The Carpet Design Awards are an internationally renown accolade which recognize annually the best of carpet and rug design – provided entries satisfy the eligibility criteria. Specifically and exclusively chosen from those firms which exhibit at DOMOTEX – The World of Flooring (except for Category 1 – Best Studio Carpet), the CDA(s) as they are known have become a ‘…badge of distinction, given in recognition of quality and design excellence in handmade carpets and rugs.’ Now in their thirteenth (13th) year, the Carpet Design Awards will be presented on Saturday, 13 January 2018 in Hall 9 during Domotex.
The Carpet Design Awards recognize annually the best in handmade carpet design and are, to quote, ‘a coveted international badge of excellence in quality of execution and uniqueness of design for modern hand-made carpets.’ As with any design competition however there are caveats. For instance, entrants and thus winners – with the exception of those in the ‘Best Studio Artist Design’ – must be exhibitors at DOMOTEX which obviously restricts the pool of eligible carpets. As such, it is best to think not of the Carpet Design Awards as ‘the world’s best’, but rather think of them as one would of cinema, with the Carpet Design Awards as the DOMOTEX equivalent of an Official Selection during Cannes. Similarly just as movie critics will critique with superior air, so too must those who judge rugs chime in on what is – in their opinion – hot, hot, hot.
‘RUG STAR TUFT was invented to offer the market a simple message: RUG STAR [hand knotted] in 6 months or RUG STAR TUFT in 6 weeks.’ begins Rug Star’s Jürgen Dahlmanns as we are discussing his new carpet project via email. ‘Of course for both variations we only want to provide the best possible quality and the smartest executions on the market.’ Upon reading this statement I am immediately reminded of the oft referenced ‘Project Management Triangle’ and how its truisms are somewhat antithetical, though not fully unknown to the world of rugs. Is superior quality the goal?
Platitudes have already been written about Rug Star, its outgoing and buoyant bon vivant founder Jürgen Dahlmanns, and the critically acclaimed and award winning carpets which bear the individually hand signed ‘Certificates of Authenticity’ of this now iconic carpet house. To belabour and restate any of his accolades would be to do a disservice to a man who, not unlike myself, sees the world through an intellectual eye that imparts a high degree of emotional context to his work. Unlike The Ruggist however, Mr. Dahlmanns enjoys several of the the benefits of his Teutonic origins.
Recycling, waste diversion, repurposing, upcycling, and the like are all great buzzwords to describe the noble cause long ago embodied in the proverbial phrase ‘waste not, want not.’ While the idea is far from new, the wealth – and occasional excesses of the west – has far removed us from what is an ordinary and necessary way of life for much of the world, including for those in countries that produce the carpets we so love, as well as for those less fortunate closer to home. It’s not even solely a matter of economics, but also one of respect for the resources and materials we as humans choose to consume. If we are to take from the planet, should we not offer it a degree of respect in return? Jürgen Dahlmanns from Rug Star says ‘Yes we should!’ by producing one-of-a-kind versions of his firm’s carpets in their ‘eco’ execution, which utilizes surplus yarns from their ordinary production to create these extraordinarily unique versions. I just could not pass up showing you this amazing one-of-a-kind version of Rug Star by Jürgen Dahlmanns’ ‘Heart’, because love is love whether it is for me, or you, our fellow man, or for mother earth.
As an industry we bring modernity with all of its inconsequential demands to a place where subsistence agrarian culture still dominates the economy, where manual labour is a way of life, and were exploitation (in wide ranging and various forms) is still a major concern. We also have the ability to bring hope, compassion, understanding, and as I’ve called for, real empathy for the Nepali people. We do this by honouring them for all that they’ve done for us, and by continuing to work with them as they rebuild their country. They are a “patient, studious, artistic, nuanced and extremely hard working people, and I would not be who I am without them.” says Tom DeMarco of Kooches, speaking words universal to any serious designer of modern carpets. With that, The Ruggist presents a photographic journey that explores the best of Nepali made carpets.
As a (second) final note to my last post (See this post of The Ruggist) and heeding to the very correct comments posted thereafter, I …