The Bahraini design office Shepherd Design Studio has tongue-in-cheek reinterpreted the traditional Islamic prayer mat to make it more sustainable. Their solution? Use 50% less material but removing the bits y9ou don’t need. Featuring an unusual form, the rug will certainly catch the eyes of your neighbors during your call to prayer.
“When Muslims are in prostration during prayer, there are seven points that make contact with the mat: the forehead, two hands, two knees and two feet,” explained Shepherd Design Studio.
The firm presented its novel prayer rug at Saudi Design Week. The Riyadh-based studio wanted to find an aesthetic solution that is an alternative to the standard rug used by 90% of the Saudi Arabian population 5 times a day.
While a more sustainable solution might involve upcycling old material, and knit by those in need of work (any ideas out there?) the design firm catches our eye and makes us think about new possibilities. Sometimes great designers do just that –– they open new horizons.
The studio designed the mat so it is made of three main sections: two circles for the hands, one triangle for the forehead and a base to sit or stand on. These are then connected with thin strips of material and decorated with patterns of leaves and flowers.
Still in its prototype phase, the studio is looking to incorporate adjustable straps to allow the user to customise the distance between the sections, to best suit the dimensions of their body. Any maybe a carrying case, like the ones used for yoga mats?
“The overall form is also designed to guide the user to maintain correct posture during prayer, as well as encouraging them to reflect on the notion of consumption as a social and environmental responsibility,” explained the studio.”Our goal is not only to help the environment but also present a comfortable option for all types of users, from young to old,” said Shepherd.
The mat was displayed at Saudi Design Week, which took place in early October, 2018.