Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Magic Carpet

A stripe is a line, set horizontal or vertical against a single plane. 'Stripes' then, are a series of lines, parallel to each other, defining the space that they inhabit through a system of recurrence. 

The fascinating aspect of lines is that whilst we see them everywhere, they're imaginary. When I think of stripes, I think of latitudes and longitudes, of maps. Though curvilinear, maps are a series of lines drawn in certain patterns to define spaces. They divide as they unite. 

New Stripes by Mitch Trale
So to think that a rug made in an Indian factory flies, magically, across borders and shows up in a living room on the Upper East Side, is what makes the design of stripes a particularly luring one. 

Sand I

Whilst borders and boundaries have always been contested however, the pattern of stripes is simple and sans much refute. They lie alongside each other, in symbiosis, parts of a whole, creating a pattern that is predictable and continuous. It is this continuity that allows stripes to become functional too: A tall person must wear horizontal stripes to cut their height, a short person must wear vertical stripes to elongate their figure. Similarly, a rug with vertical stripes must be placed lengthwise in a room to make it appear longer, breadthwise to make the room appear wider. 


Like latitudes and longitudes that define countries in relation to each other, stripes establish relationships between color. A darker color striped on a lighter color, will make the darker one appear as though it is the top layer. This is how designers utilize stripes: as tools that are both simple and infinitely complex, and whilst having a definite start and finish, appear to continue infinitely. 

Smith Stripe
Just as the striped Magic Carpet flies over thousands of imaginary lines, to land in a house made from lines, transcending borders and making peace with itself. Lines, everywhere, are the same. 

Text: Wooly Eyes
Images: Rugs by Raj Collection

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