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November 25
A Seasonal Sip From Our Home to Yours

Coming together for the holidays means opening one's home to the company of friends and family. Welcome your guests with a festive libation and seasonal cocktail from our very own Chef Jim McCallister with the Milliken Guest House. 

Happy Thanksgiving from the Milliken family. 

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Maple-Bourbon Cider 

Yields four cocktails

6 ounces Bourbon
2 ounces apple schnapps 
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
1 cup apple cider
1 cinnamon stick 
Cayenne​ pepper to taste
Ice

1. Steep 1 cinnamon stick in apple cider and let cool. 

2. Fill cocktail shaker with ice and add bourbon, lemon juice, maple syrup, and apple cider; shake vigorously. 

3. Strain into four glasses and top each with cayenne pepper, if desired. 

November 20
Milliken Hosts First-Ever Student Design Competition

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At Milliken, we value programs that advance our communities, further education and 'do good' in our world. 

We recently put this mission into practice by connecting with the Rowan-Salisbury School District in North Carolina for the first-ever Milliken-RSS E3 District Design Competition - a challenge meant to inspire students' imaginations and further valuable skill sets, such as presentation skills.

Students across the district in elementary, middle and high school were challenged to create their ideal learning environment that exemplified Extraordinary Education Everyday (E3). The task: create artwork showcasing their designs and produce a video presentation to present their work. 

This required students to use creativity and imagination for their concepts and also gave vital training in soft skills, which are necessary for future careers. A panel comprised of Milliken and Rowan County District leaders judged their final presentations and selected three winners (1st, 2nd and 3rd) from each school level.

To award their outstanding achievement, the winning designs will be printed on individual custom Milliken logo floor mats​​. On December 5, the winners will be presented with their new logo mats, go on a personal tour of Milliken and meet with various Milliken associates to discuss different career possibilities.

Click here​ to view a video of the winning entries, and to watch select Milliken-RSS E3 District Design Competition participants present the ideal learning environments, click here. Enjoy a sneak peek of two of the winning entries below.

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Congratulations to all of the design contest winners and participants for showing us what learning environments inspire them most. 

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November 18
Recycling in Architecture & Design

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In honor of America​ Recycles Day (Saturday, November 15), we partnered with Interiors & Sources for a Twitter Chat on recycling in the architecture and design industry. 

More than 60 interior designers, manufacturing partners and leaders in the recycling industry joined to discuss relevant topics involving recycling in architecture and design. Enjoy highlights from this Q&A and discover what conversations are happening now to improve our environment. You can also see the entire conversation on Twitter by searching #DesignRecycled. 

Q1: How can interior designers make a difference in the industry through recycling?

  • Set an example for clients and educate them on recycle programs and available re/upcycled products and their benefits to the environment. 
  • Refurbish furnishings, buy and repurpose vintage items and turn existing products into new and useful items. 
  • Partner with manufacturers with recycling policies that take responsibility for a product's end of life, and always consider a manufacturer's product sample take-back programs. Check out this reuse of Milliken modular carpet samples, and Milliken's Renaissance Sample Return Program​.
  • Create spaces that promote a culture of post-consumer recycling with accessible recycling bins and filtered water fountains in place of plastic water bottles.
  • Transparency from manufacturers is critical to create sustainable environments. 

Q2: How can the A&D industry improve upon the upcycling process to get the most out of a material?

  • ​Stop thinking of used materials with a negative connotation and instead embrace them as an exciting design challenge. 
  • Be willing to work with and learn from each other at all stages of the process and share knowledge.
  • Recycled content in building products and furniture is thought of as a bonus, but not a requirement. If we demand green products and push our vendors to incorporate more recycled components, the industry will act.
  • Look for durable products designed for longevity and maintain products to maximize their first life. The longer a product lasts, the less that will need to be manufactured for replacements.

Q3: More products are being made with used/old items, such as carpet. What are the possibilities for used/old carpet in the future?

  • Focus on increasing the first life of carpets by considering proper construction, care and maintenance. This can reduce energy usage for downcycling old carpet and creating new products.
  • Donate used carpet in good condition to organizations like PlanetReuse to find second homes for used building products. 
  • Turn old into new. For example, find reuse opportunities for products that can be revitalized with a thorough cleaning, such as carpet. Reuse is considered the highest form of recovery. 
  • Incorporate textile fibers into more consumer products. For example, the Wishbone Bike Recycled Edition (RE) is made from 100% recycled residential carpet. 

