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Guest Edit: Nani Marquina
Meet Nani Marquina, a pioneer of rug craftsmanship and the person behind the iconic Spanish brand nanimarquina. Read on to find out about her personal style, design ethos and journey to success...
Where do you look for inspiration for your designs?
Craftsmanship is my main source of inspiration. All its aspects fascinate me: whether it’s basketry, ceramics or textiles, I believe that my passion for art and admiration of nature define the essence of my work. Most of the time, my inspiration comes from my travels. The intrinsic beauty of the natural fibres also captivate me! It connects me with the natural world. Usually, the ideas just emerge without warning. I’m someone who always has my eyes wide open so any little detail I see during the day can inspire a new design.
What made you realize you wanted to become a designer?
My father Rafael Marquina played a huge part in where I am today. He was one of the first industrial designers in Spain, he was a pioneer. Every day when he got home with new designs he had created, I was totally captivated. He passed on to me his great passion – designing. After studying industrial design at the Escuela Massana of Barcelona and realising the success of my first made-to-order textile designs, I embarked on what was, at the time, an unknown career of industrial design.
You have an educational background in industrial design. How has this contrasted or contributed to the craftsmanship of your rugs?
When nanimarquina started, rugs were produced mechanically in Spain; however we quickly understood that this technique was limiting our creativity. After visiting India, we discovered not only infinite handcrafting techniques but also an extensive and enriching culture and symbolism of rugs. This introduction to traditional rug making led to new production methods that render each rug unique in design and quality —a distinguishing feature of the brand.
Could you sum up how you think your commitment to environmental preservation has effected how you and your designers choose materials?
Caring for the environment goes hand in hand in our ethos, and more so in countries such as India where this concern is not very prevalent. We strive to enhance our work with the use of biodegradable and recycled products, experimenting with different types of textures and fibres: natural wool, nettle, jute and even recycled rubber. Our traditional production techniques further contribute towards preserving natural resources for the use and enjoyment of future generations. To go a step further into the fight against environmental degradation, we also introduced Eco-wash in the cleansing of our collections: the natural washing product Ecosheen is a biodegradable and free of chemicals multienzyme washing product, that also maintains the bright colour, shine and softness of each fabric.
What is the design ethos behind your rugs?
We are committed to surprising and captivating through our products. How? We make tradition contemporary. Challenging design, connecting creativity with heritage and looking for a sensitive experience.
Do you feel it is important to get involved in the physical creation of the final product?
Absolutely! Without knowledge of the manual techniques, looms and tools nanimarquina products wouldn’t be possible! Applying the first-hand knowledge of skilled craftsmen is crucial to uncover and preserve techniques that would otherwise disappear. I truly believe that innovation is possible when there is an understanding of the past, of traditions and cultures.
Tell us about your personal interior design taste within your home?
My house is full of objects from around the world combined with contemporary furniture. I love to collect sentimental treasures discovered during rambling walks and travels without premeditation. From simple wooden furniture, kilims, stones, to mementoes of India or Tanzania… I love to invite nature inside my home, so I also have plants.
When you’re not designing rugs, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Travelling! I’m always planning a new trip with my partner who’s a photographer.
Do you have any other creative projects on the go?
Of course! We always have ongoing projects! From new collections to international projects with renowned interior designers who ask for custom made rugs.
Will we be seeing any new collections soon?
Yes! However, it’s too soon to unveil new collections in collaboration with designers... a collection takes an average of 2 years to be developed!'
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