NeedKnot is the label for special carpets realized by art historian Marianne Karabelnik and design expert Franziska Kessler. They have invited contemporary artists and designers to create exclusive designs for this Limited Edition. The unique carpets, which beautifully blend crafts and aesthetics, are available in editions of up to eight pieces.

Carpets are a continual source of inspiration for designers and visual artists. On behalf of NeedKnot, selected creative figures are continuing the discourse between applied and fine arts by turning this everyday object into a work of art you can even walk on.

The individual carpets are produced by the internationally renowned specialists Tai Ping and Manufacture Cogolin. Both are highly skilled in the craft and techniques of carpet making. Each limited-edition carpet is handmade with first-rate materials. The carpets are thus unique pieces of home furnishing as well as exclusive collector’s items.

Every carpet comes with a certificate of quality and authenticity and is signed and numbered by the artist.

Participating artists and designers: Christian Astuguevieille, Erik Bulatov, Ayşe Erkmen, Alex Hanimann, Nic Hess, Melli Ink, Gioia Meller Marcovicz, Torsten Neeland, Karim Noureldin


ÉCRITURES by Christian Astuguevieille

The idea for this carpet came from Astuguevieille’s personal archives, which can be thought of as an accumulation of all the things that make up the fascinating world of his imaginary civilisation. Among them is an omnibus volume with calligraphic characters written in Indian ink that do not spell out any words. Instead, they represent the fixation through gesture of information, knowledge, inner images and self-defined symbols – the imaginary writing of the imaginary world that Astuguevieille keeps inventing and re-inventing. The gentle lines worked into the carpet create echoes. They recall impressions both familiar and unfamiliar. The carpet titled Écritures was made by using the knotting technique of the Berbers, a reference to an old, long-standing tradition. Such a  confrontation of old and new in its turn raises questions in turn of traces and, as such, can be considered an ‘archaeology’ of cultural memory.

Paris born artist and designer Christian Astuguevieille (born 1946) is abounding with imagination. Since the 1970s he opens up far reaching views into created culture. In 1977 he helped to establish the Children’s Atelier at the Pompidou Centre in Paris and became responsible for its Atelier Volumes. He has also been the artistic director at prestigious fashion houses, such as Molinard, Rochas and Nina Ricci, and as Artist in Residence he commits himself to designs for Hermes and Sèvres porcelain. Since the 1980s, he lends new perspectives to the world of interior design by creating unexpected collections of furniture and sculptural pieces which are shown in museums and galleries around the world and which are part of eminent private collections. He is also the creator of nearly sixty fragrances for Comme des Garçons.

Title: Écritures
Material: Tufted Berber Wool
Colors: White, Black
Size: W 120 x L 320 cm
Edition: 8 + 2 AP


"O"  by Erik Bulatov

Erik Bulatov is a painter in the classical sense, in that he is concerned with composition. For him, a painting is a model of the universe, and painting means embedding the surrounding chaos with a structure. Bulatov is thus one of the few painters who still represent the tradition of philosophical art. The basis for Bulatov’s carpet ‘O’ is a drawing in which the artist strove to concentrate pictorial means to the extreme. Yet how can such a subtle form of expression be turned into a carpet of only two colours and in whose production the fine nuances of a precise coloured pencil drawing are necessarily sacrificed? The answer lies in Bulatov’s pictorial proposition, according to which the meaning of a picture lies in its surface. This surface becomes a space for us, the spectators, when it is raised and brought closer to us, yet also when it is moved away and recedes into the picture. Thus the carpet version of ‘O’ represents an intensified expression of pictorial principles: the relief-like raising and lowering of the circles, the constructive – or constructivist, and therefore absolute – handling of the colours and, lastly, the physical representation of the vowel O. Bulatov perceives the euphonic and expansive Russian O as a horizon and takes it to its point of origin, the circle.

