The way we experience life is steered by our unique points of view. Perspective colors each interaction with meaning, and informs our consideration of the environments that surround us.
Consider a viewpoint. From close range, our eyes perceive intricate details, hone in on minutia, and appreciate nuance. From great heights, that same view becomes distorted as we consider a vaster vista. Our reality of every day is shaped by such points of view.
This idea is captured by the Latitude collection, a new concept that interprets geometrics that are softened by shifting organics. The collection boasts 32 colors, a combination of 16 neutrals and 16 companion accents. Each accent includes a particular neutral coordinate color in its design. Use the neutrals for a more natural aesthetic, elevate the design by incorporating corresponding accent colors, or consider a bold flooring by letting the accent palette take center stage.
Other features of this collection include:
Embrace new perspectives with Latitude’s On The Grid design, and bring a new point of view to your interior environment.
This year, Interior Designers of Canada (IDC) and Milliken presented the First Annual Design Research Awards. These awards were designed to honor men and women propelling change and progress in the A&D industry through Evidence Based Design (EBD), which uses research and data to direct decisions about interior environments and physical spaces. Researchers use EBD to advance our industry through the marriage of data-driven research and design to create purpose-driven solutions.
Sponsored by Milliken, certificates and cash prizes of $5,000 for the educator/practitioner winner and $2,500 for the student winner were awarded at IDC’s 43rd annual meeting on September 11, 2015.
Doaa Khattab, the winner in the student category, and Angela Bourne, who won in the practitioner/educator category, both focused on creating design solutions to better serve all members of society.
Doaa Khattab designed an inclusive and innovative “wayfinding” system in grocery stores, which acts as an aid for visually impaired shoppers. The system helps them locate the center zone, orient between various aisles, and navigate through the store to improve their shopping experiences.
Angela Bourne’s project was designed for adults with intellectual development diversities. Angela Bourne noted that she looked forward “to using these funds to do new research that contributes to the development of best practices for the design of built environments that are socially sustainable.”
The two winning proposals proved worthy and relevant by outlining the benefits of their design on both the profession and society as a whole.
Stacy Walker, director of customer experience for Milliken, shared in a release announcing the winners: “Angela and Doaa’s research provides evidence that meaningful interior design can improve the built environment in a way that enhances people’s lives on a daily basis. Their leadership in producing purpose-driven solutions shows what 'good design' entails - enhancing the interior experience of every person."
Next year’s award will be open for entries in spring 2016.
September 10 is National Swap Ideas Day, a holiday designed to encourage people to discuss, trade, and cultivate creative, helpful, or interesting ideas. Whether you swap ideas with one person or with a group, collaborating with others offers a breadth of benefits.
Discussing ideas and thinking out loud with others can yield breakthroughs that would otherwise go unnoticed. Interior design, particularly in places of business, can set both tone and pace, and impact the ways in which associates interact with one another. Cultivating open spaces, shared desks, or a variety of meeting spaces can facilitate fruitful conversation and collaboration. In fact, Milliken has long embraced the practice of designing environments specifically to foster collaboration.
Even the placement of communal places like coffee machines, restrooms, and water coolers can be helpful. When Steve Jobs designed the Pixar offices, he placed the restrooms in a central location, between different, essentially unrelated departments, to facilitate intersections among various kinds of employees.
Collaboration doesn’t even have to happen face to face anymore. With the proliferation of technology, we are free to communicate with friends, colleagues, and peers online. Pinterest, for example, is a great place to source ideas in a group. You might create and share a secret board with others to swap or group ideas for a project.
Collaborating is sometimes about sourcing inspiration. Looking to others can spark your creativity, propelling your idea to the next level. Brainstorm with people whose work you admire, or ask for a second opinion as you develop your next project.
However you decide to celebrate National Swap Ideas Day, remember that every collaboration is an opportunity to grow, create, and innovate.
The design of interior environments can be used to elicit particular feelings, foster relationships, and even cultivate creativity. Arizona State University (ASU) had goals like these in mind when it set out to design its newly constructed Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building.
The building is a place of work, study, and discovery for astronomers, physicists, and system engineers, intended to elevate science and technological literacy among both faculty and students.
It features a stunning focal point - the attention-grabbing School of Earth & Science Exploration atrium. The light-filled open-air atrium was built around a central swath of flooring. ASU turned to Milliken to provide an eye-catching floor covering custom designed for that space, which is the common denominator for the building, as it is visible from each of its seven floors.
The carpet tile designed draped 7,000 square yards of flooring with high-performance, patterned tile that is large enough to be viewed at a distance but detailed enough to be appreciated close up.
