Dream team: OBJECT CARPET x Ippolito Fleitz Group
An extraordinary collection and a carpet collection that makes a “new desire for textiles” – an interview with Lars Engelke and Tilla Goldberg
With your knees on the carpet and your head in the world: the new collection by the carpet trendsetter OBJECT CARPET and Ippolito Fleitz Group, the internationally renowned studio for interior design, product design and branding, combines the “desire for textiles” and new ways of thinking. Lars Engelke, Managing Director at OBJECT CARPET, and Tilla Goldberg, the Director of Product Design at Ippolito Fleitz Group, give insights into their original world of ideas in an “on the carpet” interview.
How did the collection name “OBJECT CARPET x Ippolito Fleitz Group” and the new “desire for textiles” come about?
Lars Engelke: With the “x” multiplication sign in the collection name we wanted to emphasise the intersection of our expertise: from us as a manufacturer and brand as well as from the Ippolito Fleitz Group as a studio that works in interior design and product design on an international level. But the results of our cooperation go far beyond that. We not only combined an understanding of products with design competence; we intensively delved into the identity of spaces. Room typologies and the associated atmospheric outlook have opened up a new perspective for us.
Is there a certain philosophy behind it?
Tilla Goldberg: Yes, because we see ourselves as “identity architects” and create carpets with the market and the customer in mind. How are independent spatial identities created today? What influences play a role in this? With this perspective we don’t only look at the carpet. We look at the world from the perspective of the carpet and then look back at the carpet from the perspective of the world. Ultimately, this is what the motto “new desire for carpets” is all about: a yearning that is driven by very concrete, revolutionary developments in the market.
How do you see the market developing in the future?
Tilla Goldberg: There are incredibly exciting developments both on a strategic and cultural level. For example, companies are increasingly concerned with the transition to agile working. For the design of new working environments, this means creating an atmosphere of well-being and creating zones where teams can come together for inspiring meetings. A carpet lays the foundation for this: it connects rooms with one another and can either set or dissolve boundaries. Here is a striking example from our discussions and experiences: a well-chosen carpet is often more decisive than the boss when it comes to where a dialogue between employees will take place. The hotel sector is another increasingly interesting example: in the future, it will be considered a place you stay for periods of time – instead of being purely used for an overnight accommodation.
Are there changing demands on textile floor coverings?
Lars Engelke: In discussions with our customers, we notice very clearly how requirements and approaches to floor coverings have changed. Whereas a few years ago the focus was more on direct colour or material issues, today it is much more complex – or, if you like, more conceptual. In other words, the focus is increasingly on what makes up corporate culture and how everyday working life can be made more efficient by zoning the carpet. These precisely thought-out concepts are an exciting challenge for us. Or to put it another way: being a contemporary discussion partner for rethinking work culture, retail and hospitality experiences is a central component of our collaborations.
The carpet names “WALK x TALK”, “SKILL x CHILL” or “MEET x BEAT” suggest that the designs also create a special atmosphere – is that the idea behind the names?
Lars Engelke: Yes, you could say that. With every single product in the collection we wanted to express that the inspiration for a new design is always more comprehensive than a mere redesign. We share the outlook of architects and planners and look forward to a dialogue about areas of application, atmosphere, culture and the effect on employees, customers and visitors.
“Escapade” is the expressive short film that reminds me of a glamorous fashion show and transforms carpets into a stage in the room. How did the original idea to create a short film come about?
Tilla Goldberg: Due to the Corona pandemic, we were unfortunately unable to realise our original plan to present the new collection in a large installation in the beautiful vaults of Ventura Centrale during Milan Design Week. Nevertheless, we wanted to make the new passion for textiles, the distinct combinability of the carpets and the spatial perspective accessible to a broad public. This led us to the idea of setting up the installation as a film set and had it artistically interpreted by the renowned fashion photographer Monica Menez. The result is a short film in the film noir tradition and a digital 360° VR application.
Where can interested parties feel and experience the new collection?
Lars Engelke: Our numerous showrooms invite you to get to know the collection in all its facets – the exclusive design as well as the varied feel of the individual materials. All your questions will be addressed by personal advisors. There is also a new live chat on our website.