Designers Marcia Nolte (Amsterdam, 1982), Stijn van der Vleuten (Eindhoven, 1985), and artist Bob Waardenburg (Zoetermeer, 1983) first collaborated on an installation for the 2009 Dutch Design Week. They enjoyed working together so much that they founded the collective We Make Carpets.
The group members’ shared interest, and inspiration for their work, is the color, shape, and texture of everyday mass-produced objects: typically used once, then heedlessly cast away. We Make Carpets spends day after day patiently sorting and arranging individual objects (numbering in the tens of thousands), resulting in graphic, twofold symmetrical patterns suggestive of rugs or wall hangings. Materials and dimensions are decided at the outset, but the pattern emerges intuitively and organically in the course of a collaborative assembly.
We Make Carpets shows that it is not only the completed composition that possesses a unique beauty, but it is also present in every single element, be it a piece of pasta, a Band-Aid, a toy soldier, a party fork, a firecracker, a drinking straw, or a sidewalk crayon. The same holds true for the innumerable plain cocktail picks, parasol picks, and long drink stirrers used to compose the three installations on view in this exhibition.
These works were conceived during the summer of 2015 during a stint as artists-in-residence in the “Room on the Roof,” a workspace for artists and designers located in a rooftop tower on de Bijenkorf, an Amsterdam department store. Everyday objects are always the starting point for the group’s study of texture, shape, color, and patterns. These trivial items, composed into installations with well-nigh meditative attention, thus acquire new meaning.
We Make Carpets is one of the 26 designers and studios that are selected for the group show Dream Out Loud – Designing for Tomorrow’s Demands. The exhibition can be visited from 26 August 2016 in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Read more about the exhibition or order tickets.