Less is More
Less is More
Originally attributed to the German architect Mies van der Rohe, and now much overused, this general notion surely applies to contempo carpets. But what does it really say? The idea is based in a separation of form from embellishment. Suppose we get rid of these distractions and focus on what a carpet should do and how much we like it. We want it to be warm, inviting, something to put our feet upon when we alight from bed. What does a pattern have to do with this? Warm and fluffy is the essence, the colors are just the accidents. They don’t warm your feet. “Less is more” is an assertion of essence, what makes something what it truly is, not what it appears to be. A carpet has to cover the floor, conforming or contrasting, rectangular, long, round, whatever. Format is an abstraction. We record the size, but it really does not, by itself do anything.
Color. We as humans see and like color. We need color. Or do we? A true “less is more” approach moves color way down in the priority scale. Modern buildings don’t have color, or a color, and the rooms in them may not either. Blonde oak floors. Lay out a less is more carpet in natural tones, shaggy pile “islands” against a flatwoven or low pile ground. Is it less expressive than a fully colored, fully patterned carpet? Context is everything. Almost. Acceptance is important. If we accept a “less is more” carpet as legitimate, authentic, them it must be so. Of course, one can pare away the extraneous and reach the essence. We don’t actually make carpets this way, but in the imagination, that is what really happens.
Our contempo carpets, both off the peg and bespoke creations, display this sort of essentiality. Not to be confused with mere minimalism, the revolt against any sort of variation, an undertow pulling us toward blandness.