Alexander Girard’s forgotten textile patterns find new life as rugs

Alexander Girard was a man of many design talents. Trained as an architect, he practiced across disciplines—making furniture, designing interiors, patterning wallpapers. 

Girard is perhaps best known for his work as Herman Miller’s head of textiles, a title he carried from 1952 to 1973. During that time, Girard designed hundreds of patterns, each with a refined eye toward pattern and geometry.

 Original artwork for “Step” textile.  Maharam

Original artwork for “Step” textile.

Maharam

Five of those patterns are now being reissued as rugs by the textile company Maharam, and they include some long-forgotten favorites. Working with Girard’s grandchildren, Maharam’s team uncovered the patterns during a trip to the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum a couple of years back.