These Renderings of Tantuvi’s New Rugs Will Transport You to a Sun-Drenched Desert Villa
Last spring, when Tantuvi released a series of images celebrating its new Travertine rug collection, hand-woven in India from discarded sari silks and brought to life in a collection of 3D renderings by Charlotte Taylor and Victor Roussel, the internet went kind of wild. The colorful rugs, which were inspired by rock formations in Rajasthan, were pictured draped over the warm sandstone walls and staircases of a building perched on the shore of a shallow reflecting pool; some compared it to an unlikely mash-up of Luis Barragán and the Indian architect Charles Correa. But many didn’t understand that the setting was, in fact, fake. “Where did you travel to for this shoot?!” asked a slew of jealous, pandemic-bound commenters. Tantuvi co-founder Arati Rao laughs: “You would not believe the amount of DMs I get from architecture students who want to know where it is and if they can study it. To me, it’s so clearly not real.”
But that is, of course, part of the fun of 3D renderings — that they can so neatly blur the line between real and imagined, and reflect back what viewers want to see. So when it came time for a second round of pandemic promotion, Rao and her partner, Adam Sipe, enlisted 3D artist Nareg Taimoorian to create a new suite of images featuring both Travertine — which became available for sale only recently due to pandemic-related delays — and the brand’s new Shuttle collection, which is made from a more absorbent, heavy-weight cotton that is ideal for kitchens and baths. For this series, Taimoorian wondered: What would it look like inside the desert villa Taylor and Roussel had originally imagined?
“I sent Nareg a list of my favorite architects, including Noguchi and Bijoy Jain,” says Rao. “I really wanted an outdoor indoor feeling, with nature on the inside.” The interior Taimoorian dreamed up — all pigmented concrete floors, slatted white oak breezeways, built-in sofas, flat, Modernist rooflines, and arched doorways — calls to mind a vacation spot in Greece or Mallorca, which was also important to Rao “since no one can travel right now. I don’t know anyone who has a bathroom that looks like that, but it’s nice to think that if you buy the rug you can maybe have a piece of that.”
For now, Tantuvi are simply glad to have a product to promote; the studio’s rugs were stuck in India for the better part of 2020, with Rao unable to catch a glimpse of the final product until November. “Our weavers in Bihar were probably about to start when COVID hit,” recalls Rao. “They were shielded in a way because they live in a remote village, but we had to really spend that time assuring them that we weren’t cancelling orders. We gave cash deposits to everybody; with my production partner, we did dry good food kits — a two-week supply of wheat, rice, lentils, and oils, just to be like ‘don’t worry, everything is going to be ok.’ Once everything calmed down, production picked up but then shipping just wasn’t possible.” Once here, Tantuvi considered renting a house in upstate New York or in the Hamptons before realizing that the renderings were cheaper, faster, more flexible and, like just a few of the pivots designers have had to make during the pandemic, possibly even more fun.
RENDERINGS BY NAREG TAIMOORIAN