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February 26
 Minneapolis Convention Center Diverts 20,000 Yards of Milliken Carpet

The Minneapolis Convention Center launched their recent renovation, diverting approximately 20,000 square yards of Milliken modular carpet from landfill.

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With four semi-truck loads full of our cushion-backed carpet tiles leaving the convention center, we're imparting the highest form of recovery with our Landfill Diversion Program – finding new homes for used carpet tiles.

​Burns & McDonnell’s Global Reuse Services, formerly Planet Reuse, is a full-service engineering, architecture, construction, environmental, and consulting solutions firm. With their help in the reclamation, the modular carpet will be available for purchase at local Minneapolis Habitat for Humanity Restores.

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Once reclamation is complete, new Milliken carpet will be installed in the convention center, completing their renovation process.​ Stay tuned for images of the newly renovated space. 

For more information on this sustainable renovation, visit Finance & Commerce.


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February 24
2015 IIDA Educator of the Year Award Now Open

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"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge." - Albert Einstein 

Passionate interior design educators are critical to the future of architecture and design. We choose to support and recognize those industry leaders who invest time in advancing and inspiring our industry with the IIDA Educator of the Year Award.

This prestigious award recognizes and celebrates the outstanding accomplishments of a full-time interior design educator who creatively challenges and inspires students. 


About the IIDA Educator of the Year Award:

  • Awarded to a full-time educator
  • Recipient receives $10,000 cash award
  • Complimentary 2016 IIDA Membership
  • Nominations due to IIDA by April 6

Nominate a design educator who has spurred you to push the boundaries of design for 2015 IIDA Educator of the Year. Learn more about the award opportunity at iida.org, and apply here. 

Also, learn about 2014 IIDA Educator of the Year, So-Yeon Yoon, in Contract magazine. 

February 19
Crystal Stitch Offers Jewelry for the Home

When floor covering can act as jewelry for the home, designers have the opportunity to create residential spaces with a balance of luxury and comfort. 

​Crystal Stitch, part of the Milliken residential Constantine Collection, embodies this idea with subtle hints of sparkle threaded through the broadloom constructionSix curated designs with subdued light- to mid-toned neutrals offer a warm, understated elegance for the home.

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According to Ginny Jones, Milliken senior designer and collection creator, they noticed that residential designers were looking for more textural, sophisticated floor covering:

"Surfaces with three-dimensional relief continue to be an essential trend as carpets feature different pile heights and complex surface treatments. We've also seen hints of sparkle in textiles, which elevate them to a more glamorous aesthetic. Crystal Stitch is a combination of both of these ideas, without sacrificing performance and durability."

The inspiration for the collection draws from the Earth itself. Just as the Earth uses layers of minerals, pressure, and heat to form crystals, various yarns, textures, and colors are used to create Crystal Stitch.

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Notably, Crystal Stitch offers high-end visual interest with the durability of 100 percent Stainmaster Tactesse nylon. The collection also features high twist durability, premium dyes, Alphasan® antimicrobial treatment, and MilliGuard® stain protection to extend the life of the carpet and provide hassle-free maintenance.

February 16
Creating Collaboration for PKWARE

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The link between culture and talent recruitment is undeniable. PKWARE​ CEO Miller Newton understands this link, turning to Chemistry In Place and Milliken when creating a new office for his software engineering company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

From the beginning, Miller had a clear understanding of today’s workplace: culture is extremely valuable to talent acquisition and employee collaboration – and it is inevitably conveyed in office design. Miller was determined to provide a contemporary, collaborative environment to incubate thought and evoke organic industry-leading client solutions. 

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A converted paint and varnish factory with expansive open space was selected to create a factory for their industry, a ‘mind factory.’ Floor-to-ceiling windows offered panoramic views of the east end of downtown Milwaukee bordering Lake Michigan, and a long rectangular floor plane provided the ground for an open concept workspace. 

With no walls, floor covering played a major role in achieving their design goals, many of which were to:

  • Visually connect the expansive open office from one end to the other
  • Feature a large-scale pattern with movement in energetic, yet not overwhelming, colors
  • Facilitate flexible, fluid workspaces that allow teams to merge for deeper communication
  • Absorb overhead lighting to provide more low light, a critical element when designing software for long periods of time

 

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Our vibrant Color Wash collection was selected as the flooring solution. Large nuanced patterning in two designs – Matter and Medium - offered subtle movement and intrigue while connecting the expansive space, and a 1-meter x 1-meter carpet tile size minimized seams for the aesthetic of broadloom. 

