Rugs are beautiful ways to spice up your home design, but for Indian design student Sheefalika Mishra, rugs are an art form all on their own.
Mishra was an avid artist and designer from a young age. She completed her undergraduate degree at the National Institute of Fashion Technology in New Delhi and went on to pursue a post-graduate program at the National Institute of Design, where she’s currently studying.
Her talent was recognized in a big way when she was selected from a group of 329 top design students around the world to win the Domotex International Carpet Award in the young designer category. The runners up were from Japan and Turkey.
At the awards held in Hannover, Germany, Mishra was given a $1,000 award and a hand-knotted rug based on her winning design. The rug was hand-woven in Afghanistan, a country known for extremely talented weavers and a rich history in carpet creation.
Mishra considers the win a “personal benchmark” and considers rugs textile art and statement pieces for the floor. Her own design drew from the colors in German expressionist Hans Hoffman’s “The Gate,” and the form came from the classic chevron design motif. She was also inspired by current eclectic trends in interior design and created her rug to be a mosaic of colors with character and depth.
Floor art using textiles is Mishra’s main area of interest, since it gives designers the opportunity to tell stories and can often provide communities with sustainable crafting careers. Many people don’t think about their rugs more than calling professional cleaners every 12-18 months and keeping them in good repair in the meantime, so it’s about time that designers like Mishra put the focus back on artistic floor spaces.
Mishra believes that India has immense potential as a rug production environment since many Western countries have lost touch with hand-weaving traditions, and she wants to encourage the industry as much as she can.
The Domotex Carpet Awards aim to set higher global standards for handmade rug quality and design. Entries were judged on quality of materials, product features, design and innovation by a jury of 9. After the jury shortlisted the best 11 designs out of the 329 submissions, winners were declared and the top rugs were displayed at Hanover awards ceremony.