Playing with Tradition by Richard Hutten


At design fair Object Rotterdam earlier this month Dutch designer Richard Hutten presented new additions to his Playing with Tradition series of oriental rugs, where the traditional patterns are stretched into stripes.

For each hand-knotted wool rug, Hutten carefully selected a point from which the pattern was to be stretched in order to create his reinterpretation.

The traditional ends of the rugs retain their decorative fringes while the new sides have been cut off cleanly.

The Playing with Tradition series was exhibited by I+I of Milan during Object Rotterdam 2010.

Here's some more information from Richard Hutten:

Playing with tradition

For already many years I had the idea to do something with traditional oriental carpets. I have an antique Persian carpet at my home, which I still find the best carpets to have. The idea behind the carpet was to build a bridge between the old and the new, east meets west. From this starting point I looked at various ways to give a reinterpretation.

In my previous work I also used existing forms which I than reinterpret. For the carpet I did research in the various patterns available. Than I came up with the idea to stretch the carpet a certain point. I found out it's very important where to start the stretching. On the traditional side I kept the fringes, on the contemporary side I made a clear cut.

Posted on Tuesday February 16th 2010 at 8:16 pm by Brad Turner. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • nataly _cy

    just love them!

  • Ooh, now *that* is the kind of messing with tradition I can get behind. Rugs with attitude, yay!

  • INawe

    this makes me want to make a quarter of my house traditional and the other three quarters contemporary. :)

  • MR

    Stretching is interesting but the poverty of the stretched portion is only magnified by the wealth of the originals. In an age of great complexity and contradiction this tells us that our present (in comparison to the past) looks like a beach towel.

  • tiffany

    You live in the past MR

  • tiffany

    The clash of the old and the new creates such a richness which doesn’t work separate.
    1000 years of art history in one piece creates such a poetry! Unbelievable…
    Masterwork of an original spirit……

  • tk

    I would call this “gave up quarter way” instead of “playing with tradition”.
    Many artists and designers play with tradition…this is not an unprecedented idea. I’m not convinced because by leaving the rest of the rug with its extruded color just doesn’t seem to be a good enough execution if “Playing with tradition” is what this is about, nor did it achieved anything aesthetically pleasing.

  • Just think different… Lovely ;)

    François Beydoun

  • coffeeandtv

    it reminds me a chair, which was created by Sebastien Brajkovic…

  • pascal

    the best ever rug

  • laila

    liked the first one …

  • toon

    saw the same thing in milan last year……….
    very nice but not his idea

  • oxo

    I was so afraid of copying the same furniture but RH didn’t. Nice but not too original from such designer! Undoubtedly Sebastien Brajkovic…

  • Hershey


    Ideas are in the air and have no real owner

    Could you show us the carpet your talking about ?

  • tiffany

    funny, everybody keeps mentioning Sebastien Brajkovic who actually inspired his furniture modifications undoubtedly bij the Things (that’s the title) Hutten did in the nineties, deforming chairs…..
    (sorry couldn’t find more images on the web, of the whole series…)
    And by the way @toon, the one you saw in Milan was by Richard Hutten, the first one of this series :-) For I+I

  • jose

    congratulatios. That is a great work, and a great thinking! :)

  • toon is right, I also saw it there before. It not from richard but someone else who worked same..

    yes, ideas are in the air.. and designers should be able to filter air !

  • MR

    @ tiffany

    “You live in the past MR”

    Thanks for your helpful and charming retort. You’re probably right. However, what I was trying to get at in my first comment is that the present is far richer than this work suggests. The simple stretching operation is not enough! Hershey is right in saying that ideas are in the air – I don’t care if others have been looking at the same idea (it’s actually a mark of a good idea) but it behoves us all to push these ideas to their limit not stop at their most tasteful iteration. yes/no?

  • Anahita

    It is G R E A T
    absolutely LOVED IT

    it’s exactly the feeling when u cannot get rid of something and u r truly tired of it! u start playing with it! like stretching it and mixing the colors… lol
    it totally matches my feeling towards TRADITION!

  • portablemicrowave

    the black and white persian rug is great! i would love a black and white one unstretched. of course stretched is fine too.

  • toon

    my mistake!

    indeed i saw the first one of the series and realized this was his work.

    i was a bit surprised to see the rugs on dezeen so late….
    but it takes a long time to make them

    i really loved it!

    and @ Hershey,
    in genereal Ideas are in the air and have no real owner, i am all for the creatie common! but there are al lot of designers who only copy, change them a little and present them as their own, and that is not right!

  • fidododo

    kind of same DNA as Whippet by RADI designers. What is a bit boring is that every rug tends to become the same. It is first nicely surprising as an effect on one carpet, but tends to be weak on the series. Just a personal feeling. Caught between liking and not liking it.

  • babak ashrafi

    as an iranian .. I admires the idea


    Pure copy of arnaud lapierre’s plates????