Parsons School of Design ‘s newest alliance with the world’s leading handwoven rug company, OBEETEE is a first of its kind

OCT 10, 2019 | By Vedika Nair
Rudra Chatterjee, chairman of OBEETEE
Rudra Chatterjee, chairman of OBEETEE with guests
CLOCKWISE, FROM LEFT Rudra Chatterjee, chairman of OBEETEE with guests; Rudra Chatterjee, chairman of OBEETEE; Parsons x OBEETEE.

Founded in 1896, one of the leading institutions for art and design in the world, Parsons School of Design partners with OBEETEE, a global leader in handwoven rugs to announce the school’s newly launched MFA Textiles program in a formal curricular course called Textiles Industry Partnership. This collaboration gives students the opportunity to work with OBEETEE and delve deeper into the world of design by exploring new markets, developing colours and patterns, introducing sustainable techniques to the brand and innovating design concepts for the global luxury market. Understanding OBEETEE’s role as a foundational partner in the program we learn that they provide Textiles MFA students with an insight to understand the rug industry’s market and supply chain and also develop skills and products at the most reputable levels. The curriculum highlight The New School’s values of social justice and sustainability while considering the potential integration of technology in handcrafted rugs. Throughout the course duration, students focus their research and tasks on crafting the most unique, luxe as well as eco-friendly products. This one of a kind partnership also hosted an exhibit at OBEETEE’s New York showroom during the September 2019 design market, allowing students to showcase their design concepts with people from the industry. “We’re so pleased to be partnering with The New School’s Parsons School of Design on this groundbreaking program,” said Rudra Chatterjee, chairman of OBEETEE. “For both our organisations, our commitment to thoughtfully crafted and environment-friendly design practices has made each of us the leaders in our markets. This is a true marriage of equals and we’re both excited to be collaborating and sharing our unique expertise and heritage with the next generation of global design leaders.” An important addition to this program allows students to work with OBEETEE’s artisans during a month-long weaving immersion in their Indian workshops where sustainability efforts included Women Weavers program along with expanded educational support for workers and their families. “Parsons is proud to collaborate with OBEETEE on this ‘real-world’ project that enables our students to research, understand, innovate, and propose new design concepts and systems to the world’s leader in handwoven carpets,” said Burak Cakmak, Dean of Fashion at Parsons. “We are grateful to OBEETEE for the opportunity this provided our students to gain professional experience and valuable insights about the rug industry as it is today.” The MFA Textiles program at Parsons focuses on the intersectionality of craft, technology, and sustainability. It seeks to dissolve the boundaries between artisanship and technology in order to create a new paradigm for textiles in the 21st century.