Perhaps the most culturally relevant, the watercolor stripes of Medium were installed vertically, which might appear counter intuitive but has deep purpose. The layout physically connects the CEO’s office to the entire space, creating physical channels for the flow of information and ideas between all employees. 

With tough design parameters and an even tougher timeline (60 days to complete), Milliken surpassed the ordinal design goals, helping to create the ideal environment for the culture-centric firm. Miller states the success of this project best: 

“The new space has changed the way people feel coming to work every day – and the way people work. Communication and collaboration are phenomenal. We are more interconnected as a company than ever before.” - Miller Newton, President and CEO of PKWARE

To access the full case study on this project, click here.

February 12
A Guide to Design-Inspired Valentine's Gifts

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Break off from the ritualistic gifts of flowers and chocolate this year and give your Valentine something design-inspired. Which idea below speaks to your heart?


However you celebrate Valentine's Day, we hope it is inspired by the truest love of them all, the love of design. Happy Valentine's Day. 
February 09
Ridge View High School Class 'Flips It to Win It'

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Constantly evolving learning environments face limitations of resources and budgets, resulting in a certain degree of inadequacy. They can fall short when it comes to capturing the inspired learning environments that students and teachers both yearn for. 

To highlight the latest tools for effective learning spaces, McWaters provided an opportunity that would stimulate creative minds and produce a classroom conducive to active learning.

The challenge: for students and teachers to create digital entries that creatively portrayed why their existing environment is inefficient and what it would take to makeover the space to support their dynamic learning process. Seventeen middle and high school Richland School District Two classes, in Columbia, S.C., submitted their concepts. 

The winner: Wendi Wimmer's Drama Class at Ridge View High School. They creatively adapted the pop song "Whip It" into their rendition of "Flip It," while explaining the current malfunctions in their existing space.

We partnered with McWaters, Steelcase, and Designtex to bring the winning entry to life, providing our resources for success to create a floor covering that inspires the drama students in a new way.

Notably, the design process was a collaboration with the students, engaging them and yielding a true representation of their needs as students. Being a drama class, they stressed the need for flexibility and mobility in the layout and furniture in their space. 

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Watch the video McWaters created, which showcases the winning entry and the process behind the final product, and read the MidlandsBiz coverage​ of the creative event.

Congratulations to all those who participated in this challenge and to our partners for allowing us to join in on the fun. 

How do you support learning​ environments in your community?

February 05
Part 2: Color - A Representation of our Current Economic State

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As Part 1 of our analysis on color and the economy clearly presents, color forecasting is important in many different industries. So how can we predict them and what is their correlation with the economy? 

Akzo Nobel​ - They are a firm believer in the influence of our economic state in user color choice. They too annually produce a 'Color of the Year' and a style report. Notably, their 2015 color, 'Copper Orange​' is relatively similar to that of Pantone's Marsala. 

Azko Nobel recently produced a detailed analysis of its best-selling colors and correlated them with the economic conditions. The report authors explain their views:

"Analyzing color trends has shown us that during an economic downturn, neutral colors such as black, white and grey are favored for interiors, while more intense colors are used when people feel more confident. At the end of the 20th century, for example, neutrals were predominantly used. When fear and uncertainty surrounding the dawn of the new millennium faded, color began to reappear in homes, varying form bright, vibrant colors to less saturated tones." 

"What we're seeing at the moment is that in Western Europe, sober whites and off-whites are the most popular, while in the U.S., beige and grey are dominant. In Asia, however, fresh colors such as clean yellows, pinks, and light blues are preferred, which could well be related to the local economy."

They basically say 'yes,' when we are comfortable financially, we show out. When we are struggling, we hide and stay muted.

Another scholar on the concept is Leatrice Eiseman who heads up Pantone's forecasting function. In a recent interview with Forbes regarding her thought process on selection​, she shared, "It sounds a little woo-hoo, but the human eye is fickle...We start to seek out new information about a replacement and what will intrigue the consumer's eye the next year."

Leatrice's response sparked what may be the underlying apparent link between the economy and color choices people make. We watch the world and its prosperity or deflation with the exact same eyes and vision we use to decide what items to buy and use. 

