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The Collective Class

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Stijn van der Vleuten, Marcia Nolte, and Bob Waardenburg.  

Peg Carpet, made out of clothespins.  

We Make Carpets
Based in: Amsterdam and Eindhoven
wemakecarpets.nl

Last year, designers Marcia Nolte and Stijn van der Vleuten, along with artist Bob Waardenburg, were invited by the Taragalte Festival to spend two weeks camping in the Moroccan desert while building one of their signature installations: a “carpet” made from nearly 1,000 plastic bottles, arranged in a mind-bogglingly intricate pattern in the sand and disassembled, like all their works, as soon as the event was over. (The impermanent nature of these rugs means that you won’t be able to buy one for your living room, but Waardenburg hints, “We’re currently working on ideas for usable carpets.”) The trio have made similar rugs from Band-Aids, candy bars, plastic forks, and dish sponges, among other objects; for this month’s Dutch Design Week, they covered 5,000 square feet in folded A4 paper. After beginning their part-time collaboration four years ago, explains Waardenburg, “we chose to make only carpets because it’s a handy medium with which to tell our story—we try to elevate materials that have lost their aesthetic or functional value, that are so common people don’t bother to look at them anymore.” Installation can take three to six twelve-hour workdays to complete. The biggest challenge of such meticulous work, Waardenburg says, is maintaining concentration, with which music is a huge help. “We try to always thank Paul Simon in interviews for making Graceland,” he says. “It’s our beacon of light in darker hours.”


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