Q4: How can the A&D industry improve upon its recycling/landfill diversion programs?

  • Strive to become a zero-waste company and incentivize the effort in some way so that all employees are on board. Partner with manufacturing organizations who have the same zero-waste mission.
  • Join forces with industry organizations, such as CARE​, to find local recycling partners and decrease environmental impacts of transportation.
  • Develop lifecycle recycling manuals to inform clients of what products can be recycled and who to contact to facilitate take-back.
  • Sustainability is constantly changing. Continuing education is key for manufacturers, designers and end users to stay updated on the latest environmental best practices​.

How do you promote recycling in design projects? We would love to know.

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November 13
Landfill Diversion: What Happens to Carpet?

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Did you know that carpet was once the second highest contributor to landfill waste? 

That statistic didn't settle well with us, so we took action by creating the Milliken Carpet Landfill Diversion Program as part of our "No Carpet to Landfill Pledge.

We invite you to join us in our pledge by preventing your old carpet from entering landfills. Click here to discover how we can help.

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November 13
Join Us in a Twitter Chat for America Recycles Day

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In honor of America Recycles Day (Saturday, November 15), we are partnering with Interiors & Sources magazine once more for a Twitter Chat on recycling in the architecture and design industry. 

Join us on Friday, November 14 from 2-3 p.m. EST to discuss relevant questions around recycling in architecture and design, including: 

  • How can interior designs can make a difference in the industry through recycling?
  • How can the A&D industry ensure they are making the most out of a material?
  • What are the possibilities for used/old building items, such as carpet?
  • How can the A&D industry improve upon its recycling/landfill diversion programs?

Industry organizations in post-consumer recycling and reuse, Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE)​ and PlanetReuse, will also be sharing their expertise and insight. 

Follow and use the hash​tag #DesignRecycled​ to participate in the event. We look forward to our conversation together.


November 11
IIDA Carolinas Defines 'Sustainable Design'

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The IIDA Carolinas Chapter joins our guest blog series once more and shares their definitions of 'sustainable design.'  


Q: What does 'sustainable design' mean to you?

A: Sustainable design is a careful balance between client need, community, and the environment.

        - Andrea Kuhfuss, IIDA; IIDA Carolinas Chapter Past President 2013-2014; Upstate City Center

A: Sustainable design brings added depth and long-term balance to the decisions we, as designers, make in regard to the built environments we create. Whether it's a memorable story of a company's responsible harvesting or reuse of materials, or a building owner's commitment to having an interior space designed for various users over time, compliance with social and economic principles ultimately benefit the community by bringing greater balance. As a designer, I appreciate the memorable and thought-provoking qualities that a sustainable space provides for its users that are not only inherent to its design, but also far outlast the life of any single material used in its creation. 

        - Katie Henderson, IIDA; Triangle City Center 

Q: How do you create a sustainable interior environment that is also a beautiful and inspiring place for inhabitants?

A: I don't feel that sustainable and beautiful are mutually exclusive. In fact, knowing that a product is crafted to be environmentally friendly makes it even more beautiful in my opinion.

        - Anita Holland, IIDA; IIDA Carolinas Chapter VP Membership

About IIDA Carolinas

The International Interior Design Association (IIDA), founded in 1994, is the result of a merger of the Institute of Business Designers (IBD); the International Society of Interior Designers (ISID); and the Council of Federal Interior Designers (CFID). The goal of the merger was to create an international association with a united mission that would represent interior designers worldwide and speak on their behalf with a single voice. 

With over 500 members, the IIDA Carolinas Chapter is comprise of seven City Centers and one Campus Center in North Carolina and South Carolina. 

November 04
Design Blitz Shares Approach to Innovative Design

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As part of our guest blog series, Design Blitz in San Francisco shares their approach to designing innovative interior spaces. (Pictured above: Zendesk San Francisco office designed by Design Blitz, featuring Color Wash from Milliken. Photo by Bruce Damonte. Click here for more photos of the space.)


Q: How do you approach each new design project differently?

A: With each project we focus on brand and operations specific to the client. We invest a significant amount of time early in the project to getting to know our client. Our approach to design has a collaborative element as well - we bring our expertise to the table and the client brings their own personality and input. Our clients and their spaces are all unique, which inspires us to try something new each time.

Q: What are the most important elements of creating a successful interior space for a client?

