Sometimes it’s worth explaining a detail that might otherwise be overlooked. Simon Goff is Director of London-based rug company FLOOR_STORY. The detail is in the company logo. The “underscore” between the two words isn’t the ubiquitous symbol used for computer programming file naming. Rather it’s a clever, simple cipher – a symbol – for a rug or carpet lying on a floor. The logo detail – easily overlooked but so essential – captures the company’s dedication to craft, story and detail. It quietly sums up the qualities and ethos of FLOOR_STORY, and qualities of the company’s two newest rug designers, Kangan Arora and Rob Pybus. We blog about Arora this week, and Pybus next.
Based in the UK and born in Ludhiana, Punjab, Northern India, Kangan Arora has designed three 100% wool hand knotted rugs for FLOOR_STORY’S new Carnival collection – Circus, Kites Colour and Kites Mono. Kangan and Goff met years ago when he was running his father’s flooring concession at renowned London store Heal’s. He remembers her photographs and how “she captures absolute beauty in even the most simple of scenes.” They wanted to collaborate, and now years, later, they have.
Selling a beautiful rug is just part of the story, each rug comes with a certificate of provenance, and the rug’s history is provided on a memory stick – concept drawings, technical plans, yarn dyeing, weaving, and production images.
Each rug – in traditional Tibetan weave – takes up to three months to produce and the edition is limited to twenty rugs. Arora’s influences are diverse including India’s famous International Kite Festival (Festival of Uttarayan), Gujarat, but is she aware there are subtle hints and undercurrents of 1980s Memphis and Post Modernism in her Kite design? Arora’s birthplace is almost 2,000 miles from the southern Indian city of Tirunamavalai, in Tamil Nadu, but nevertheless, the city’s colourful architecture seems imbued in her collection. Tirunamavalani’s eclectic coloured vernacular architecture is thought to have influenced Memphis founder architect Ettore Sottsass. AD Magazine (France) profiled the city’s buildings in 2013.
Arora’s Kites and Circus resurrect the happiness inherent in Memphis designs without being derivative. Kites and Circus will look equally at home in a “Billyburg” loft (Williamsburg, New York City), a London terrace flat, a bothy bolthole in Scotland, or on the floor of one of Tirunamavalai’s unique Memphis-like houses.
Arora’s rugs will be featured in Design Wallah as part of the Alchemy Festival on London’s Southbank, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Thursday 15th May until Monday 26th May 2014, 12 noon until 10.30 pm each day. END