The biggest question any Kickstarter campaign must answer is: Why will anyone care about this? This was a question we kicked around for months, as it’s an especially difficult one to answer about rugs.
Traditional handmade rugs have a rich history interconnected with culture and politics which is often reflected in a rug’s motif.The same is not often true for contemporary rugs. More rooted in current design trends, the patterns are conceived more like fast fashion and textiles; they look great, but they lack the storytelling that we appreciate in traditional “Oriental” rugs. There is a language to many handmade rugs, and we wanted to bring that kind of meaning and interpretation to new rug designs.
But we wanted to go even farther than just what they look like; we wanted to modernize HOW they were designed by opening the process up to crowds. Ultimately, rather than just convincing people to care about it, we wanted people to be a part of it. The contribution of crowds — from a creative and funding standpoint — became central to our project.
Rug Your City was designed both to honor and to modernize handmade rug design. Since this was our pilot effort, we kept the creative circle close and invited colleagues in the arts, design and architecture to conceive of a rug design inspired by New York City. We then took the five submitted designs, developed a structure for merchandise and pr-ordering and took to Kickstarter. We were so, so fortunate to hit our funding goal and are now in the process of producing the rugs. It was also important to us to bake something that could grow into this project, which is why one of the outcomes is actually to tackle another city in the same way — this time Los Angeles — which will launch in March.
To learn more about the project, you can check out our Kickstarter page here.