Milliken designers incorporated three-dimensional photos of meteor impact craters taken from a Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera onto the carpet tiles. The tiles, digitally printed in gray scale, realistically replicate the colors, shades, and gradients captured in the impressive photography. In all, the flooring features 20 separate tile designs, which were combined into a unique mosaic.
The affectionately called “crater carpet” draws the eyes of its visitors to the seating areas that top it, highlighting a central location designed to foster creativity, discussion, and collaboration across a slew of fields.
“We wanted to offer those who inhabit
the space an informal learning center. In
the end, it was a fun challenge to see
how we could incorporate beautiful
imagery into an environment that
would be appreciated, understood and
learned by many.”
- Patricia Rhee, AIA, associate at Ehrlich Architects
Read the full case study on this custom carpet project here.
All photos courtesy of Ehrlich Architects/HDR Architecture, Inc.
As the summer comes to a close, we’re reflecting on our favorite bits of inspiration from the season. Explore nature, art, color, design, and creativity with our blog roundup:
The Power of Color
Beginning a new project? Whether you’re painting a few walls or undertaking a full-on renovation, color is an important consideration. Think about the emotions and feelings that particular colors elicit. Learn more about how various hues influence the way we feel and function.
4 Ways to Spark Inspiration
Inspiration ebbs and flows throughout our lives. Luckily, if you find yourself in need of new places to find inspiration or perspective, you don’t have to look very far. Here are four ways you can spark your creativity.
Fall 2015 Inspiring Events
If you’re interested in penciling in some events to exercise your design muscles this fall, look no further. We rounded up some exciting highlights coming to a city near you this season.
Graphic Design Building Blocks
In the tech-savvy age we live in, graphic design is becoming ever more ubiquitous. When you boil it down, this kind of design is based on two major building blocks: color and typography. These websites, downloads, and references will kick start your exploration of graphic design.
Nature and Color
Our history and our surroundings are often brimming with inspiration. Two of our newest collections, Color Field and Arcadia, were inspired by art history and nature. Take a look at the way these designs reinterpreted art and color to create something novel and unique.
We’re pleased to announce that Ontera Modular Carpets Pty., Ltd has joined the Milliken family of companies. Based in Australia, Ontera is a leader in the design and manufacture of commercial modular carpet, providing Milliken branded products as part of its offering.
This acquisition is the latest initiative in Milliken’s focus on global growth within the floor covering division, as we formally enter a new region noted for great market potential. Through it, we’re increasing our worldwide reach and customer service capabilities.
“The addition of Ontera, a well-respected company, to the Milliken portfolio strategically positions us to enhance our customer base and customer service in Australia and New Zealand,” shared Jim McCallum, president of Milliken’s floor covering division. “We are excited about the potential that our combined technological capabilities and market insights will bring.”
Founded in 1985, Ontera is headquartered and has operations in Northmead, Sydney. The company has licensed Milliken technology for three decades, offering a curated range of superior commercial modular carpets throughout Australia and New Zealand. With a pioneering spirit, Ontera floor covering solutions are designed and manufactured with quality, aesthetic and sustainability at the forefront of product development.
“At Ontera, we have long been impressed with Milliken’s technological capabilities, innovative designs, and clear commitment to sustainability,” said Ontera CEO Dean Harriott. “It’s exciting to be part of this world-class company. Our customers will benefit from Milliken’s global product development capabilities, technologies and insights accrued during its 150-year legacy.”
Milliken & Company President and CEO Joe Salley summarized the acquisition: “Ontera and Milliken share a long history. Our partnership succeeded because of similar unwavering commitments to quality, innovation, and environmental stewardship. This acquisition is a natural progression of our relationship.”
To learn more about Ontera, visit www.ontera.com.au. Also, connect with Ontera on social media on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
Whether you’re considering minor renovations or a full rebuild, there are various ways to make your construction green and environmentally friendly. Sustainability has a host of benefits for your organization and the environment as a whole. Choosing the right appliances or prioritizing certain structural upgrades can translate to long-term cost efficiency. Recycling what you no longer need or selecting recycled or refurbished products for your upgrade reduces environmental strain. Here are ways to make beneficial, green changes during your project, both big and small.
Construction often begins with disposal – replacing old appliances, tearing down walls, or pulling up flooring. Often, these products and materials end up in landfills while they still have usable life in them. While your floor covering or air conditioning system might not accommodate your needs any more, there’s a good possibility that someone else could find it useful.
