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Architect gives Persian rugs a modern update using digital software

Designed with parametric modeling software, the new rugs achieve a similar visual complexity as the traditional art form

Patterned rug with blue, red, and cream colors. Kourosh Asgar-Irani

Persian rugs are beautifully complex. A kaleidoscopic arrangement of patterns and symbols, the rug designs are as much about pattern and symmetry as they are about pure artistic expression. Now architect Kourosh Asgar-Irani has found a way to reinterpret Persian rugs for the digital age by using parametric modeling software to create a new series of rugs that channel a similar visual complexity.

With the help of computational modeling software, Asgar-Irani developed new patterns for his Rugture collection, which subvert and distort the traditional patterns found on Persian rugs. Each pattern is computed based on info about the layout of the room that will host the rug.

For example: Parameters like the position of furniture, door, and windows will alter the shape of the pattern, while the amount of natural light into the room might add more white space to the design. In short, every rug is a bespoke representation of architecture.

Close up of patterned rug in red. Kourosh Asgar-Irani

Using 3D data to inform a 2D pattern wasn’t without its challenges, Asgar-Irani told Dezeen. “The biggest challenge was to make the computer generate patterns that remind you of old rugs from Central Asia,” he said. “I had a clear aim that I wanted to achieve but it took around a year and a half of experimentation before I obtained real control over the pattern generation.”

After a design is found and colors are corrected, the pattern is hand-knotted in Iran’s Tabris region. The results are distinctly modern textiles that hint at their traditional past. You can see more of the Rugture collection here.

Orange and white patterned rug on display. Kourosh Asgar-Irani