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May 21
One Collection, Four Ways

A single carpet collection can help create a myriad of aesethics by simply incorporating additional flooring materials, various colors, and creatively placing tiles.

Explore how our award-winning Art Media collection, which reinterprets iconoclastic modern art techniques and media, transforms the floor plane into a canvas for larger-than-life installation art in four unique workplaces. 

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At Epsilon in Chicago, IL, Art Media - Action Painting brings a fun pop of bright color to the lobby area in contrast to sleek concrete base flooring. See more. 

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Collective in New York City, NY uses Art Media - Op Art as a neutral backdrop for other vibrant interior elements. Click here for more on this project. ​

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Art Media - Op Art helps transform a white box office into a flexible, client-centric space that intuitively grows to remain relevant over time at Quarles & Brady, LLP in Indianapolis. To see more, click here

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Art Media - Chalk in gray grounds the Charleston Regional Development Alliance in Charleston, S.C. Discover more.


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May 19
Tell Us Your Identity In Six Words

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Who are you? It’s a question often asked when meeting new people or having new experiences - and it’s a question that often causes pause, requiring to reflect on the here and now to find the right words.  

We asked the architecture and design industry at HD Expo 2015 to share their identity in six words - no more, no less. Inspired by Smith Magazine's Six Word Memoirs, the constraints proved worthy as we shared our identities at that exact moment in time.

Here are some of our favorites of their self-described identities, from thought-provoking mantras to six simple words:

  • "There's a lifetime in one tear - "
  • “Travels lead to adventure and discovery."
  • “A creative genius – create your future.”
  • “Single dad. Happy dad. Working dad."
  • “Energetic. Positive. Fun. Creative. Musical.”
  • “Sleepless mom with little brain power.”
  • "Introvert. Quiet. Reserved. Friendly. Accomodating. Handy."
  • "Empty nester with no free time."
  • "Share the road, not the rage!!"
  • "The best is yet to come..."

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Megan Sullivan with Lodging Magazine shares her identity in six words: "Travels lead to adventure and discovery" (left); Hospitality Design Associate Editor Allisa Ponchione sports a 'Writer' personality button (right).

So, who are you? What six words would you choose?

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May 14
Introducing the Identity One Collection

Just like human beings, spaces carry an identity. The subtle differences are what make it memorable and identifiable. ​

With Identity One, designers can use a kit of parts to create unique interior aesthetics with the simplicity of a standard collection. Colors, textures, scales, and sequence can be easily interchanged. Although the initial designs are the same, how various features are manipulated will determine how identifiable a space becomes for you, the client, and those who inhabit the space. 

  • Color - Begin with a neutral palette. Select accents or multiple colors to redefine the floor.
  • Scale- Choose from two scales or use both for distinctly interesting effects. 
  • Texture - Add one of two textures to any color combination for subtlety or contrast.
  • Sequence - Control layouts with creative space planning and large-scale precision designs. A defining factor of identity, sequence matters. 

Explore the dichotomy between our true similarities and how subtle differences impel us to create our own identity.

Be true. Be yourself. Create an Identity One. 

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Introduced at HD Expo 2015, our newest hospitality collection, Identity One, finds inspiration in two marked features of the human form - the unique curve of line and fine texture of the human fingerprint, and our perceived similarities of the facial profile. Although similar on the basic level, they’re highly intricate with respect to individuals. In abstract adaptations, the design’s varying curvilinear approach reveals diverse intricacies within each human identity.

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May 14
Design + Research = Purpose-driven solutions

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Why is research important for design?

Consider this: A study revealed that when patients in hospitals have visual and physical access to nature, they recover faster, are less stressed and require less pain medication. Result: designers should create hospitals with easy access to gardens or artwork of nature depicted on walls (Interior Design Reference Manual by David Kent Ballas).

Design research is necessary for creating products, services, and systems that respond to human needs in effective ways.

The researchers who conduct such work go beyond and provide insightful resources and reasoning for the choices that we make – a unique insight on how to advance our industry while merging design and industry-leading research for purpose-driven solutions. 

Such dedication should be celebrated and honored. That’s why we proudly present, along with Interior Designers of Canada (IDC), the inaugural IDC Design Research Award.

Nominate a design researcher today. ​

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May 07
Experience Identity One at HD Expo 2015

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Experience how Milliken's expertise in modular carpet provides a unique approach to scale, color spectrum, and customization from a standard kit of design components. The resulting designs move effortlessly across tiles without disrupting pattern flow - or forsaking functionality. 

Not able to join us? Follow Milliken Carpet on Twitter and Instagram and search #HDExpo15 for live updates throughout the show. 

Be true. Be yourself. Create an Identity One.

  

May 05
Making Instagram Work for You

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Instagram can offer more than witty memes and filtered portraits; it can be a creative tool for anyone in the architecture and design industry. It offers a mobile-friendly, interactive channel to engage with the architecture and design industry. By searching relevant hashtags, for example, #interiordesign, #corporatedesign, #floorcovering, #design, you can even discover new opportunities and ideas from people and companies you do not directly follow.

