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August 19
Spotted: Milliken Innovation in Schools

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With the school year back in full swing​, students are likely to come across various forms of Milliken innovation multiple times a day. Our breadth of expertise across a variety of disciplines allows us to help schools create a more colorful, creative environment conducive to effective learning.

Here are four items commonly found in schools created with Milliken innovation:

1. Washable markers. Creative Colorants from Milliken help ensure markers stay where they are wanted without limiting children's creative spirit. But don't worry, easy cleaning doesn't mean dull colors. In fact, Milliken washable colorants are bold for the brightest works of art. Learn more. 

2. Plastic containers that perhaps, organize washable markers. Our plastic clarifiers help students and teachers see through containers easily - whether it is craft supplies or their lunch. Learn more. 

3. School sports uniforms. Students can play hard in sporting uniforms made with Milliken performance fabrics that reduce odor and improve comfort. Learn more. 

4. Floor covering. Our inspiring floor covering collections help provide an effective and comfortable learning environment that sparks students' imaginations. The built-in cushion provides extra comfort for small children when playing, and anti-microbial treatment ensures a clean and safe environment. To see examples of Milliken floor covering in schools, click here.    

How else might students discover Milliken innovation in schools? 

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August 14
The U.K. Emerges Post-recession as a Creative Powerhouse

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Milliken held numerous creative workshops at our London showroom during Clerkenwell Design Week 2014, which has become a premier event for the Clerkenwell and international design community.  

The idea that necessity is the mother of invention was introduced by Plato in the 4th Century BC, and it endures to this day.

We have come to believe that creativity has roots in not only need, but also adversity. As the character Harry Lime played by Orson Welles puts it in the 1949 movie The Third Man; “In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love. They had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.”

The post-war world was an ideal place to indulge in such thinking. What better time than the aftermath of a global disaster to judge the effect of adversity on the world? It’s a question that is pertinent as the world emerges from a six-year economic downturn. In the week in which it was announced that the U.K. economy is now back to its pre-crash level and the IMF announced that the British economy would grow faster than that of any other developed nation, what effect has the downturn had on creativity in the U.K.?

There are very clear signs that the recession has made the U.K. a hotbed for creative industries. For example, recent research from media buying agency ZenithOptimedia suggests that 2014 will see the U.K. advertising industry outstrip Germany’s for the first time. In particular, London is thriving in this regard because, not only is it able to draw on a large pool of talented, edgy people who not only speak the language most common to the largest numbers around the world, it has set new standards in technological know-how.

This is also true in cities like Manchester, where Media City has shifted the U.K.’s creative epicenter to a large degree, alongside Cambridge and tech hubs in the South West of England and the central belt of Scotland.

Even so, the real action in the U.K.’s burgeoning technology, media and telecoms (TMT) sector is London. At the recent London Technology Week, research firm South Mountain Economics claimed that the capital is outstripping Silicon Valley in terms of employment growth  - up 11 percent in the past five years. Theorganizersrs of the event also cited research from Oxford Economics that London's technology sector could add an extra £12 billion and 46,000 new jobs to the U.K. economy by 2024. Yet another report from Boston Consulting Group suggests that the proportion of the UK’s GDP related to the technology and media sectors is set to grow from its current level of eight percent to more than 12 percent by 2016.

Even so, we shouldn’t assume that it is only in technology that the U.K. has emerged as a global creative force. According to a report published in late 2013 by Deloitte, when it comes to employment levels of people in knowledge based jobs in a range of high skill sectors such as digital media, banking, legal services, software development, telecoms and publishing, London is one of the world’s leading cities. The study found that London employed 1.5 million people in the 22 sectors surveyed, compared with 1.2 million in New York, 784,000 in Los Angeles, 630,000 in Hong Kong and 425,000 in Boston. The report also predicts that London will enjoy rapid growth in employment levels in these sectors over the next seven years, adding around 100,000 more people.

