Design Stories | The Ajna Rug

November 27, 2019

Design Stories | The Ajna Rug

“Crossing inspirations from different cultures is an extremely interesting process, leading to lots of innovations and creative stimulation on both sides - it’s both challenging and fascinating at the same time.”

The Ajna rug is the brainchild of Julia Guenther, an established interior designer originally from Germany, living in Shanghai. She met Sharon, CHACCRA’s founder, through a mutual friend, discovering an instant connection through their passion for design and their desire to make a positive difference in the world.

Julia first traveled to Nepal in late 2018 and has since gone on to design a series of cross-disciplinary rugs for the Chakra Design Collection. Ajna, the first to be released, pivots between flat weave and Tibetan hand knotting to create an exciting textural landscape of varying pile heights that mimic the natural gradients of Nepalese landscapes. Julia’s designs for Ajna are also influenced by the spirituality and freedoms of the seven body chakras, and are created to ignite an energetic flow in those who interact with them. 

“Exploring the Chakras was an inspiring and unique challenge because of their intangibility and abstract nature. They cannot be touched or experienced in the physical and our interactions with them are totally personal - so naturally, the door was wide open in respect to my own interpretation and relationship with them.” 

Our collaboration with Julia saw her work side by side with artisans in Nepal to develop the concepts for her design work - bridging the gap between design and production through a hands on and holistic process. 

“There was a lot of prototyping and testing - we really wanted to push the boundaries on the production of the design. It was a slow and considered process which took us all to new levels of collaboration and innovation. The people we worked with were experts in their crafts and were very open to experimenting with new methodologies - it was a really rewarding experience.”

The production journeys that took place during the inception of Julia’s design work sit right at the heart of what motivates her.

“There are a lot of products in the world and I feel that there is a significant lack of soul in the majority of those that are mass produced. CHACCRA’s collections are socially conscious and are created to tell the stories of their production journey and the people who made them, they have a soul and a feeling that you can sense when you see the design for yourself. Everyone who interacts with them before they’re finished is totally dedicated to their development and are involved at every stage. The creation of CHACCRA designs is an extremely immersive and involved process and I really appreciate the level of hard work and pride that goes into each piece.”

You can see Julia’s full collection here.


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