Italia, and most recently, the Rabari collection for Nanimarquina.