Erik Bulatov was born in 1933 in Sverdlovsk. In the 1970s he became one of the leaders of the famous avant-garde movement Moscow Conceptualists which stood in opposition to the official Soviet Socialist realism. In 1991 he emigrated to Paris where he has been residing since. His works were shown in all important international exhibitions of Russian 20th century art. He was featured at the 43rd Venice Biennale (1988) and the Third Moscow Biennale (2009). Erik Bulatov became an honorary member of the Russian Academy of Arts in 2008.

Title: O
Material: Wool, Flax, Silk
Colors: White, Black
Size: W 200 x L 200 cm
Edition: 8 + 2 AP


TWIST  by Ayşe Erkmens

If we search for a leitmotif in the diverse range of Ayşe Erkmen’s work, we will find it in her attitude, in how she reacts to places, contexts and events. A common thread – literally! – runs through the artist’s work when she deals with abstract concepts such as time, space, nature, perception, and art, and when she gives them physical form. Her works materialise with great precision, technical reductionism and yet with a extraordinary aesthetic expressiveness. With the same logic of perception and expression, Erkmen picks out the smallest entity in her ‘Twist’ carpet design for NeedKnot, the one that initially stands alone and then comes together to create the whole: the thread. Only through the twisting together of threads does the yarn come into being, the yarn that is woven to form the fabric of the carpet. When such a thread weaves its dizzying path across the backdrop of Erkmen’s carpet, it is comparable to a drawing that emerges from a multitude of individual strokes – a finished work that is only revealed in the sum of its parts.

Ayşe Erkmen was born 1949 in Istanbul. She lives and works in Istanbul and Berlin. She studied art and majored in sculpture at Istanbul’s Fine Arts Academy. As part of a Berlin Artists in Residence Program she spent 1993 a year in the city, held 1998 the Documenta’s provisional professorship at the University of Kassel and was a professor at the Städelschule in Frankfurt a. M. from 2001 to 2005. In 2002 she was awarded the Maria Sibylla Merian Prize of Science and Art of the State of Hesse. Her body of works includes sculpture, installation and films. She participated in numerous exhibitions all over the world. Ayşe Erkmen represented Turkey at the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011.

Title: Twist
Material: Wool, Silk
Colors: Light Blue-Grey, Off-Black
B 333cm x L 350cm | W  131 x L 138 inches
Edition: 8 + 2 AP


BETTY by Alex Hanimann

‘We can be pretty sure that there is no determinal content to be read. And yet the free-floating letters leave us no peace. The idea or illusion to establish a complete, integral text can be attributed to the all-encompassing desire for ultimate truth. We are not happy with empty spaces. The solution to the riddle seems to be hidden beneath a surface full of evocations and references… We undertake the search meticulously and with perseverance. Is it about filling in gaps? Is it something that needs to be completed? Does the substitution or shifting of the individual letters help? Are these abbreviations, coded letter combinations? In order to tackle the problem more concretely, we switch to fantasising. But where will proceeding without a plan take us? Might chance help us, give us a lead? What elements can be combined and connected? What do we ignore? What bridges can we build? Logical thinking and a systematic procedure seem better suited to reaching the goal. So, do we cook up a plan? Do we ask questions about what has been concealed or left out? Where are we anyway? Thus we are convinced that there is really something to be found, that there must surely be some hidden or encrypted message here.’ 
Alex Hanimann, from ‘Sehen und Lesen’  (Seeing and Reading)

Alex Hanimann (born 1955) counts among the most important contemporary Swiss artists. His conceptual and playful application of text reminds of artists like Rémy Zaugg and Christopher Wool and brings him into vicinity to the great conceptual artists, such as Lawrence Weiner, Joseph Kosuth or Jan Wallace. Hanimann’s work has been shown in numerous solo and group shows in Switzerland and abroad.

