The ancient modernity of these weavings didn’t escape the attention of some of the greatest masters of Twentieth century architecture and design. In the mid 1920’s Le Corbusier was the first to recognize the archaic character of Berber carpets, their asymmetrical repetition of lozenge elements providing the suitable backdrop for his minimalist interiors. In the early 1930’s Marcel Breuer, fascinated by the wild beauty of the carpet patterns he saw in Morocco, introduced Berber weavings at the Bauhaus, as he saw that they would contrast efficiently with the cool elegance of their designs. Frank Lloyd Wright employed Berber carpets in a few of his signature projects, ranging from his early works such as his own studio to the widely celebrated Falling Water in the thirties. Alvar Aalto and Arne Jacobsen took particular interest in the white Berbers of the Middle Atlas, the archaic wildness of their patterns being tamed by the relaxed bichromy of undyed wools. In the early seventies Verner Panton designed an entire collection of carpets (Maroc) hand woven in Morocco and inspired by the unique chromatism of this type of Berber weaving.
The new millennium has witnessed a rediscovery of mid century modern design, together with a general positive attitude towards minimalist interiors. This has had a great impact towards the reappraisal of Berber weavings as well, favouring the ones with less colour and design. Carpets of the Middle Atlas tribes such as the Beni Ouarain, Ait Segrouchene and Beni M’Guild are once again associated with the iconic works the modern masters of design. My aim has been to select a collection that is most representative of this association, bringing together a family of weavings that is not only homogeneous in origin and typology, but one that can be blended successfully with today’s most stylish interiors.
Blazek, White Giants - Carpets of the Beni Ouarain and Related Moroccan Nomadic Tribes, HALI n. 94, pp. 68-74, London, September 1997.
Bichler, G. Blazek and H. Steinhauser, Berber Carpets in the Context of 20th Century Architecture, Catalogue of the San Francisco Tribal & Textile Arts Show, February 2005, pp. 12-17.
Reinisch and W. Stanzer, Berber - Tribal Carpets and Weavings from Morocco, Graz, 1991. K. Rainer, Morocco Mon Amour, Graz, 2005.