I recently said the requirements of this era demand ‘…new concepts of wealth, and new ideas about aesthetics and luxury,’ and gauging from a heated conversation initiated by an internet troll whose only rhetorical skills involved using the various ‘-isms’ of the world – socialism, communism, et alia – as pejoratives, I feel as though there is perhaps need to clarify and expound. In short, we – as civilization – must rethink our antiquated notions of luxury, bringing into sharp focus, as the technology of this time allows, the reality of the rugs and carpets under our feet.
Only by acknowledging that any rug or carpet, from the most mediocre moquette replete with banal corporate aesthetics to the most recherché handknotted tapis d’artiste crafted in exotic lands, is in fact a luxury underfoot can we even begin the discussion. While I do wish we all lived in the esoteric world of the latter, it is the former that brings luxury to the masses of civilization, a necessary and required equalization of comfort at accessible-to-many pricepoints, even if the aesthetics are not as refined as ‘we’ might wish. But then again, who are we to judge the subjective matters of taste? Regardless we must from this point, judge harshly any product which is not produced or crafted in harmony with humanity and the environment. ‘If it can’t be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled or composted, then it should be restricted, redesigned or removed from production,’ as activist Pete Seeger once said. Only when we equate indulgence with respect for others and our mother planet, can we truly appreciate and luxuriate with what we can have, and what we can leave for successive generations.
As the fanciful appreciation of craft and handwork ebbs and flows with the currents of economics, history, and taste, we, as both civilization and those of us who work, design, and toil in carpetry, must create and accept new models for our craft so that everyone benefits. That my friends, is de luxe.