omaggio carpets

NESA / Albania / 3 Kilims


ARTISAN: artisan collective NESA

It takes courage and determination to rise as a woman in a traditional Albanian fishing village. After fish stocks diminished and many villagers lost their livelihoods, Nebije Qotaj decided to set up a workshop dedicated to a traditional regional skill: kilim weaving. As no material was available, she started processing and dyeing local wool. After her first successes, she began training and hiring more women, a commitment that has altered the dynamics in this traditional Muslim village. She now employs 11 local women, all of whom are the sole breadwinner in their families.


DESIGNER: Maddalena Casadei

Taking on new design challenges is what she is most passionate about because it allows her to maintain a fresh approach and personal curiosity. Her design process is based on a continuous direct interaction with clients, technicians, materials. She focuses on product design, exhibition design, art direction and interiors. The art direction activity has led her to develop a vision and sensitivity towards the communication of products, often pushing her to deal with the concept and set of photo shoots. She collaborated with Ichendorf, Kettal, Quadro design, Marsottoedizioni, Trame, paola zani, Pretziada, Cantarutti, James Irvine. She set her design studio in Milano and is visiting professor at Ecal (Lausanne, Switzerland).

”When I first visited Zogaj, a small village on the shores of Lake Shkodra in Albania on the border with Montenegro, I immediately felt a great weight due to the lack of colour that made the whole context very gloomy. In contrast, however, Nebije, the artisan who made the carpets, was able to produce a great variety of colours of wool to weave. So, inspired by the work that major Edi Rama had done on the city of Tirana by commissioning various artists to bring colour to the facades of a series of bare and sad buildings, I combined colours and created a pattern that, despite its repetitive sequence, results in a glitch of colours that bring cheer and joy.” (Maddalena Casadei)
photo credits: Mark Pock