Carpets and Colors: The Creators of Röd Studio
With designs inspired by countless adventures, big names within the arts and humoristic patters, the founders of Copenhagen-based Röd Studio are leaving their colorful footprints in the world of artistic interior design.
In between all the posters on the market, you can also find other ways to decorate your walls: How about beautiful carpets that are both artsy and express a hint of hygge? Anne Louise Rasmussen and Maja Marie Halling, the founders of Röd Studio, are creating exactly these rugs. What started as a master's degree project between two co-students has developed into a creative studio that now makes high-quality, unique and stylish carpets that add a fun touch to any interior.
In our interview with the two creative women behind Röd Studio, you get exclusive behind-the-scene insights and learn about the inspiration behind the collections, different stages of the creative process and future of the studio.
To begin with, please tell us more about how Röd Studio started and the meaning behind the name? How did you come up with the idea for it?
We met at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts where we both studied textile design. We started working together throughout the last year of our master's degree and we did our final project together. It turned out to be a pretty great match, because we contributed with different qualities and understood each other's ideas and thoughts. After finishing the design school we just continued working on the concepts we had created together. We were very curious to see where we could take it and so we decided to start our own workspace in Copenhagen, so we wouldn’t have to compromise our ideas.
The name RÖD was something we came up with quite early in the process, as we wanted something short and graphic, but also something Nordic and strong. It means the color "red" in Danish. Red has so many great connotations – even though red has feminine qualities, it symbolizes power. We know it is a difficult word to pronounce if you don’t speak Danish but there is also a bit of humor in that fact – something to talk about. Well, it’s just a name, but in some way we really identify with it now.
What was the biggest lesson you learned when founding the studio?
That there is a lot more to it than great ideas and pretty things. It’s hard work to be business ladies. All we wanted was (and still is) to create wonderful and playful products, but there’s not always that much time for that – the fun stuff. As a new brand there’s a lot to learn and two and a half years later we are still learning great lessons everyday.
Art piece from the "Face It" collection
What is the inspiration behind your textile art style?
We are very much inspired by foreign cultures and aesthetics. We have traveled to Morocco and Istanbul where a lot of our visual elements come from – colors, materials, shapes. It works for us taking time away from the well-known and explore new design fields. It’s not enough to look at pictures on Pinterest or Google. We want to see it, smell it and feel it to really get inspired.
Of course we also have our muses, such as Picasso, and we love the art periods and movements, such as Constructivism, Cubism, Bauhaus etc.
What motivates you to continue creating your products?The desire to create. It’s just an indescribable satisfaction to see your own ideas taking shape.
Röd Studio's carpets add a fun and personal touch to any interior
Can you walk us through the different stages of the process of creating your products?
We usually begin the process by making a lot of sketches, color samples and collages to select the visual identity of a collection. Then we make experiments to decide which techniques to use, and then at last we will pick out which pieces to make for the collection.
How do you choose the colors and patterns that you use?
What are the challenges that you run into most frequently and how do you deal with them?
Economic challenges. It is one big illusion when you open a fancy magazine that everything looks all glamorous and posh. The truth is that there’re a lot of hard working artists behind the facade busting their asses off – pardon the language. But it is really a key issue for us. We would love to see more realness in the design industry and a little less competition on how to present yourself perfectly.
There are both pros and cons to working together with a partner and not everyone seems to like having a business partner. From your experience of working together, what would be your advice on the art of compromise and managing working with a partner?
Life is full of compromises and we are using them to sharpen our work. We think it is mostly a positive thing to have two pair of eyes instead of one. Of course it takes a bit longer sometimes when you have to discuss and defend your own ideas, if the other one doesn’t follow them, but hey, maybe your idea wasn’t that great after all. But it is also important to be open-minded and go along – that is where the magic happens, when you dare to make mistakes. We are here to challenge and complement each other, not to restrict each other.
Abstract and edgy piece from the "Mask" collection
Your textile art has been featured in quite a few magazines. What magazine is it your dream to be featured in?
We always feel very happy and proud when anyone shows interest in our work. We don’t have any specific magazines in mind – maybe magazines with more male readers, haha.
What is your professional vision for Röd Studio?
We wanna run the carpet world… kidding. We would love to see our carpets in all sorts of homes. It would also be fun to do more collaborations with others.
What are some of your upcoming projects?
We are currently working on a big project where we will be doing a collaboration with textile manufactures in Mexico. It’s a big dream coming true for both of us and we are so excited to experience the visual identity of Mexico.
Could you imagine taking other textile interior design pieces in your art collection besides carpets?
Yes, absolutely. We are brainstorming on other possibilities at the moment and we will launch new products in 2019 – the rest will be kept as a secret for now.
Which other designers’ or art companies’ work do you like?
That is a very difficult question. Who to point out? There are so many to choose from. We really like Cold Picnic’s work, who also make rugs. They have a very humorous and colorful expression even though they are quite commercial. CC Tapis is one of our favorite carpet makers. We love the way Pettersen & Hein play with the concrete in their designs. We are also girl-crushing on Klara Lilja, a young danish ceramic-artist - she has this wonderful supernatural and magical aesthetic.
Thank you so much for the interview, Anne Louise and Maja Marie!
➸ Head over to Röd Studio's inspiring Instagram account to keep up with their amazing creative work
If you liked reading about the women behind Röd Studio, you might like our interview with ArtNight co-founder Aimie-Sarah Carstensen-Henze or our conversation with ArtFusion Copenhagen founder Louise Autrup.