Title: Betty
Material: Wool, Silk, Nylon
Colour: White, Red, Beige
Size: W 180 x L 236 cm
Edition: 8 + 2 AP



Nic Hess is known for his stirring, dramatic decorations of walls and interior spaces, which he covers with gestural ciphers and pictures like a master graffiti artist. His repertoire of images includes familiar emblems from our consumer society, which he combines with motifs from art history and pop culture. He spins the narrative thread as he will and deliberately leaves the interpretation up to the spectator’s imagination. His Monumental Tour carpet features five main elements. A striding elephant carries on its back a rucksack adorned with a meditating Buddha, who himself bears the head of a Native American. This strange narrative is framed by McDonald’s golden arches, whose repeated pattern plays (ironically) on the ornamental borders of antique carpets. The good-natured elephant’s rucksack – symbolising its much-lauded talent of never forgetting – keeps alive the memory of Buddha and the Indians. Yet in the same way that the pictures and associations combine, overlap and conceal one another, the myths are transfigured and the stories are distorted. Out of this confusion, Nic Hess evokes various worlds and cultures that we feel to recognise but that fade away as we try to grasp them.

Nic Hess (born 1968 in Switzerland) studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, and the Hochschule der Künste, Berlin. Besides solo exhibitions in renowned institutions such as Kunsthaus Baselland, Switzerland (2003), Haus der Kunst, Munich (2004), Museo de Arte de Zapopan, Guadalajara, Mexico (2007), and Armand Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2009), he has participated in numerous exhibitions. Nic Hess has received awards and his work is represented in various private collections and public institutions, such as Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Kunsthaus Zurich, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Migros Museum of Contemporary Art, Zurich, Deutsche Bank Collection, The British Land Company, Dow Chemical, and Kantonalbank Zurich.

Title: Monumental Tour
Material: Wool, Flax, Silk
Colors: White, Black, Red
Size: W 267 x L 400 cm
Edition: 8 + 2 AP



The work of Melli Ink always harbours surprising perspectives. Her drawings, installations, objects and sculptures inhabit an area of tension between the verifiable and the still possible; they display reality yet are at the same time impalpable and distant. When the artist smashed hundreds of plates in her ‘Plates’ performance in 2004 and subsequently further developed this fleeting act using the media of photography and video (‘zerschlage.es’ / ‘smash.it’), she created an enticing sequence of atmospheric and aesthetic images. The destroyed and the fragmentary thus evolved into a perfectly composed abstract drawing. Her Walking over Broken Plates carpet revisits this motif, but, since walking on shards of glass in this case is actually a soft, pleasant experience for the feet, the logic of the image is fundamentally questioned. Ink takes a similarly playful and ambivalent attitude, both profound and enigmatic, to her carpet as a symbol of domesticity. A carpet represents warmth and a sense of cosy security, but whereas shards can symbolise felicity, festivity and fakirs, broken crockery evokes thoughts of conflict and familial tristesse.

Melli Ink (born 1972 in Innsbruck) studied theatre design at Central St. Martins College of Art in London. She worked as a set-designer for theatre, film and opera. Simultaneously she experimented with performance, video and sculpture. To this day her installation work derives from her stage experience. Her drawings are the basis for her artistic concepts. Since 2002 she has been featured in solo exhibitions in London, Zurich and Berlin, and has been included in various group shows in public institutions.

Artist: Melli Ink
Title: Walking over Broken Plates
Material: Wool
Colors: 40 Shades of Color
Size: W 266 x L 400 cm
Edition: 3 + 1 AP


PALAZZO by Gioia Meller Marcovicz

‘When, on one of those lucky days, I was asked to contribute a design for this carpet project, I eagerly accepted. At once I realized that a long awaited opportunity had arrived. I could take Venice, the city in which I am living, apply its essence and architecture and somehow weave them into a carpet. To explore the never seen angels, infants, saints and sages, columns, pillars, domes and arches, marble lacework, marble folds, the rich, opulent and lavish proportions, and copy these overwhelming sights into a proportionately small camera. Merging these awe-inspiring images with technology, a journey unfolded and the aim became clear: I am spinning a yarn for the master weavers. Magic!’

