Coalesse and designer rug brand nanimarquina drew upon their shared values of warmth, craft, nature and material exploration to form a true and lasting design collaboration.
Below, Coalesse Global Design Director John Hamilton and Nani Marquina, founder of the eponymous company, share their behind the scenes insights and perspectives, which culminated in the new Nanimarquina Collection for Coalesse, a series of rugs crafted specifically for the workplace.
Why are design collaborations important?
John Hamilton: It’s important to collaborate because it broadens our thinking and allows us to add additional insights and points of view to the problems we are exploring. Collaborations allow us to develop ideas in new areas of interest and gives us the opportunity to learn from each other.
Nani Marquina: Design collaborations are at the core of what we do. Since the beginning of nanimarquina, we have worked with external designers because it adds different visions of the world and the objects that surround us. With Coalesse and John Hamilton, it has been very interesting to collaborate,share our visions and, moreover, learn about their amazing experience in workspace projects, while adding our experience in hospitality and residential. These two perspectives on how we live, work and interact with each other has had a big impact in the resulting Nanimarquina Collection for Coalesse, 6 patterns that will improve any space and the people who are in it.
How did the two companies meet – and then how did you decide to work together?
Nani: It all started as many good and lasting relationships, very casually. From the beginning I remember they really appreciated the quality of our wool and the fact that the rugs we showed them were customizable, playful and deeply crafted. We soon found a common obsession for quality, respect for ancient techniques and materials, as well as a shared view of how to live as we began our collaboration.
John: As we started to explore how we might collaborate and how we each approach the products we design, it seemed a natural fit to work on a project together. We talked about our collaboration for some time before we actually started working on a brief and then defined what we could do as a first project.
What was the process working together?
Nani: It´s been a very fluid process. I think we all felt very comfortable throughout the collaboration. Both teams have been able to learn and contribute to the design of the rugs. The respect and trust have been mutual and made things very easy.
John: When we started, Coalesse had recently relocated the design studio to Munich, Germany and the nanimarquina design studio is located in Barcelona, so the distance and time difference were not significant. We decided to have several working sessions at each of our locations and through this we were able to quickly align on the direction and iterate as a group on the initial design thinking.
Why rugs for the workplace? What benefits do they provide?
John: The workplace is changing and what workers are looking for from their workplace is changing. Rugs define an area and create an intimacy that helps make spaces more inviting and more like the other spaces we choose to work when not actually at work.
Nani: Well designed rugs play an important role in the soul of a space, allowing us to enjoy the same wellbeing we have at home in any shared space. Especially in workplaces, where furniture, lighting and other elements need to match very technical requirements, rugs can soften the spaces, make them warmer and more livable.
Among the many benefits, a rug helps with thermal insulation, sound absorption, static electricity reduction, impact absorption and it can improve the overall air quality.
What are the core features of this collection?
John: For me, the strength of the collection is its diversity. Different weaving techniques, fibers, and patterns offer the designer greater choice in how and where the rugs can be used.
Nani: One key feature is the respect of the quality of our rugs, honoring the handmade ancient techniques that lie behind each rug. Also, the use of high-quality materials such as Indian wool for the interior rugs and recycled PET for the outdoor collection.
How does biophilia play a role in this collection? What does this add to the workplace?
Nani: The guiding feature for the collection is to find inspiration in colors and forms of nature. Every design is an abstraction exercise from common features found in the natural world: from the very recognizable tree shapes of Shadows, to the reminiscence of bamboo matting in Mesh or the more abstract pattern of Diagonal. This natural inspiration ads warmth to the workplace while bringing a piece of nature closer to the office.
John: Coalesse had recently completed research in Biophilia and how it might impact the workplace settings that we focus on. This research, and the patterns and colors that we created from it, was used to develop the brief we shared with nanimarquina. The collection of designs is from nanimarquina’s point of view, building on our research through a collaboration to create richer applications and more inviting settings, that workers will respond to both consciously and subconsciously through the biophilic influences.
Nani, why is traditional craft so important to you and your brand?
Nani: We love what we do and the origins of our rugs, it’s a fascinating evolution. In its beginning, rugs were used to pass on tales and legends and were made by expert hands. We want our rugs to continue telling stories and visions of the world that surrounds us. We can only respect this history by using the same ancient techniques that have been used generation after generation. Part of our mission is to explain the importance of craftsmanship, so valuable and in danger of extinction and help preserve this ancestral art.
nanimarquina rugs are internationally recognized for their design and quality and it is thanks to our long relations with our providers in India and Pakistan, as well as our continuous investigation into the possibilities that these ancient made-by-hand techniques can create.
John, how would you describe the Coalesse point of view when it comes to color and pattern?
John: The Coalesse point of view on color and pattern is subtle and natural with influences taken directly from nature. It is diverse and warm with a connection to the California environment, yet reflecting an international sensibility. The palette is modern and clean with a range that can support all types of projects.
Any final words about this collaboration?
Nani: I think John and I have very complementary ways of designing and it can be seen throughout the resulting collection. Since the beginning, we have worked to find a balance between both companies’ design personalities while matching commercial requirements and respecting the visible features of the artisanal work that brings character and quality to the rugs. It has been a pleasure to work with John and all the Coalesse team and we look forward to many successful projects beyond this beautiful collection.
John: This is just a start to our partnership and what we can do together. Although both of our studios are located in Europe, together we bring a very international perspective on how the needs of the residential spaces we live in can help us all create work spaces where we want to, and choose to, work.
Need help? Let the Coalesse
Concierge Team assist with