Herzog & de Meuron

Our two carpet designs are Sardinian kelims. To be made of Sardinian wool, woven with Sardinian technique, and produced on the island by local weavers, the integrity and quality of the materials are the determining factors for the design. We contrast this to architecture where tradition has lost its guiding role and is not self evident any more. The current approaches and methods of construction are no longer tied to techniques that have become immutable in time, and for each architectural project we have to create an individual, sustainable base to substitute for a lack of tradition in the methods of production. During the design development for the kelims we realized that it was important not to try and substitute the traditional production methods, or to simply apply a formal solution, or play with aspects of composition. Should we impose a colour or form to the carpets? Should we decorate the carpet surfaces with images of our buildings? Should we imitate the pencil, brush or pen of the architect with the weaving technique? The more we thought about weaving patterns the more we were convinced of the necessity to go beyond representation. We felt that if it became a tool of representation, the thread would loose its integrity. Instead of reproducing space by means of illusionistic representation, we wished to weave bare wool surfaces that would create space by means of their textile, sensuous presence. The few thin lines or strips included in the carpet surfaces of 240 x 320 cm enhance the volumetric presence of the woven surface. They act as energy lines or fields, whose purpose is to bind, condense and integrate the woven surface. These structures manufactured with diverse weaving techniques do not subdivide the surface of a kelim in order to decorate or represent. They reinforce the actual space and the spatial perception of the surface of a carpet.

Herzog & de Meuron 1991



Herzog & de Meuron: Überlegungen zu den Entwürfen für sardische Kelims. Observations on the Project for the Sardinian Kelims.
In: Urs Baumann, Peter Pfeiffer (Eds.). Schweizer Teppiche. Langenthal, Edition Langenthal, 1991. pp. 46-49.