Described by international Spanish interiors company GAN as their ‘most emblematic designer,’ the intersecting circle and square of Patricia Urquiola’s Round Mirage rug represent the newest addition to her Mirage collection that explores how three-dimensional space is expressed in two-dimensions.
Round Mirage continues the collection’s union of gradient colours and optical illusion. The angularity of Urquiola’s Mirage rugs appears at first glance to be a dynamic zigzag, but a second look reveals Urquiola’s art of legerdemain. Gradient colours inspired by Op Art create the perception of an oversized warp and weft weave where giant ‘weft’ fibres extend over the rug’s perimeter while ‘warp’ ends peep over the edge.
Urquiola replaces the linear action of Mirage with curved lines and intersecting circle and square for Round Mirage. Hand-knotted in wool, Round Mirage is available in three balanced gradient colour schemes (Blue, Orange, and Nude) that appear to reflect light and combine with dynamic kinetic-like geometry to create a characterful and distinctive work of art for the wall as well as the floor.
Round Mirage was commissioned by GAN Creative Director Mapi Millet who joined the company in 2004. Millet established the company’s innovative designer collaborations with an initial objective to enable rug designers to break free of two dimensions. Urquiola achieved this goal with her first GAN rug collection—the multi-award winning Mangas Original (2009). Millet describes GAN collaborations as ‘the artisans, the designers, and us [GAN]’. The key for success she said in a June 2020 Instagram Live conversation with Marissa Santamaria, host of Red En Vivo, is ’empathy’. Ideas that at first seem unworkable—like the ‘knit’ weave and patterns for Mangas Original—require empathy for the skills, knowledge, and processes of all parties in order to discover solutions.
‘Everyone’s doing it now,’ Millet said referring to the chunky handknit look of Urquiola’s Mangas Original, but a decade ago the concept was not only bold but audacious. Millet, Urquiola, and GAN’s weavers in India spent four years researching how to develop the tools and techniques to weave Mangas on hand looms. The knowledge and new techniques that emerged from Mangas inform processes utilised in other collections including Mirage, and confirm GAN’s reputation as an industry innovator.
Eleven years after Mangas Originals provided proof of concept of Millet’s desire to explore three-dimensional innovation in weave, Patricia Urquiola and Mapi Millet have again collaborated to bring Round Mirage to a public whose desire for unique, handmade rugs continues to rise due to COVID-19. Lockdown has increased realisation of the importance of rugs in the home declared Millet and Santamaria, but it’s also given them a new role. Rugs have become a ‘place’ and a refuge; a destination in and of themselves within our homes.