Interview with Patricia Urquiola: Mirage

Patricia Urquiola does not need an introduction: her designs have defined the aesthetics of the last two decades.
Mirage, her new creation for GAN, is halfway between carpet and work of art. We spoke with her to learn more about the inspiration behind this collection.

Please tell us about the story behind this incredible design.
Mirage was created based on an interesting idea, a phone game in which you can make geometric shapes. I immediately liked this game and its combination of optical illusions and moving colours, and the idea of transmitting this play of geometry and colour ended up inspiring this carpet.

Mirage’s design makes you think of op-art and the avant-garde art movement of the 20th Century. At the time, artists were clearly seeking to change the relationship between works of art and the public. Do you think there is a parallelism between this period and your artistic investigation?
Sure. Mirage is an atypical carpet, so the relationship spectators will develop with it is instantly changed. My creative work and inspiration for this piece have resulted in a fun product, with incredible personality that undoubtedly gives character to any room. The result is a uniquely shaped carpet that relates with both the spectators and the surrounding space. Mirage is part carpet, part artwork: a combination of lightness and play on colour and geometric shapes.

Mirage is made of New Zealand wool using the hand-knotted technique. What made you decide on this?
New Zealand wool is a high-quality material and therefore it significantly reduces production problems. It being handmade adds value to each piece, making it unique, almost a piece of art!

How difficult is it to make a Mirage?
The most complicated thing about a Mirage was obtaining the perfect colour gradation. We experimented with many colours, shades and combinations before we found these three versions. I wanted to create overlapping colours, perspectives and optical illusions. Mirage is also complex to make and requires expert carpet makers to tie the knots in so many colour variations.

All GAN products are handmade. How is artisanal is the production of Mirage?
This aspect of GAN’s mission is very important to me. All GAN products are made by expert craftsmen and women in India, where the concept of quality craft has deep roots. With Mirage, attention to detail becomes essential, and the hand-knotting technique guarantees the highest quality.

How did you obtain such a balanced and refined colour combination?
As I said, this was the hardest part of conceiving and creating Mirage. We took several factors into account when we started looking for the right colour combination. The most important thing was to achieve an elegant combination. The balance and interconnection between the colours and geometric shapes could have neither a starting point, nor an end. Another important thing was to respect the light, both natural and artificial; understanding how the different colour gradations responded to and reflected the light. Obviously, in the end, it was also a matter of taste.