Five winners were selected from the Textile/Surface Design Program students at the Fashion Institute of Technology by rug manufacturer Warp & Weft. The Rug Design Competition was the students’ first assignment for the Fall 2011 semester in their “Custom Rug and Carpet Design” class.
“To say these students are talented is an understatement," said Michael Mandapati, president and creative director of Warp & Weft. "The competition was very tough and our jury had an incredibly difficult time making their choices. The results are so impressive, in fact, that even though we had originally committed to producing one top design and showing it at ICFF 2012, we will now be producing the two top designs.”
The designs will be on exhibit at Warp & Weft’s ICFF booth and will become a part of the company’s Designers’ Studio Collection. The rugs in the Designers’ Studio are the result of collaboration between various artists and designers and Mandapati. Distinctive artwork is masterfully translated from the original medium into a rug. The winners are as follows:
First Place: Denize Sofia Maaloe for Full Circle. The student’s idea was to bring healing and peaceful energy into the home. She grows healing herbs and plants, which inspired her to make a sun-print of sage, an herb known for it’s home blessing properties. The sun-print creates a vintage and crafty feel. It was important to her that the rug is grounding so she chose the Van Dyke Brown printing process to achieve this effect. She envisions the rug to be tactile with each color having a different texture. This design will be made into a hand-knotted 6’x9’ rug.
Second Place: Charlotte Rodiere. Strong geometric shapes and kaleidoscope affects largely inspired this design. The rug features a bold pattern made of angular shapes and strong colors on a neutral ground. Will be made into a 6’x9’ hand-tufted rug.
First Runner Up: Carolina Mandia. This student took inspiration from personal childhood memories particularly those of making macaroni necklaces with her mother. She used threaded pasta toasted at varying heats to achieve a color gradation and the desired Ikat effect.
Second Runner Up: Stephanie Gales. Soft, billowy undulating shapes like those found in avant-garde clothing design and home décor pieces are reflected in the overlapping shapes that cover the surface of this sophisticated rug design.
Third Runner Up: Michelle Parascandolo. Growing ripples in a pond inspire this highly textured woven design. The idea was to evoke a feeling of calm and peace. This is also expressed in the neutral color palette - beige like sand at the bottom of the pond, pops of green like algae or moss.
The first place winner received $500 and will receive 6’x9’ rug of her design. Second place was also awarded $500, and three runner-ups received $250 each.