Dutch design group, based in Amsterdam, founded by Bob, Marcia and Stijn.
WE MAKE CARPETS do not make carpets. At least, not the kind of carpet you can walk on.
Simple, everyday materials you can find in your kitchen drawer. For Marcia Nolte, Stijn van der Vleuten and Bob Waardenburg – the three artists behind We Make Carpets – anything from pasta to clothes pegs, drinking straws and even sponges can become part of the ingenious aesthetic patterns they build up from the inside outwards. On their knees.
In 5 years’ time, they created about 50 different temporary carpets, big and small, inside and outside, from deserts to art spaces. The carpets hardly ever lasted longer than a couple of weeks. Combining craft with contemporary critical design, they make concrete and crayons look smooth, while cold coffee and toy soldiers can suddenly be aesthetically appealing.
The trio made their first carpet in 2009. They were collaborating in the ‘Instant Nature’ exhibition during that year’s Dutch Design Week. In the forest they collected pine cones and needles. These became Forest Carpet. The shape appealed to them and they developed their collaboration making six more carpets. ‘There never was a preconceived plan, like “from now on the three of us will make carpets”. It just happened. At the same time we had the feeling it might lead somewhere.’
The carpets come about in the same way: naturally. There is no design. The material, location and size are set but other than that they work intuitively. Anyone can begin. In the centre. Follow long days on their knees or in other uncomfortable positions. Often till deep at night.
“It’s a bit like meditating. We work in unity, always with the three of us, hardly taking any breaks.”