Richard Hutten and Dutch designers create Freedom rugs for Carpet Sign
Richard Hutten Carpet Sign
Richard Hutten is shot at home with his rug for Carpet Sign

Richard Hutten brings together Dutch creatives to create Freedom rug collection

Dutch designer Richard Hutten has enlisted nine leading designers, architects and artists from the Netherlands, including himself, to create an eclectic collection of rugs.

Freedom is a collection of nine rugs produced for Carpet Sign, a manufacturer that makes rugs using robotic tufting machines in Asten, the Netherlands.

The limited-edition collection will debut at Milan design week, which kicks off next week.

Carpet Sign Richard Hutten
Joep van Lieshout from Atelier van Lieshout in his studio with the Rats Are Us rug

"Since Carpet Sign is a Dutch company, we decided to do the first collection with Dutch designers," explained Hutten to Dezeen.

"What I was looking for was a diverse group of creatives. I asked not only product designers, but a balanced group working in differed fields, including a graphic designer, architects and an artist."

Carpet Sign Richard Hutten
Tropical Tapestry by Jólan van der Wiel with the designer in his studio

Hutten chose creatives from a range of disciplines, including artist Joep van Lieshout, industrial designer Sabine Marcelis and graphic designer Irma Boom.

To launch the rugs, each of these creatives and their rugs were captured by photographer Thijs Wolzak in their homes or studios. These pictures will go on show in Milan with the rugs themselves at Alcova's space in a former panettone factory on Via Popoli Uniti.

Carpet Sign Richard Hutten
Studio Makkink & Bey's team are shown with the QR rug

"They all have a strong vision, and that was what I was looking for in this collection," said Hutten, explaining that he had worked with a number of the creatives on previous projects.

"The briefing to the designers was as simple as it is complex: design a rug within the boundaries of the production, but try at the same time to push the limits of the possibilities. The aim was to create a collection which shows the personal interest and fascination of the designer," he continued.

Carpet Sign Richard Hutten
Jacob van Rijs from MVRDV produced the Puzzle rug, shot at van Rijs' home

Christien Meindertsma has designed a rug called Flax Fields that features diagonal blocks of flax-coloured tufts that have been left at different lengths to give a three-dimensional, frayed effect.

According to Carpet Sign, Meindertsma initially created her own flax yarns to produce a prototype rug. The finished design is an interpretation of a flax field where the material was grown.

Carpet Sign Richard Hutten
The image of Irma Boom with her Vitruvius rug was shot in her library, part of her combined home and studio

Rotterdam's Studio Makkink & Bey produced the QR rug. The design includes a QR code, made in the same visual language as the pixellated furniture the studio has previously designed. When scanned, the code leads the owner to an online gallery designed by the studio.

Sculptor and painter Joep van Lieshout from Atelier van Lieshout interpreted the brief of Freedom with a "self-portrait" rug called Rats Are Us, which features three rats against a bright blue background.

The design is intended to reflect the overall subject of the collection: "freedom for personal expression, without any censorship".

Carpet Sign Richard Hutten
Donuts by Sabine Marcelis, with the designer in her studio

Sabine Marcelis's Donuts is made in her signature minimal and geometric style, whilst Jólan van der Wiel's Tropical Tapestry took global warming and the rise in sea-level as its inspiration for a rug that imagines future buildings overgrown with vegetation.

Book designer Irma Boom created a rug called Vitruvius, based on the books of Roman architect Vitruvius in the Vatican for a multi-layered rug, and will work with Hutten on a book related to the project.

Carpet Sign Richard Hutten
The picture of the Pagoda rug by Wim Bos was taken in the Carpet Sign factory

Wim Bos, a designer and yarn specialist at Carpet Sign, created the Pagoda rug, whilst MVRDV focused on the sustainable aspect of the production process for The Puzzle rug by using the yarns left over from production to make a puzzle-inspired design.

Hutten's own rug, Rainbow Mountains, makes use of the gradients that the manufacturer is able to produce, for a brightly coloured rug inspired by the mountains of the same name in China. Hutten describes it as symbol of diversity and therefore of the whole collection.

Carpet Sign Richard Hutten
Flax Fields by Christien Meindertsma was shot in the designer's studio

"In a time where walls are being built, and around the globe people end up in prison for their opinion, it is important to give the designers a platform for their outspoken ideas," said Hutten.

The Freedom collection will be on display at Alcova, Via Popoli Uniti 11, 20125 Milano from 9 to 14 April.

Photos are by Thijs Wolzak.