Critic at Dezeen, Alexandra Lange discusses how our industry can utilize the platform: "Social media can do more for architecture and design than showcase pretty faces and soundbites," she states, "Architects need to start thinking of social media as the first draft of history." 

Even more: Consider the app Morpholio Board: It provides a board layout allowing users to layout, collage and illustrate with a series of photos, images, sketches and annotations to generate boards to meet their personal interests or needs.

Who are some of our favorites?

Here’s a list of some other favorites throughout the industry (via Interiordesign.net):


We also regularly share a range of topics including installations, products, inspiring images, company events, and industry news. Be sure to also follow Milliken on Instagram at www.instagram.com/millikencarpet.

Who do you follow on Instagram for inspirtaion and ideas? We would love to know. 

April 30
Custom Artwork Grounds the Floor Plane at HI Connect 2015

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How do you infuse artwork into interiors? 

At HI Connect 2015, a hospitality tradeshow that features vignette experiences, design firm Interior Image Group​ saw art as an architectural tool beyond the walls, viewing the floor plane as a new canvas for artistic expression. 

IIG Designer Kangana Bhatnagar shared the concept behind the art-inspired floor covering, which set the tone for the HI Connect bar and lounge area. 

“One of the biggest trends in hospitality design is transforming the floor into an exciting, and even defining, design factor. Given the sheer mass of it, flooring quickly becomes quite an integral component to every hotel. Whether it’s clever wayfinding, graphic or artistic accents, or just a neutral textural base, flooring truly becomes the canvas for the overall design," Kangana shared.  

“Also trending in hospitality is the implementation of artwork in unique and extraordinary ways. Local artisans are brought into the space to infuse the context of the community into the breath of the hotel. The idea is to make all hotels feel like a destination, allowing the guest to experience the true flavors of the local neighborhood. This recent art movement is what inspired us to showcase Pamela Nielson’s art beautifully printed across Milliken carpet tiles." 

As an artist, Pamela is inspired by abstract colorscapes and the energy of movement, swooshing colors on small and large pieces of metal and clear or color Plexiglas. She appreciates blending both simple and various colors, all dependent on the mood of her piece. 

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Working with a bold design theme for HI Connect based on gender perceptions of the bar experience, Pamela was challengedd to create a piece of art that would connect the space and reinforce the male-to-female design aesthetic. She took to her creative board to paint several pieces with silvers, pinks, and blacks. 

"Our feisty design theme, based on men’s and women’s varying interpretations of the bar experience, was a perfect fit for Pamela with her famous broad strokes and love for bold colors. Working closely with our team, Pam’s artwork brought our design story to life and reinforced the male-to-female aesthetic design," Kangana continued.

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Incredible color placement and pattern precision is required to reinterpret the color movement in Pamela's artwork accurately on modular carpet. With Milliken's high-resolution print capabilities, not only was the color vibrant and saturated, but the pattern moved seamless across tiles, as tiles were printed in pattern registration. Even the art of installation was enhanced with InCode, which made installing more than 200 unique carpet tiles as easy as paint by numbers.

Pamela beamed when she saw the final result: “I couldn’t have been happier with the carpet. It looked fantastic, and the tile seams were flawless. You didn’t notice the seams, you noticed the design.”

Learn more about Pamela on her Facebook page​ to see what inspires her.

April 28
Milliken Presents IDC Design Research Award

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 “Research is creating new knowledge.” -Neil Armstrong


What is Evidence Based Design (EBD)? It's when decisions about physical space are based on research and data. It is a growing trend in our industry – one that is here to stay because​ of its proven value in effective design strategies. 

Consider this study performed on daylight in schools: 

Researchers began with a theory that natural sunlight directly affected student learning. An analysis of more than 2,000 classrooms from school districts within three states comparing the 21,000 testing results from math and science students took place. Finally, a meticulous peer review took place by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory before revealing the results. A very thorough process that supports the value that EBD provides – and its credibility (Whitemyer, 2010)*

Design researchers provide unique insights on how to advance our industry – merging design and industry-leading research for purpose-driven solutions. 

With the first-ever IDC Design Research Award, Milliken and Interior Designers of Canada (IDC) honor the dedicated researchers who move architecture and design forward. A $5,000 cash prize will be awarded to the winner in the practitioner/educator category, and a $2,500 cash prize will be awarded to the winner of the student category. 

We are proud to be a part of this award. Company-wide, Milliken is deeply rooted in science, research, and development, and this partnership speaks to our shared beliefs in the importance of research to drive the design and architecture industries forward.

Our very own Stacy Walker, global director of customer experience, shared:

"Continuous research on the impact and influence of interior design is critical to he future of our industry. It uses proven results to help determine what 'good design' truly means, so that our work is a relevant as possible. The IDC Design Research Award aligns with our continuous pursuit of innovations that 'do good' for our world. We honor the inquisitive nature to discover the path to meaningful design through research."   

Learn more about this opportunity by downloading the entry kit​ and submitting by May 22.


