Digital Carpets

Students in Art 1013 : 2d Digital Design classes created their own digital carpet designs and animations using Adobe illustrator and photoshop software. Investigation of Turkish and Arabic decorative arts led to the development of motifs for border and field patterns based on symmetries evident in traditional carpet designs.

see: Math Forum

Symmetry + Pattern website

Students first developed their designs in black and white in illustrator. After the introduction of color theory, each rendered a final carpet design using a color harmony of their own choice using photoshop. Final carpets were printed in sections and tiled to large format. Students also tested simple animation techniques possible using photoshop and imageready software. These were combined with electronica/ world music in imovie to generate a danceable light show.

carpet border design by Chris Hagen


full color carpet design by Chris Hagen


The UMD student projects will be showcased in the upcoming online exhibit:

The Tulip and the Arabesque


More comments by students on Turkish Projects blog:

Black and White Design by Amber Parker


Mounting Tiled Project


Class Critiques




19 thoughts on “Digital Carpets

  1. I really enjoyed seeing the many works that each individual had put so many hours into developing a great design. As much fun as the rugs were to make, through burdens and happy accidents, it was a lot more fun to animate the carpets. It was very enjoyable to see all the different possiblilties a flat rug can become with a little work with the paint bucket and the eraser. It was a lot of fun and I would definitely do it again.


  2. The carpet assignment has been one of the more challenging projects that I have done in a design class. It was enjoyable and I learned a lot about function, shapes, color and art form. It was not only a challenge designing the rug, but making the finished product was a little complex. Overall, I learned many different parts of the design process, and found it to be frustrating and rewarding at the same time. I think I would be willing to do it again, if it was a few months from now!


  3. The carpet assignment was a really cool process. I didn’t even realize how much time had gone by during that unit. The final carpets were really sweet. I was surprised and impressed at the final products. People really came out of their shell, I felt. I truly did learn photoshop without knowing it, even though when it was first mentioned I didn’t take it seriously. I think the best part, however, was struggling so much with my carpet, finishing it up, being not completely happy with it and THEN getting to see how everyone else wrapped theirs up, solved the problems, and went about their design completely differently. Some of those rugs were soooo nice!


  4. I think the carpet design project was my favorite project. It was a great way to begin learning and working with Photoshop. It was also a good project to begin color with. I also learned how to print in sections to make a larger final product, which I definitely have benefited from for future designs or projects. It is great to see all the carpets displayed and examine the techniques people used to make their designs. I am happy with my design, but my final carpet was poorly mounted. It is great to learn we have that lab available for mounting. I think that was the most difficult part of the carpet process. Overall, I just learned a lot and really enjoyed the time spent on the carpets!


  5. The carpet project was a very interesting project. Its amazing how many ideas could come out and be so different. Everyone had to put a personal touch into their carpet, and I think that really helped make it your own, and work a little harder on it. We spent the most time on this project, inside and outside of class. But in the end we all came out with really nice projects.


  6. I found this project to be very challenging but intrueging. It was fun to look for ideas from other cutures and use some of the designs from them. I found that I put more time into this project than I have on any other design project in my career. I enjoyed making something of another culture and putting my personal touch into it. Puting together the final piece was a huge relief. Overall it was a fun project to do.


  7. It was really nice to see how the long process of this project unfolded. It was interesting to analyze my motivation of the process as it was a long one. Some days I would have rather done anything else besides designed a carpet, while other days hours went by while working on it without me even realizing it. I feel the end product was a direct result of work put in. I’m pleased.


  8. I really enjoyed the carpet design assignment. It was a tough project that took many hours and included many aspects that I never thought I would have to think about such as doing the math to make sure things fit and worked out perfectly. I would have to say, despite many frustrations, that it was my favorite project of the the class. Making the carpets into a movie was also a neat aspect and I had fun altering my carpet to create a show.


  9. I thought the carpet design project was the best assignment all semester. It left a lot of room for creativity, challenges, and gave an oppurtunity to put everyone’s true design technique to great use. It was a long process, but I feel that that was necessary to allow us all to really make our carpets something worth while. I thought they all turned out well and I’m proud to say I was a part of this project : )


  10. I really enjoyed the carpet project because the larger scale and overall process was something new to me. It was a challenge but I learned so much from it. The carpet project gave me a lot of confidence for future projects in illustrator and photoshop. All the time and hardwork paid off for the final product.


  11. I really enjoyed the carpet assignment. It was challenging but also allowed creativity. There were standards that we had to follow with the assignment however it was open-ended at the same time. We were all given the ecact same goals and we all made something completely different. All together the best part about the assignment was the introducing of other cultures to the students. I think this is very important and more classes should have this element of learning built into the curriculum! Thank you, it was a great assignment.


  12. The one element I enjoyed more so in association with the carpet design project was viewing them in the showcase along with the digital designs on the laptop. I feel that properly displaying images, in this case the carpets makes the difference between ordinary and exceptional. This was a very difficult yet rewarding experience for each of us, with a possitive outcome. Learning new programs through the process we took I feel was much more exciting and interesting than if we would have read from the mannual. I really love this technique for instructing the class.


  13. I think that the carpet assignment was especially interesting and I thoroughly enjoyed it. At first I found it to be interesting and difficult, but once I got going I was on a role! I think that the process of how it all came together and all of the different things that people did was quite interesting and I found it to be a good experience. This project was unlike any other of our projects and I think it was my favorite one, and I like what I ended up with.


  14. Designing the carpets was a long process. It was a really good way to transition us into Photoshop. I thought that this was a fun assignment that allowed students to reveal more about themselves and their personal style. I struggled a lot with matting but other than that things went pretty well for me.


  15. Overall, I found this to be an intriguing exercise in software integration and design theory. It was very rewarding to see everyone’s carpets develop and eventually evolve into their final forms.


  16. I enjoyed working with the color and with the layout of the large project. Being able to apply the use of Illustrator and Photoshop helped me understand both programs and also how to utilize both in one project. I also liked seeing the finished poduct. It was fun to look at everyone elses and see what they did to accomplish the goals of the assignment.


  17. The Carpet project was a lot of fun. It was good to work with something with actual size to it! The project really taught me a lot by forcing me to think differently about pattern and design. It was a lot different than any other digital stuff I had done. I like projects like these because they broaden your skills and tools as an artist. It forced me to loosen up, but also buckled me down at the same time. I had to work within the rules of the assignment, but then also figure out how to make it my own creation with some of me in it.


  18. Hiii…….
    Its S.Kumar from india, I am a carpet designer and working for many companies from USA and UK.
    really its a great thing to make a new and some thing diffrent in carpets, i have a great experiance of 12 years in designing for the same.
    if you wants to know something by me then contact me at

    Thank you,


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