What do you see when you choose what to wear, what to buy, or how to design? Do you believe that sight is the ultimate driving force?

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February 03
Part 1: Color - A Representation of our Current Economic State

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When Pantone announced that the Color of the Year for 2015 was a muted, reddish-brown tint named 'Marsala,' the result was the traditional annual carping about the subjectivity of the whole decision process. Audiences consistently have differing views on the matter. Whatever your opinion, there are two things we know for sure in regards to color trends and our global world. 

1. Pantone puts extensive time and effort behind its decision and considers a range of social and economic factors, as well as global fashion and tastes for its announcement. 

2.You can gauge social trends and the health of the economy by tracking changes in personal taste.

This connection is important to consider in the influential work of color forecasters. When Pantone created an infographic to illustrate 50 years of changing tastes in color, it was able to do so by aligning them with social trends and economic prosperity. 

Practically speaking, industries such as the rapid-paced fashion and design world track changes that change within months, to better determine what products will be long-lasting, and which ones owners will deem as passé​ and happily discard. 

Consider Alan Greenspan, perhaps the world's most famous living economist and the former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, as well as a firm believer in the idea that fashion choices reflect our economic status. He suggests that we can determine the health of the economy by simply looking at the length of women's hemlines and heels; or the amount of money men invest in underwear and ties. He also considers a woman's color selections in lipstick.

Another example of the importance of predicting color trends is more fast-paced, but not in the trend-changing way of fashion.

The automobile industry. Each year DuPont produces its own color trends report​ and each year it reports that 70 percent of consumers choose monochrome car colors in grey, black, silver, or white, deeming them timeless and resalable. Color trends are only seen in the minority of sales, but the industry still needs to understand them to ensure it is marketing and producing what will be high in demand.

So where exactly are these trends generated from and how do they affect other aspects of our world? Visit Part 2​ of this series as we reveal the answer.

January 30
Fun at Work Day at the Milliken Athenaeum

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As members of the creative architecture and design industry, we can't help but have fun every day. However, National Fun at Work Day called for a little extra celebration around the office. 

Our associates spent the afternoon at the Milliken Athenaeum partaking in fun and whimsical activities to spark the imagination - and simply enjoy themselves and their coworkers. Activities included a friendly cornhole tournament and an art exercise while enjoying sweet treats throughout the day. 

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To get creative juices flowing, associates were given a whimsical activity​ to inspire their imagination and their hearts. With a 20 minute time limit, associates were challenged to create an art piece inspired by the word "love," while respecting a few material guidelines. Pieces had to incorporate a white canvas, pencil, and a pencil sharpener in some way, along with a table full of other possibilities. Hardware, tissue paper, cotton balls, bottle caps, and yarn were among other available materials.

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We hope you indulged in some fun on this entertaining day. To see more images from our fun afternoon, visit the Milliken Carpet Facebook Page, and for tips on how to make every day at work lively and entertaining, click here.  

January 27
8 Ideas to Celebrate National Fun at Work Day

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IIDA Carolinas Chapter Board Members (left) and Milliken's Heidi Burmeister (right) created works of art while following material guidelines during the organization's 2014 annual board retreat.  

Fun is a vital aspect of innovation. Whether it is playing creative games or partaking in friendly competitions, there is no question that having fun can result in fresh perspectives to solve issues innovatively. 

In honor of National Fun at Work Day on Wednesday, January 28, we've formulated a few ideas to enliven the workday. Take some time out of the hustle and bustle to just have a little fun. 

  1. ​Host an impromptu sculpture contest using only office supplies. Time limit: 10 minutes. 
  2. Begin your meetings with each associate telling two truths and a lie. Can you decipher which is which?
  3. Have a speed painting competition. Let your creative genius thrive under pressure. 
  4. Play Frisbee with leftover carpet tile samples. Bonus: This doubles as a workout.
  5. Have an office decorating contest. Choose a theme to tie in, or make it rule-free.
  6. Hold an office-wide game of charades. We have full faith the design associates are masters of the art of drama. 
  7. Host a good old-fashioned arm wrestling competition. Show off your guns and strength.
  8. Go outside! Channel your elementary recess days and utilize any available outdoor space for recreational activities. Kickball, relay races, tag, and hide-and-seek are a few youthful options that require little equipment.

What ideas do you have to make the day a little more entertaining? Share your suggestions and photos having fun at work on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook using #FunAtWorkDay15. 

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