Return of the Dinosaurs

Return of the Dinosaurs


The design experts at Dinosaur Designs take a look back at their stunning collaboration with Designer Rugs.

The three “dinosaurs”, Louise Olsen, Stephen Ormandy and Liane Rossler, formed Dinosaur Designs in 1985 and have continued to see growth and success in the areas of jewellery, homewares and, more recently, textiles. In 2006 the Dinosaur team collaborated with Designer Rugs for a collection that won an Australian Design Award. Now, almost four years later, the people at Dinosaur Designs have put their creative energy into a new handmade rug collection, which complements the original collection.

Featuring a mix of bold amorphic designs, monochromatic patterns and punchy colours, the six rugs in the collection are a remarkable extension of the original collection.

“Both collections are about the relationship between colour and form but the second range involved working with a whole new colour palette,” says Louise. “With the second series we knew so much more about the material and had more experience with the medium and what it could give us, so it flowed more easily.”

The relationship between colour and form was at the heart of the inspiration for the new collection, as Stephen explains: “Our inspiration for our second series of rugs was the relationships between tone, texture, colour and form.”

Using the classic rectangular shape as the canvas, each rug features playful compositions of organic shapes, while bold colour combinations deliver a style and personality unique to each.

Working on the design of this rug collection was a little outside the normal scope of Dinosaur Designs collections. “We had to look at the difference in material and approaching a two-dimension form along with the scale,” says Stephen. “Our typical pieces are hand-sculpted from clay before being created in resin. This involved working with two different mediums.”

Designing for a different medium required a different design process, Louise explains. “We developed drawings for the range and then the process involved meetings with Designer Rugs and going through their amazing carpet samples, looking at colour relationships and textures,” she said.

The result is six rugs hand-tufted in 100 per cent New Zealand wool with the majority featuring 30mm shag-pile felted yarns, in addition to cut-pile felted yarns.

The passionate team at Dinosaur Designs are proud of the fun and contemporary range that was almost a year in the making. Discussions began with Designer Rugs in 2009 for the second collection and since then both companies looked at a number of design ideas before deciding on the final six.

An intuitive creativity and focused vision that runs between the three “dinosaurs” — Louise, Stephen and Liane — is the reason for Dinosaur Designs’ success, no matter what medium they are designing for — and it is their unique approach to design that sets them apart. “Dinosaur Designs is linked to the freedom to allow ourselves to be influenced by what surrounds us,” says Stephen. “This might be rocks in a flowing stream or the history of art, all of which we instil into our handmade jewellery and homewares.” For more information, visit or