A: One of our guiding principles is to always look first for what can be reduced before we add. We also firmly believe that daylight should be give to people, not conference rooms! We think interior design should improve the way our clients live, work, and feel at the highest quality and the lowest environmental impact. Ultimately, a successful project will be catered, client-specific, and diverse. 

About Design Blitz

Blitz is a full service architecture and interior design firm, specializing in commercial and residential design. They provide the complete range of architectural services required to take a project from programming through construction. They also offer urban planning and furniture services. And though their focus is the built environment, they are committed to total design solutions - balancing buildings, branding, and experiences. 

October 30
Staying in the Loop

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Knitting's quaint and retro image as a worthy and sedate hobby may be widespread, but it relies on a complete misunderstanding of the diverse and occasionally revolution associates knitting enjoys with art, philosophy, radicalism, and the crafts movement. It might be true that the more mundane aspects of knitting have remained pretty consistent over a period of centuries, but it is a practice and a skill that nevertheless invites innovation and radical thought.

This is not surprising according to a feature in the New Yorker published earlier this year, which highlighted the similarities between the arts and crafts movement and the contemporary democratizing forces of technology. In both cases, cheap and accessible tools are placed in the hands of everybody to do with as they wish. Given such emancipation, it is little wonder that the use to which such tools are put - be they knitting needles or an iPad - can be eternally surprising and groundbreaking.

The article cites the example of Chris Anderson, the editor-in-chief of Wired who quit his job to become the CEO of a robotics company and in 2012 published a manifesto, called Makers: The New Industrial Revolution. Anderson argues how important it is for people to make things and not just sell services and makes no distinction between 3D printing and Web 2.0 and traditional forms of manufacture. "If you love to plant, you're a garden Maker. Knitting and sewing, scrapbooking, beading, and cross-stitching - all Making," he writes. "The digital natives are starting to hunger for life beyond the screen. Making something that starts virtual but quickly becomes tactile and usable in the everyday world is satisfying in a way that pure pixels are not."

The practice of knitting, along with other crafts, has long enjoyed connotations with rejections of established order. The counter-cultural movements of the 1950s and 1960s, which continue to influence thought to this day, used craft as a way of rejecting consumerism and homogeneity, encouraging creativity - ideas which still underpin the modern crafts movement.

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In English, the words 'craft' and 'crafty' denote cleverness, cunning, and trickery. The French word for knitting is tricot. In historical terms, it is a word inextricably bound up with the French Revolution as female knitters, les tricoteuses, would often sit beside the guillotine during public executions, cheerfully chatting and knitting in between beheadings. Often they are depicted in paintings from the time as knitting Liberty Caps. In literature, the most famous of these women is Madame Defarge in Dickens' novel A Tale of Two Cities, an active Revolutionary who secretly encodes the name of those to be executed in her knitting.

A less bloodthirsty example of the revolution use of knitting has arisen in London over the last five years. Knit the City is a loose collective of knitters whose aim is "to guerrilla knit the city of London, and beyond that the world, and bring the art of the sneaky stitch to a world without wool." Tongue-in-cheek it may be, but they have achieved a great deal of prominence as well as notoriety. Their best known stunt was to knit a cosy for a phone box in Parliament Square, but they are also known for a variety of other happenings - or yarnstorms - including the Web of Woe, a large spider web in London's Leake Street.

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More mainstream creative outpourings of knitting even deserve their own section of the V&S's website​, where visitors can find both mainstream applications of the craft including a catalogue of patterns from the 1940's, as well as explore the work of innovators such as Ruth Lee and Freddie Robins. The latter says in an interview: "As far as I am concerned, any increase in knitting is a good thing. If everyone knitted the world would be a better, happier, and certainly a warmer, place." And you can't really argue with that. 


October 28
Making an Impact with Architecture for Humanity New York

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On Saturday, October 25, the New York City Architecture & Design Community chose to make a tangible impact in their city. The Day of Impact 2014, organized by Architecture for Humanity New York, engaged designers in meaningful volunteer projects throughout the city.

We tasked Taj Cutting, an interior design student at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), to takeover our Twitter and Instagram and share her point of view of the Day of Impact. The assignment: Ask participants what good design means to them, and why they choose to make an impact in their city. Here are a few highlights from her experience.
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It was a natural fit for Milliken to join forces with Architecture for Humanity New York for their first annual Day of Impact. The day of service aligns with our purpose to do good in our communities, and the activities themselves are values and beliefs that Milliken holds very high. 