We can debate just how much of the U.K.’s new status as a global creative powerhouse is down to the impetus given to its creative industries by the recession. What is undoubtedly true is that the past six years have seen the U.K. develop an exciting new creative skills base. The global economic downturn created a challenge for the country and it has responded with vigor.

 

August 12
8 Tips to Immediate Inspiration

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How do you find inspiration for architecture and design projects? These eight tips from Milliken floor covering designers help stimulate creative thinking in everyday life.

Which tips do you find most inspiring? 


August 07
Linen and Theory 2.0 Enliven a Corporate Office 

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​Bright colored flooring is a great way to enliven corporate offices and create a unique aesthetic. This recent installation of Milliken's Theory 2.0 and Linen Collections highlights the transformation that various bold-toned patterns can provide in interior spaces.

From contemporary circles to classic letter forms, Theory 2.0 brings intrigue and discovery to the floor. Designers can take on a neutral palette or make a bold statement with predetermined accents that connect and move between multi-directional textures, while still ordering a standard collection. This installation features two patterns of Theory 2.0, Stacks 2.0 and Eureka 2.0, used in combination with the Linen Collection to delineate spaces. 

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The Linen Collection is inspired by the delicate and intricate textures of classic linen textiles. The nuances of yarn quality in traditional textiles are interpreted in the design and provide visual interest, depth, and complexity. We love how this installation features Linen in a custom electric green color to add personality to both work and common areas. 

Both Linen and Theory 2.0 are rated for severe durability, so the floor coverings will easily withstand high amounts of foot traffic. Additionally, the collections are PVC-free, which helps provide a healthier work environment for employees.  

Related articles featuring Linen and Theory 2.0


August 05
Lessen Your Carbon Footprint with Carbon-Neutral Floor Covering

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"At Milliken, sustainability goes beyond the carpet itself. It encompasses a higher level of environmental stewardship with a complete approach to sustainability - from the quality of manufacturing practices, ​environmental and safety policies, and ethical standards to the environmental and health aspects of product components, longevity, and renewability." 

- Philip Ivey, strategic sustainability leader for the Milliken global floor covering division  

Did you know that the Milliken family of companies is a certified carbon-negative manufacturer by the Leonardo Academy Cleaner and Greener Program? This allows Milliken to offer carbon-neutral floor covering solutions to end users that desire to lessen their carbon footprint.

This carbon-negative certification means that we capture and offset more carbon dioxide than our global operations emit. We have achieved this status through a deliberate combination of rigorous business practices, which include:

  • Reducing emissions through an energy management system that includes energy audits and conservation
  • Offsetting emissions through the use of renewable energy, including harvested methane from the LaGrange, Georgia landfill and a company-owned hydroelectric plant in South Carolina
  • Capturing carbon dioxide through the sustainable management of more than 130,000 acres of trees in Milliken forests 

Providing carbon-neutral floor covering solutions is one of the many ways that we strive to 'Do Good' for the world. Click here to learn more about Milliken's complete approach to sustainability. 

Related articles about sustainability at Milliken

July 31
Printed

​From silk scarves and shoes to wallpapers and floor coverings, printed materials are all around us. 

This is no surprise, as print offers many design benefits with textiles. With print technology, designers can transfer images and patterns directly onto material substrates - and have them reflect as the design was intended.   

Take a look at printed pieces that have us particularly inspired, and follow our 'Printed' board on Pinterest for more pieces that highlight what is possible with high-resolution printing. 

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Hermès printed silk scarf (image via Pinterest) and printed wall paper (image via Pinterest).                                                                                      

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The Allumé Collection and Allegory Collection from Milliken, which feature high resolution digital printing.

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Printed leather heels from J.Crew (image via Pinterest). 

Where are you discovering printed materials? We would love to know. 






July 29
Creative Art Activity Exercises Imagination

 
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What would you create if given a blank canvas, specific materials of various forms, and told not to use a paintbrush? That is exactly what board members of IIDA Carolinas were challenged with at their annual retreat hosted at the Milliken Athenaeum.