Gioia Meller Marcovicz was born in Hannover, Germany. She originally studied Fashion Design, formed her own company ZWEI and produced modern clothes for working women. In 1982 she was awarded the best British Design Award of the year. From 1991 to 1993 she attended the Royal College of Art in London in furniture design, and in 2002 formed her own company gioia in London and Venice, developing furniture and lightning. Gioia is acclaimed for her multi-functional and unique furniture and lightning designs.

Title: Palazzo
Material: Delicate Silk
Colors: 30 Shades of Grey
Size: W 182 x L 322 cm
Edition: 8 + 2 AP


PRIMARY by Torsten Neeland

Torsten Neeland is one of the best-known representatives of new minimalism in design, an approach where simplicity often arises as the result of complex processes. In his carpet design, Neeland makes constant reference to the connection between an object and its use. For his Primary carpet, he took as his starting point the highly sophisticated technical capabilities of the manufacturer, whose particular strength lies in the shaping of three-dimensional forms. Neeland wanted to utilise these capabilities to test out the creative scope between artistic freedom and technical feasibility. How can a flat carpet acquire a form that conveys a sculptural quality? The result is stunning in its simplicity: the motifs he uses are portrayed solely through the relief-like up and down contours of the surface, producing an almost rhythmic pattern. Everyday objects and tools are portrayed, and although these are somewhat out of place lying on a carpet, their indented shapes possess a curious elegance and make a witty statement about the relationship between practical value and aesthetics.

Torsten Neeland was born (1963) in Hamburg, Germany. Following his studies in Industrial Design at the College of Fine Art in Hamburg, he set up his office for Industrial Design in 1991. In 1997 he moved to London, where he now lives and works, establishing Torsten Neeland Studio for Industrial and Interior Design and which has become an integral part of the London design community. His Studio’s work covers private interior design, retail outlets, and product design, large scale exhibition spaces and set design for advertising companies as well as stage design. His work has been widely published in the international press and is featured in several interior and design books. He has won numerous prestigious international design awards throughout his career.

Title: Primary
Material: Wool
Color: Off-White
Size: W 151 x L 450 cm
Edition: 8 + 2 AP


EVO by Karim Noureldin

Karim Noureldin’s medium is the drawing. Centimeter by centimeter his crayons conquer the paper in hatchings full of nuances and subtle colour layers. Out of his inevitably deliberate work ritual grow striking tectonics built of dynamic lines, rhythmic color areas and referenceless geometric shapes. As a result, it appears like a distant echo of speed and actions and is fundamentally a kind of inner topography. Noureldin’s drawings are intensely detailed yet open up far reaching views. They materialise as space pictures on the drawing paper’s confined surface and claim whole walls as picture spaces. In the carpet draft for NeedKnot, Noureldin’s notion of drawing undergoes another spatial dissolution of boundaries in the form of a floor picture. Giving the end product a slight impression of three-dimensionality poses an enormous challenge for the technical realisation. Especially when taking into account a single colour’s countless nuances that effectively contrast the carpet base. Thus, different processing techniques were used with this carpet by Noureldin; a special accent was put on the woven looping technique of the base that effectively highlights the essence of the actual drawing.

Karim Noureldin was  born 1967 in Zurich and studied art at the University of Art and Design HGKB in Basel, Switzerland. From 1994 on he spent several years in New York, Rome, Cairo and London, and since 2002 he lectures at the renowned University of Art and Design ECAL in Lausanne where he lives and works. Several Swiss and international public institutions have featured his works and his installative projects. Karim Noureldin’s works are very much sought after in an architectural context, and he thus has realised several projects in collaboration with Müller/Sigrist Architects, Zürich; Park Architects, Zürich; Make Architects, London; Raphael Nussbaumer architectes, Geneva, and Herzog & de Meuron, Basel.

Title: Evo
Material: Wool
Colors: 22 Shades of Color
Size: W 216 x L 310 cm
Edition: 8 + 2 AP