Dutch Design Week 2014: Rug company ICE International will launch a set of eight different carpets by individuals from four "design couples" – including Piet Hein Eek, Kiki van Eijk and Joost van Bleiswijk – at next week's Dutch Design Week.
For its latest collection, ICE International commissioned Claire and Roderick Vos, Jeanine and Piet Hein Eek, Petra Janssen and Edwin Vollebergh, and Kiki van Eijk and Joost van Bleiswijk to contribute their own graphic for a hand-knotted wool and silk rug.
Each Netherlands-based designer came up with a rug in their signature style, forming a range called Dutch Landscapes.
Claire Vos used the gradients typical of her work in a grey rug, striped with reddish tones that blend outward from a central axis.
The rug was tufted by hand in India and then sheared to create a relief in the texture, so that two contrasting colours can be seen when viewed from different sides.
"For this reason I would like to see this rug being used wall to wall in a public space," said Vos. "I think it would have a hugely surprising effect to enter a space and see a rug in a specific colour, and then see a totally different colour when turning back from the other side of the space."
Her partner Roderick Vos took fragments from multi-coloured motifs found on traditional Tibetan rugs to create his design.
"I have always been fascinated by hand-knotted Tibetan rugs," he said. "I made a selection of the most interesting patterns from the past 200 years."
The patterns are combined into a patchwork within different shapes that cover the rectangular design.
Piet Hein Eek's rug features a grid of thin lines, filled with circles that get smaller from the two ends to the centre.
The strips created by the pattern are sized to fit over linear blocks that form seating when placed underneath the carpet.
"I thought it would be an interesting feature if the carpet in a waiting room or lobby could also be used as a place to sit; this formed the foundation for the measurements and the design of my Dutch Landscape," said Eek.
His wife Jeanine Eek Keizer has designed a simple chevron pattern in neutral colours, so the rug can act as "the foundation of an interior".
"All furniture is placed on top or alongside it, so it should be a design in which aesthetics and practicality merge," she said.
Normally a ceramicist, the designer is used to seeing projects materialise in her studio rather than communicating long-distance with artisans in Nepal.
The music of British rock band The Rolling Stones provided the influence for the design by Edwin Vollebergh, which depicts a woman in a green dress tangled up by the tube of a vacuum cleaner.
"It is an homage to all housewives who are trapped in their homes and daily grind, struggling with all their obligations and tasks," said Vollebergh.
He approached the project as he would design a poster, using the carpet as a flat surface onto which he transferred bold graphics.
Petra Janssen aimed to create a Dutch version of the infamous Persian rug, using colours and patterns from folklore to create floral patterns.
"My Dutch Landscape follows the style characteristics of a Persian rug: decorative with stylised flower and leaf shapes and bright colours," she said.
A decorative border and strips that cross the rectangular carpet take reference from the ribbons of traditional dresses.
In Joost van Bleiswijk's simple design, the cream rug appears to have been coloured in and bordered with charcoal.
"I just drew what a rug is to me, only using a pencil, crude and no-nonsense, Bob's your uncle," he explained. "I focused on the presence of a rug and not on creating a loud graphic on the floor."
Although the different tones of grey were difficult to mimic with fabric, the hand-working of the rug allowed for the shading to be replicated as close as possible.
Finally, Kiki van Eijk translated one of her watercolour paintings of red and grey lines onto the rug.
"I was curious if I could capture my simple yet subtle painting in a rug, since I believe a rug equals a piece of art for the floor," said Van Eijk.
The silk fibres used in the carpet pile gave the finished product a quality that the designer didn't expect. "Normally watercolours have no shine, but in the rug, the silky glow creates the liquid effect of a brush stroke," she said.
Dutch Landscapes will be on show during Dutch Design Week, which takes place in Eindhoven from 18 to 26 October.