Flying carpets
Year 2016-18
Client GD Goenka University
Politecnico di Milano
Country India

Flying Carpet was a rich and complex project that was conceived by Politecnico di Milano and GD Goenka University in New Delhi, and that brought together lecturers from both universities, students and companies in both Italy and India.

It can be seen to have been an inter-cultural project whose main goal was to create an original methodology of collaboration between universities in different countries that connected academic knowledge and educational experience with field work via collaborations with real companies operating in both countries using export processes.

The project ran in the carpet manufacturing sector and used the action-research method to link research and development of student design with the activity of a real company: the company provided the brief and took care of prototyping in India and marketing in Italy.

The project ran over the course of a year through four workshops in India and one in Italy, several visits to manufacturers to follow prototyping, and constant collaboration between the two universities. The end result was a collection of contemporary carpets that were inspired by traditional Indian handicrafts, designed by GD Goenka University students guided by the brief of the Artorient company, and prototyped at three different companies in India. During the workshops, the students also worked to design the communication strategy, the showroom, and the exhibition.

This complex project was a combination of education and professional activity that resulted in students providing real-world design advice to real companies. This process can be seen as a creative virtuous circle, with the university playing a pivotal role in enabling and improving local supply chains from a global perspective, creating value for all stakeholders involved, such as students, lecturers, and companies.