Deanna Comellini tells INTERNI how with artistic vision she has made the carpet a central element of contemporary interior design

Technology, selection of raw materials and craftsmanship: these are three of the prerogatives that make G.T.DESIGN a point of reference in the textile sector for interior design.

The carpet has thus become a timeless product that Deanna Comellini, founder, art director and designer of G.T.DESIGN has been able to transform it into a precious element of decor. In this interview, she tells us how.

What is the contemporary carpet?

My work has been focused for forty years on the concept of contemporary carpet.

Prior to the 1970s, the object 'carpet' had been little explored in design – with a few exceptions, including the Bauhaus experience.

I wanted to re-read this first element of living through the lens of design, developing a new point of view on the carpet.

My work as a designer is not limited to styling but focuses on the re-conceptualization of the object in order to respond to the needs of contemporary man, such as sensoriality, free movement, rituals of well-being and much more, to create new signature textile surfaces.

Where and how do textiles and design meet?

I think our work has changed the perception of the rug from a simple accessory to an essential element of interior design.

We work closely with architects, Italian and international interior designers and private clients to integrate the textile component into their projects. It is necessary to understand the vision of the designer to make a harmonious but also substantial contribution, which can therefore enhance the original project.

The physical dimension of the object is as important as its relationship within the environment that surrounds it, so it is necessary to seek coherence between the visions. In general, it is essential to be able to create the right balance, seeking elegance even in the most complex projects.

We have developed techniques capable of being highly performing and adaptable to the complexity of the projects, for example regarding the development of unpublished shapes and dimensions, as they combine cutting-edge technologies, such as digital printing with the uniqueness of 'hand-made and craftsmanship.

In which characteristics/values ​​do we find the artistic vision of the G.T.DESIGN?

The fact that I trained first as an artist and then as a designer certainly influenced my creative process.

Art has taught me to maintain a gaze free from prejudices, respectful towards man and his emotions; while design gave me training in the analysis of processes and production technologies.

Combining the artist's passion with the designer's rigor has allowed me to create completely new products. At this moment, the Luoghi collection comes to mind: it is the example of this approach that combines special haute couture manufacturing on pictorial surfaces made by hand, with the concept of modularity; this makes it possible to produce carpets that can be made in any size and are highly customizable.

He suggests 'thinking of carpets as if they were green areas inside the house, as places for refreshment, recreation and regeneration of the environment, using the gaze of the urban planner'. What do you mean?

For me, the carpet represents an open space, which on the one hand 'frees' our daily movements, and on the other, articulates and makes the surrounding space fluid.

Textile surfaces are for me serene oases within the home – places dedicated to play, rest, well-being and sensoriality, so as are the green areas outside the home.

What are the latest innovations on the technological front in the sector?

Also in this sector, new methodologies are making room for the automation and robotisation of some production processes, such as robotic tufting and digital printing.

At the same time, the yarn industry continues to invest in the research of new materials with particular attention to recyclable fibers or low carbon traces.

Today, greater attention is certainly paid to processes and materials with a reduced environmental impact thanks to the development of biodegradable or recycled yarns with which new fabrics are made such as for example Tencel or Econyl.

What is the plus that a quality carpet brings to an environment?

One of the first aspects to consider is that a carpet must last over time.

It is not a simple trendy object, nor can it be considered a 'disposable' product: this is the first rule for a sustainable choice. The carpet is a particular element of the furniture, both for its shape and for its position in the space.

The most important feature of the carpet is its capacity to 'humanise the home': it is a bit like light, it exists in its materiality, but it is also a perspective and functional element because it gives the possibility see space differently.

The carpet stimulates the rediscovery of less usual points of view, it sets us up for the discovery of the soil, for example, as a starting point. The body is also less structured when sitting, lying down and playing on a carpet.

Far from the rigid structure of the piece of furniture, it remains open to the interpretation of those who live there, and at the same time, it 'opens' to a new horizon of knowledge of the surrounding space: it is like a frame that collects a space potentially, ready to cradle us, collect us and transport us wherever we want

In G.T.DESIGN, how do technology and craftsmanship come together?

Safeguarding traditional techniques and adopting new technologies in our production process are complementary. For example, we combine natural materials such as linen, hemp and coconut with technological yarns (as in the Paglietta collection), and carpets made with new generation yarns are hand-woven on artisan looms (O Sole Mio, Hula Hoop).

We like to explore every form of production, and support new production chains, from hand painting (Luoghi, Volare), to digital printing (Next, Moving Forest, Ultra Native), to make our values.

How is a new model born?

Everything comes from the idea. As with writing a musical work, inspiration can come from anything. Then there is always a moment of gestation, which can also last a long time.

During this process, sometimes something materializes but this is not said to be the final stage. The idea waits for pollination and the right moment to be born.

One of the new products I'm working on for 2023 actually comes from an idea from 20 years ago. In 2003 I began to research banana fiber and to develop various designs conceived for that material, which however initially lacked some limitations in the processing. Today those designs have met the right material and that same idea will be reinterpreted with all the reflections derived over the years.

How important is for G.T.DESIGN the selection of raw materials?

It is fundamental as it is for a great Chef. In order to create something excellent, first of all you need to have the best quality raw material.

Then, building an ethical supply chain is an integral part of the identity of G.T.DESIGN since the years of its foundation.

The company has always researched raw materials and production processes with low environmental impact, which exploit water resources to a minimum and limit emissions of Co2.

It uses non-toxic dyes and chooses completely recyclable packaging; moreover, it maintains a close relationship with every part of its supply chain, from the suppliers of raw materials to all the highly skilled craftsmen.

Three references you are particularly proud of?

One of the G.T.DESIGN best known products is the Kama, which revolutionized the contemporary carpet industry inspiring designers from all over the world and becoming part of design history.

Made of a rich and dense hand-woven viscose fibre, it captures the light and lets it float over its weaves. After twenty years, it remains today a best-seller and a trend setter with unique shine, softness and depth of colour.

Another important carpet in the history of G.T.DESIGN which I am proud of is Coconutrug, the first carpet I designed in the late 80s/90s whose characteristics were: eco-compatibility (the coconut fiber is obtained from renewable sources and is 100% biodegradable), circular economy and sustainable development of tropical countries.

In addition to our unique products, I am very proud to have collaborated with iconic realities in the world of architecture such as the team of Zaha Hadid for a project in Miami, One Thousand Museum, for which I created the design of the textile flooring and some made-to-measure carpets for the common areas and for the two model apartments of the project: in particular, the Fluid collection was integrated into various common areas on the ground floor and in the Sky Lounge.

The rugs, fully 'recessed' into the flooring, were custom made to reflect Zaha Hadid's organic and futuristic interior and furniture designs , becoming no longer a piece of furniture, but structural elements of the entire project.