  • The philosophy behind MillionTreesNYC reminds us of our nationally recognized Arboretum on the Milliken global headquarters as well as our Trees for All Initiative with tree-planting education. 
  • Painting a local school with Publicolor ties in our desire to provide inspiring environments for student learning. 
  • Beautifying a bike lane with Built It Green! NYC will encourage more people to bike to work as alternate transportation, just as we value alternate and renewable energy. 

Events like the Day of Impact prove the incredible and tangible impact of design within communities. How are you using design to do good in the world? 

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October 23
IIDA Carolinas: Perspectives on the evolution of sustainable design

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As part of our guest blog series, we've asked the IIDA Carolinas Chapter how they believe sustainable design is evolving in the A&D community. Their responses are nothing short of inspiring. (Pictured above: IIDA Carolinas Board of Directors) 


Q: How do you see sustainable design evolving in the architecture and design community?

A: I see sustainable design becoming practice as usual. There is no reason we should not be designing energy efficient, healthy environments. The technology and products are readily available, and it's up to us to apply our best sustainable practices.

          - Dustin Seager, IIDA, LEED AP ID+C; IIDA Carolinas Chapter VP Advocacy; Coastal City Center

A: I feel that sustainable design will evolve in a very similar fashion as technology has. At first it was more cumbersome and costly, and now it is woven into the fabric of what we all do on a daily basis...ubiquitous. I think that creating environments that are sustainable will be and should be a "given", more of a pre-requisite for a project, and the designers and clients determine to what degree the sustainability will reach.  

          - Anita Holland, IIDA; IIDA Carolinas Chapter VP Membership

A: Sustainability must become less about checking a box and more of a holistic mindset. I see firms driving the conversation based on their own best practices and relying less on proprietary guidelines.

         - Scott MacMeekin, IIDA, LEED AP BD+C; IIDA Carolinas Chapter President-Elect; Charlotte City Center

A: Designing for a sustainable project environment has become second nature in our industry. There are many products available to architects and designers that help us achieve a more sustainable outcome from our built environments. Since the initial rush of design to LEED requirements and standards, the cost associated with sustainable materials has dropped and become attainable to a range of clients' budgets. Because of this, the negotiation and "sales pitch" that used to occur over sustainable practices and design has diminished. Furthermore, clients see this as a way of "keeping up" in their respective industries and showcasing their care and concern for our environment and the built environment they provide for their employees. 

          - Emma Butler, Assoc. IIDA, LEED AP; IIDA Carolinas City Center Director; Charlotte City Center

A: We have started to see a trend in clients not requesting LEED Certification anymore, but requesting the use of green design elements. As designers, we are very familiar with the principles of sustainable design and use our knowledge to incorporate those items as part of best practices even when not requested. 

          - Leigh Stephenson, IIDA, NCIDQ, EDAC, LEED AP ID+C; IIDA Carolinas VP Professional Development; Charlotte City Center 

A: As more companies develop sustainable or green products, cost of these materials will hopefully reduce, making them more readily available for all project types and budgets. Currently, many "green" products are cost prohibitive for low budget projects. Additionally, I see a shift in how sustainable design implementation occurs. There already has been a shift towards continual monitoring of energy use and building performance instead of a once and done approach to sustainable design that only measures a building's designed performance, instead of actual performance upon project completion.  

          - Amanda Wade, IIDA, LEED AP ID+C; IIDA Carolinas Chapter VP Communications; Triangle City Center 

A: In my design work, whether it is LEED or not, I want the design to be functional, beautiful and responsible. I pick products that meet all those criteria on all projects. Just because it is LEED doesn't mean that it has to have a lower level of design or a less desirable aesthetic. I feel this is the direction that sustainable design is going, to be the only option without even realizing it. I think manufacturers and the A&D community all want to design products and buildings that have less impact on our environment​ while still meeting our criteria. As this field of sustainability continues to grow and the manufacturing evolves, it will become the standard and we won't have to have a "labeled" group of product to choose from."

          - Danielle Tipton, Owner, Interior Designer, NCIDQ at DT Designs; IIDA Carolinas; Triad City Center

About IIDA Carolinas

The International Interior Design Association (IIDA), founded in 1994, is the result of a merger of the Institute of Business Designers (IBD); the International Society of Interior Designers (ISID); and the Council of Federal Interior Designers (CFID). The goal of the merger was to create an international association with a united mission that would represent interior designers worldwide and speak on their behalf with a single voice. 

With over 500 members, the IIDA Carolinas Chapter is comprise of seven City Centers and one Campus Center in North Carolina and South Carolina. 


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