NODE Rugs:
The Design Museum’s
Fairtrade Collection

We briefly mentioned the work of Chris Haughton of NODE, in October 2012, in our summary of Tent London, knowing that we would return to the story to give you greater detail.


Chris Haughton of NODE

Chris Haughton is a children’s book author and illustrator who has been working in Fairtrade for the past 9 years. In 2010 Chris spent eight months in India and Nepal working with Fairtrade groups. The projects he developed resonated with people and became popular online; he was featured in Eye Magazine, Fast Company and other publications.

More recently he sought the help of Akshay Sthapit, a Kathmandu based entrepreneur with a passion for social projects, to develop a venture making and selling Fairtrade rugs. Together they called themselves NODE.


Rug design by Chris Haughton

NODE is a non-profit social business that aims to be a connection between world class design and Fairtrade. They have teamed up with eighteen designers to produce a collection for the Design Museum, London. The scheme provides work to illiterate, unskilled, or disabled people, and also schooling to their children – breaking the cycle of poverty.


Rug design by Chris Haughton

Take a look at the video below, in which Chris talks about the project:

The rugs are produced with a local NGO partner, Kumbeshwar Technical School (KTS), in Kathmandu, Nepal. KTS was founded by the Khadgi family in 1983 as the family set about using their wealth to help the rest of their caste out of poverty. They established a weaving school, recruiting disadvantaged adults to their education and support centre.

As well as earning fair wages, their weavers are taught literacy and other skills. KTS believe education is the way out of poverty. They train people with the profits from the sale of the rugs, supporting a large school of 260, with well trained, well paid teachers, and free books and meals. They also fund an orphanage for 25 children. KTS are a founder member of Fairtrade Nepal and are WFTO accredited (World Fair Trade Organization).


The carpets are produced entirely by hand, to the highest possible quality, using traditional Tibetan carpet making techniques. Nepal is well known for quality weaving and the project was set up with help from skilled master weavers. All the carpets are made from pure Tibetan wool. The wool is hand spun into thread, hand dyed with natural and non-polluting dyes and then hand-knotted on looms.

The Design Museum Collection will be launched 5 March 2013, during Fair Trade Fortnight. There are a limited edition of 10 rugs by each of the following designers:

Beatrice Alemagna | Sanna Annukka | Lesley Barnes | Petra Borner | Chamo | Benji Davies | Chris Haughton | Clayton Junior | Jon Klassen | Micah Lidberg | Joe Magee | Geoff McFetridge | Neasden Control Centre | Patternity | Serge Seidlitz | Marcroy Smith | Kevin Waldron | Donna Wilson

See the designs below.

Beatrice Alemagna was born in Italy and has had a passion for creating picture books since she was a child. She has produced twenty French books, which have also been translated into thirteen different languages. Her work is a unique blend of pencil, colour and collage.



Sanna Annukka is a designer and printmaker. Her distinctive style of bold colour and pattern is influenced by her childhood summers spent in northern Finland. Her beautiful carpet design was the first to be hand woven in Nepal as part of the new collection. It was also featured as the front cover of Creative Review on the December issue.



Lesley Barnes is an animator and illustrator who lives and works in Glasgow. She uses a graphic and colourful style to tell stories with both her illustration and moving image work. Her films have been shown in festivals around the world and have won a number of awards.



Petra Börner is a London based designer with Scandinavian roots. She studied fashion at Central St Martins in London and has established her work using a hands-on approach – often incorporating collage and embroidery, and bridging illustration with fashion & lifestyle design.



Chamo is an illustrator based in France. Her work is colourful and playful with lots of characters. She studied first textiles, then illustration in Paris. After this she took off for Berlin, where she continued her illustration and tried her hand at her own peculiar brand of doll making.



Benji Davies is a children’s book illustrator living and working in Hackney. He has illustrated over twenty books and his work has been published around the world. Alongside this he has been known to moonlight as an animation director, making music promos and adverts, and has had short films commissioned by Channel 4. His debut as picture book author, The Storm Whale, is due in August 2013.



Clayton Junior is an artist who sees the world in strong colours and bold shapes, transitioning between the single image and the graphic story, the craft of printmaking and the collective efforts of animation. A Brazilian artist living in London, he combines his taste for modernism with a tropical vibrancy.



Jon Klassen, who is currently based in LA, has created this wonderful landscape to add to the limited edition collection. His 2011 book I Want My Hat Back – in which a bear, who is looking for his hat, eats the rabbit who stole it – was selected among the “10 Best Illustrated Children’s Books for 2011” by The New York Times.



Micah Lidberg grew up in the Middle West of America and has since switched to the eastern beach. As a child Micah loved to explore the outdoors and his love for the world around him fuelled his insatiable passion for drawing. Micah is renowned for his fantastic repeat patterns and attention to detail and colour.



Joe Magee is an award-winning UK artist and film maker. He has been a regular contributor of images to The Guardian for twenty years. He has also regularly supplied images to a range of international publications such as Time Magazine, Liberation, New York Times and Newsweek – having upwards of two thousand images published. Film: Images:



Geoff McFetridge is an artist based in Los Angeles, California. Born in Canada, he was schooled at the Alberta College of Art and the Graduate Design Program at the California Institute of the Arts. Known mainly for his work as a graphic designer, he instinctively ignores creative boundaries.



Neasden Control Centre is a London based studio by artist and illustrator Stephen Smith. The studio’s D.I.Y ethos is centred around a diverse and intuitive process. The NCC portfolio is full of hand-drawn type, installations and published pieces. Smith has released 4 books and has exhibited his work worldwide. In 2011 he was invited as artist in residence with the nomadic architectural group Unknown Fields Division on a trip to Chernobyl and the Russian Space Centre.



Patternity is an award-winning creative organisation that specialises in the exploration and application of pattern. It was founded by art director Anna Murray and surface/textiles designer Grace Winteringham, who joined forces in 2009 with a shared passion and drive to push the awareness and innovative application of pattern.



Serge Seidlitz was born in Kenya in 1977 and grew up travelling between the UK, Russia & Asia. Serge combines elements of popular culture with these diverse influences to create work which both relates back to an iconic graphic language and also explores innovative and original ideas through maps, information graphics, character design and more.



Marcroy Smith is a graphic designer/ illustrator/ printmaker based in London. He is the founder of peopleofprint and, having previously graduated from Brighton University, is currently studying MA Printmaking part-time at University of Arts Camberwell.




Kevin Waldron is a Dubliner who currently lives in New York City. Kevin’s first book, Mr Peek and the Misunderstanding at the Zoo (Templar Publishing) won the Bologna Ragazzi Award Opera Prima Award in 2009. He illustrated Tiny Little Fly (Walker Books) a witty book of rhyme by Michael Rosen in 2009 and was chosen for a Booktrust Best New Illustrators Award in 2011.



Donna Wilson is a Scottish designer based in London and is well known for her gorgeous soft toys and textiles, as well as ceramics and cushions. She was named the 2010 Designer of the Year at Elle Decoration’s British Design Awards.