We talk to Gavin Harris about his MINDSCAPE collection

By Designer Rugs on November 3, 2016 

We are well known for our collaborations with the biggest names in Australian design, including Dinosaur Designs, Catherine Martin and Akira Isogawa; and now we are excited to unveil that leading interior and industrial designer Gavin Harris has joined our prestigious list of design collaborators.

In many ways it’s a natural partnership given Harris won the Designer Rug’s EVOLVE rug design competition in 2010 and has since continued to design custom rugs for use in his commercial projects as Design Director of futurespace.

MINDSCAPE by Gavin Harris is a bold exploration of shape, colour, and texture designed for contemporary commercial spaces and cutting-edge residential applications. We talked to Gavin about his inspiration and design concept for the collection.

Laterla rug from the Mindscape Collection
Lateral rug from the Mindscape Collection

Designer Rugs (DR): MINDSCAPE features a collection of rugs in which the shape really steps away from the traditional rectangle. What was your overall inspiration for the collection?

Gavin Harris (GH): For some time I had been working or thinking about why rugs historically maintain a length to width ratio, and at the same time I started exploring this notion for the projects I was designing at futurespace. Clients wanted statement pieces in reception and waiting areas, which acted as more than a rug and told stories or reflected the company’s ambition.

DR: There’s also great attention to texture and pattern. What was your intention or inspiration when it came to texture and pattern?

GH: In terms of texture, I questioned what we could do for a rug to look as if it hasn’t been produced by standard methods of construction while actually still being in a commercial production process. And I have always been fascinated with patterns, repeat forms, and the overlay of a number of themes or ideas to create a single story. So with shape, texture and pattern, I wanted to create a collection that was diverse in design, but when viewed together looked cohesive and like it belonged – like cousins.

Molecule and Solar rugs from the Mindscape Gavin Harris Collection
Modular and Solar rugs from the Mindscape Collection

DR: How did you then explore the concept of questioning shape, form and texture?

GH: Exploring a concept is one of my most favourite parts of design. It’s when you can just let the pen flow and the lines drive the outcome. I can sit for hours and lose track of time; it’s very relaxing to me. So, I started by exploring shapes – no patterns or colours, just forms. I looked at them in isolation and also in how they would fit or be seen in a room or space. Through this process I developed approximately 25 to 30 shapes, and after a long review I selected about 20 to consider how the shape could be textured or patterned.

DR: How do you go about designing texture and print when it needs to translate from print to woven form?

GH: This is really a hard task as drawings do not reflect any of the drama or interest that the fabric and texture of a rug provides; or how light reflects or bounces off the tips of the yarn. So I reviewed other samples of finished rugs and I have an understanding and knowledge of how it translates from rugs I have designed previously for office fit outs.

reflector rug from the Mindcape Gavin Harris Collection
Reflector from the Mindscape Collection

DR: What was your approach to colour?

GH: After texture and pattern, finally colour was added. I reviewed many stories on colour and I looked at colour forecasting, and took inspiration from colours used for furniture, cars, domestic ware.

DR: Can you provide a brief explanation about the inspiration or concept for each of the rugs in the MINDSCAPE collection?

GH:

Lateral: This was all about lines and creating movement in a space, and I selected the colour green as I find it relaxing and invigorating.

Matrix: I was looking at designing a large rug, with textural interest. I used thick neoprene yarn, and a cutting detail of the squares in both sunken and raised waves.

Molecule: This was one of the first rugs I drew, but as a simple hexagonal design in triplicate with a grey shadow line grey in loop pile to provide an architectural detail. It was not until a late stage that I decided to multiply the design to reinforce the hexagonal form, at which time it dawned on me that it looked like a molecule.

Prism: This was about creating an almost three-dimensional visual effect in a flat object. Then I used panels of cut and loop piles in fine lines to create drama.

Solar: I have always been fascinated with the solar system and with circles. When this design developed and the two circles faced off it felt like the sun and earth with its gravitational pull in the gradation.

Reflectors: I wanted to create a three-dimensional effect in a rug using simple gradation in tone and form. I see this rug positioned as a diamond in a room, rather than as a square.

Prism rug design by Gavin Harris
Prism from the Mindscape Collection

MINDSCAPE by Gavin Harris is made with 100 per cent New Zealand wool. It mixes cut pile and loop with chiselling and levels, combined with a bold and modern colour palette and an attention-grabbing series of shapes.

Visit a Designer Rugs’ showroom in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland and or view the collection online.

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