Parameters were simple, yet stringent enough to require creativity and a unique perspective. 

Participants had 1.5 hours to use:

1. A 12" x 12" blank canvas, signed and time stamped prior to the activity

2. A pencil and pencil sharpener, which must be incorporated in the artwork 

3. A sharpie

4. Various materials laid out on tables, including yarns used to construct carpet, magazines, leafs, paints, resins, hardware, buttons, glue, and more.

5. Methods of application other than a paintbrush

The resulting pieces of art are a true illustration of the creativity that abounds in the architecture and design industry. When faced with design challenges, designers continually find inspiration to create unique interior environments.  

Creative activities like this help exercise the imagination, so there is never a lack of fresh perspectives when approaching design.

How do you exercise your imagination? We would love to know. 

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The artwork created by IIDA Carolinas board members will hang in the Milliken dining commons at our international headquarters in Spartanburg, South Carolina. 







July 24
Six Interior Settings With Southern Analog

​We love seeing how designers create various unique interior spaces using the same Milliken floor covering collection. Incorporating additional patterns, pops of color, and creative tile placement can lend a collection an entirely new aesthetic.   

Southern Analog, one of our most popular collections, is a great floor covering solution for any space. Take a look at the collection at work in government spaces, education settings, and corporate offices.

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Wiltshire County Council in the United Kingdom pairs a charcoal gray Southern Analog with a bright pop of orange using a custom design from Milliken Custom Colors. For more images of the installation, click here.  

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Wirtz Beverage in Illinois pairs an ash gray Southern Analog with Paste Up in gray and red to delineate spaces. To see more images of the installation, click here

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Keeny Quad in Brown University features Southern Analog of bold reds and blues. The collection is paired with Consequence 2.0, which adds to movement and texture on the floor. 
 

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Charter Communications in South Carolina features Southern Analog combined with the Monuments and Shrines collection. The heavy texture appearance rating makes the collection an ideal choice for high-traffic customer areas. To view more images of this project, click here
 

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Southern Analog is combined with the Sound and Fury collection​ at a gas and utilities provider in Northern California. To view more images of the installation, click here

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World Wide Technology in Missouri features Southern Analog in dark and light shades of blue. In addition to Southern Analog, the space features the Out of the Shadows and Monuments and Shrines collections. To view more images of the installation, click here


July 23
Two Tips for Fresh Perspectives to Create Interior Experiences

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To discover patterns for the Altered Form Collection, the Milliken Design Team viewed the transformation of energy in nature through micro and macro perspectives. 

The desire to create new experiences in interior environments is a critical driving force in moving interior design forward. However, the idea is much often easier said than done.

At Milliken, we look to help designers create unique interior experiences by adopting a new perspective when designing our floor covering collections. Here are two ways that we achieve this goal.

1. Take a fresh perspective on what is proven. Capitalize on what has been successful in the past and reimagine how it can be enhanced or reinterpreted.

2. Take a fresh perspective on interpretation. Open your senses to rediscover something experienced every day. Simply looking at something through a pointed lens can reveal something not noticed before.

New viewpoints and constant curiosity inspire innovation. We hope that you too will find meaningful discoveries when viewing the world's moments - small and large - through a fresh perspective.

View this article in Interior Design designwire. 

July 17
@MillikenCarpet Joins Instagram

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Social media is truly changing how the architecture and design industry shares design work, gains inspiration, and experiences design. We're excited to announce that we have joined Instagram to have conversations with the A&D community in a new way. 

Join us @MillikenCarpet ​as we share inspiring images, examples of our collections at work in various settings, thoughts and ideas around sustainability, and essentially the lifestyle of design and environmental stewardship that we live at Milliken. We hope that our musings on Instagram will inspire and challenge you to redefine design. 

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Are you on Instagram? We look forward to following you on the site, too.   

If Instagram is not your social media tool of choice, we would love to connect with you on Facebook at facebook.com/millikencarpet, Twitter at twitter.com/millikencarpet, and Pinterest at pinterest.com/millikencarpet


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