ARZU: Iconic Modern Architects and Rural Afghan Weavers Making Rugs Together

by Bill Davenport January 25, 2013

arzuFrom January 10- February 15, the Bank of America Center at 700 Louisiana St. in Houston is hosting an exhibition of nine architect-designed rugs created by Afghan women as part of the ARZU Studio Hope Masters Collection. ARZU, a vast and well-funded  project in social entrepreneurship, aims to helps Afghan women and their families break the cycle of poverty by providing them with a steady income and benefits, including access to education, healthcare and sustainable community development projects.

Six internationally renowned architects–Frank Gehry, Michael Graves, Zaha Hadid, Margaret McCurry, Robert A.M. Stern, and Stanley Tigerman, donated designs; the rugs are hand woven by teams of artisan weavers. The show was organized by Houston art consultant Julie Kinzelman.


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Augustine January 25, 2013 - 13:22

How are they going to top what these weavers have been doing for centuries in their own idioms? All warm intentions aside this sounds like a dumbing down of their work, to me. An exhibition of war rugs would be much more interesting.

Julie Kinzelman January 31, 2013 - 14:19

Thanks Bill for posting the ARZU exhibition announcement. I just wanted to point out that this was also organized by my colleague, Liz Anders at Kinzelman Art. Thanks!


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