Marking the latest in a continuing tradition of collaborations with creators from across the spectrum of fine arts, bespoke luxury carpet manufacturer Edward Fields today unveiled Taxonomy, designed in conjunction with celebrated lighting designer Bec Brittain.
Inspired by Brittain’s fascination with an array of scientific fields, such as geology and entomology, Taxonomy comprises nine daring designs, meticulously hand-tufted from silk and wool. Within this landscape, the edition presents a series of vivid contrasts, exploring the organic geometries of the natural world with designs that contain unexpected paradoxes, such as using the most luxurious fibers to create patterns evocative of hardened volcanic rock.
The edition’s handful of geologically inspired designs, such as Magma and Tephra, establish a dramatic landscape, a backdrop against which the rest of Brittain’s explorations of biomechanical form, in designs such as Pleo and Hyaline, can be contextualized.
“Carpet offered an opportunity to tap into a more primal part of my creativity,” Brittain points out. “Working with fibers and textiles demands an expression that completely differs from the way I’d express the same ideas with metal and electricity. It’s just a different relationship to material and form.”
The entire Edward Fields team saw Taxonomy as much more than just an outgrowth of Brittain’s well- known lighting. “From the beginning, Bec knew exactly what she wanted,” explains Edward Fields Design Director Juliana Polastri. “She understood the materiality and construction of carpet, and she wanted to use them to explore ideas in a different way. On the other hand, they’re still interconnected because they draw from similar inspirations. That’s who she is. That’s her own language.”
The process began with a series of elaborately detailed drawings created by Brittain, which the Edward Fields design team translated to carpet. Sculpting pile heights and utilizing materials that brought new dimensionalities to Brittain’s drawings, the team was able to achieve stunning effects such as Hyaline’s shimmering surface appearance that mirrors a similar effect found on the wings of cicadas.
As its name suggests, Taxonomy is, at its heart, an inquiry to understand function through classification, undertaken by an artist who may often elude it. However, Brittain sees the science of taxonomy not as a limitation or as a means of separation, but more in terms of the revelations it unearths. “It’s a way of appreciating the underlying structures and functions of things,” says Brittain. “That process brings with it a delight in the discovery of interrelationships. We’re surfacing structures that already exist, not to impose arbitrary categorizations, but to recognize things as they already express themselves.”
For both Brittain and Edward Fields, the collaboration caps a long, mutual admiration. “We share an obsession with craft – an instinct of not shying away from difficult design challenges, but leaning into them,” observes Brittain. “Edward Fields is a legendary name in the design world, and Taxonomy is an amazing opportunity, not just to explore a new medium of expression for myself, but to contribute to that legacy.”
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