April 23
Leading the Pursuit of Sustainable Design

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In honor or Earth Day 2015, we partnered with Interiors & Sources to host a Twitter Chat on leading the pursuit of sustainable design. Enjoy highlights from the conversation, or recap the entire chat by searching #LeadDesign on Twitter.

Q1: Is the pursuit for sustainable buildings being led by the architecture and design industry or end users?

  • It's led by the A&D industry now, but to really succeed, end users must take charge and demand sustainability.
  • As design leaders, it's ​critical for the movement of sustainable buildings to be led by the A&D community. 
  • Clients hire firms for their expertise and to implement best design practices, which include sustainability for all projects.
  • It's both! Consumers have more access to sustainable products, and architects and designers have access to research to educate them.

Q2: What is the education process to inform clients about sustainable design? How can this be improved?
  • End users have become more educated on sustainable buildings. Project certifications, such as LEED, have been growing in popularity and recognition. However, it is important for A&D professionals to distinguish sustainable design from certification systems for clients. Sustainable design and certification systems are not one in the same.
  • To improve education, we need to explain short-term cost versus long-term cost of su​stainable products.
  • Certification systems are not always feasible or necessary. 
  • Health Product Declarations, evidence-based design, and common sense sustainable design.
  • Many materials and touch points can educate users. Not only stories in printed media, but webinars, newsletters, CEUs, and events.

Q3: Is sustainability at the forefront of project strategy or a bonus to products? Where does it fall in priority with budget?
  • Sustainability is at the forefront of project strategy. Components of sustainable design have been incorporated into building code, like more innovative lighting strategies including lower watts/SF and daylight harvesting. However, in terms of formal sustainable certification, it is typically a bonus to clients. The cost of formal certification typically exceeds most project budgets.
  • It depends on the client, which is why Q1 is so important. ​End users must value sustainable design.
  • It helps if companies carrying sustainable products practice what they preach - along with the companies who encourage it.
  • Sustainability should be a standard, not a budget line item.
  • Sustainability is a framework and baseline. Even if it doesn't lead projects, it always influences them.
  • Beautiful, sustainable, functional, and budget-friendly products don't have to be mutually exclusive.
  • It's more about achieving sustainable standards, not necessarily certifications. 

Q4: How have project certifications, like LEED and Living Building Challenge, changed the landscape for sustainable projects?
  • Sustainability has become more approachable as certifications provide a specific path for people to follow. LEED and Living Building Challenge have opened the door to sustainable practices for more people outside of architecture and design. Though each system has pros and cons, they have helped integrate sustainability and sustainable design thinking into every day.
  • Certifications have helped grow the demand for sustainable products, but not everyone certifies for the sake of being sustainable.
  • Certifications have increased awareness and implemented great standards, but also watered down the need for common sense sustainable design. 

Q5: For products, which certifications do you look for? Which green attributes resonate with you and your clients?
  • Products makes from 100% post-consumer recyclables and companies that take back products to recycle with landfill diversion programs.
  • Products that go beyond just containing recycled content and local materials for a holistic approach to sustainability. Also, materials that have a sustainable life cycle, from refinement of raw materials to recycling strategies after use. 
  • Clients resonate with green products that reduce the cost of building maintenance, like LED or CFL lighting. Also, valuing a quality product built for longevity versus a less-expensive option is inherently a green strategy.
  • If all of the acronyms of certifications have you feeling ill, the "Alphabet Soup of Transparency Tools" will fix you up. 

There are continuous advancements in sustainable design. The key take-away from our conversation: keep exploring and make sure to research! Events and open discussions, such as this Twitter Chat, will help keep the industry at the forefront of sustainability. Pooling our thoughts and ideas are imperative to keep advancing sustainability. 


April 21
5 Ways to Honor Earth Day 2015

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Earth Day has been recognized worldwide for 45 years strong. With one billion people in 192 different countries participating, Earth Day is the largest civic observance in the world (earthday.org).

This year, on April 22, Earth Day’s Global 2015 theme is ”It’s Our Turn to Lead” - compelling the global community to take responsibility and lead initiatives that better our world. 

Make the most of Earth Day 2015 with these five fun, informative, and environmentally enlightening ideas to lead the conversation about protecting our Earth:

  1. Organize a screening of an environmentally-themed movie with friends. Afterwards, discuss the film, creating conversations about the needs of our world (Earthday.org). Or, consider Edutopia’s list of 12 short videos, all with the powerful message of supporting our environment. Videos range from 30 seconds to 10 minutes in length. 
  2. Pick up trash in your community – and especially aim for parks and beaches.
  3. Give your car the day off and either walk, bike, or take public transit to work (Inhabitat).
  4. Go outside to experience why the environment is worth protecting in the first place. 
  5. Join Milliken's Twitter Chat with Interiors & Sources to discuss how sustainable design is being advocated and the most important routes to achieve it. Use #LeadDesign​ on Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22 at 2pm EST to follow along and participate. 

Be sure to share how you're honoring Earth Day on social media, using these hashtags to join in on the worldwide celebration: #ourturntolead #ED2015 #billionactsofgreen #climatechange

To learn how Milliken strives to protect the earth every day, learn about our sustainability initiatives. 

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