A tribal rug designed using Artificial Intelligence.
That was the idea that sparked this collection of three rugs designed by Hector Coombs in 2019.
AI has come a long way since then and at the time it was needed to build a database to train the AI before it started to generating images.
It is interesting how the AI seemed to pick up on the “mistakes” and inconsistencies of the original handwoven tribal rugs in the database and then amplify them whilst adding its own glitches.
After translating these AI images into a map that our weavers could understand and produce, the craftspeople began to almost instinctually “correct” the design and make it a bit more regular whilst also making mistakes and design choices of their own.
These rugs end up being a game of Chinese whispers, from a human to a machine and then back again, with each participant adding their own understanding to the process.