Look into organizations that specialize in finding new homes for used building materials, like Burns & McDonnell Global Reuse, formerly Planet Reuse. Connect with a local Habitat for Humanity ReStore location, a nonprofit home improvement donation center and store that resells gently used furniture, home and office accessories, building materials, and appliances at reduced prices.
Often, when we start projects, we think: new building, new material. Rather than purchasing everything new, consider reclaimed or refurbished options. Even better, find these options locally to recoup transportation costs and decrease harmful emissions.
GreenBy3, a Charleston-based construction company, is a prime example. The company focuses on environmentally friendly options that keep reusable material out of landfills. It prioritizes cost-saving green technology, as well as local and sustainable alternatives, maximizing its clients’ budgets and environmental impact.
When you consider energy, water, and appliances, begin with looking for the most efficient options. Dual-flush toilets save water, while certain light bulbs decrease energy consumption by reducing energy waste via heat loss. In fact, Milliken utilizes low-voltage lighting systems with daylight sensors and low-flow toilets and urinals with multi-option flush to reduce resource consumption at our New York showroom.
Also think about the building blocks of your space, like insulation and air ducts. Investing in quality options now will reduce energy lost from leaky ducts or inadequate insulation in the future.
How do you prioritize the environment when approaching new construction and renovation projects?
Milliken Luxury Vinyl Tile (left to right): Fissure Oak, Charlotte, and Fiber. One of the fastest-growing segments of the hard flooring market today is luxury vinyl tile (LVT). LVT is becoming increasingly popular for its multitude of options when it comes to color and pattern, impressive durability, ease of maintenance and installation, and overall value.
LVT can offer a beautiful flooring solution for practically every interior space. It is a new alternative for those who have their eyes set on natural materials like stone or hardwood, as it delivers incredibly realistic interpretations of wood, marble, slate, and more. Those interested in modern or abstract designs should consider LVT as well - the flooring is available in myriad designs and dimensions, offering designers more control over appearance than ever before. In addition, its superior ease of upkeep and value are popularizing it as an alternative floor surface.
With so many options in the marketplace, choosing the most appropriate LVT flooring for a project might seem daunting. Alan Fennel, Milliken’s resilient flooring market director, shares three tips to help you make the best selection possible.
1. To choose a product, first consider purpose.
Think about the product’s wear layer. If you’re selecting a product that will experience heavy commercial traffic, like hotel corridors, schools, or hospitals, you’ll probably need a 28 mm wear layer. Keep in mind that the print layer of the pattern and color lay underneath the wear layer, which is crucial for protecting the design and for withstanding heavy traffic.
2. Take the product’s core into account.
While recycled content is often raved about in flooring, some LVT is made from virgin, raw materials – often PVC. Using only virgin PVC reduces the likelihood of shrinking, creating a more durable floor covering. It also eliminates the risk of recycling toxic or harmful chemicals into LVT, which could have been present in recycled post-consumer content. Virgin PVC yields a consistent, quality product with enhanced durability, providing a strong, reliable core.
3. Think about the environment.
While the nature of high-performing LVT doesn’t usually lend itself to using recycled content, you can still choose suppliers, manufacturers, and companies that meet other industry standards for sustainability and environmental stewardship. When selecting LVT, look for products that meet 100% REACH compliance and carry Environmental Product Declarations and Declare labels.
Milliken’s new LVT offerings provide a wide spectrum of aesthetics, while meeting the highest standards concerning durability, material, and sustainability:
Our easy-to-search Color Reference System lets you coordinate Milliken LVT options with modular and broadloom carpets for a seamless aesthetic, so that your space can easily flow between soft- and hard-flooring surfaces.
Interested in learning even more about our luxury vinyl tile offerings? Visit our website to browse our LVT brochure, explore our Color Reference System, and start redefining the floor plane.
Pinterest has evolved into an incredibly useful tool for individuals and organizations alike, especially within the architecture and design industry. Its features make it more than an online board of your favorite things – with additions like secret boards, buyable pins, and the ability to add locations – Pinterest is a strategic social platform to add to your arsenal of design tools.
By adding a secret board to your page, you can plan or brainstorm with clients and colleagues in private. This is a great option for communicating ideas to a client or with members of your organization. If you want to keep track of trends or your competitors’ activity – you can do it out of sight. Maybe you just want a place to collect inspiration for a project or take your time curating a board before making it public – all of that is possible with Pinterest secret boards.
The ability to tag your pins with locations adds a real-world, geographical element to your online presence. This gives Pinterest a more interactive feel. You can use the locations to map out all kinds of activities: show the exact locations and geographical presence of your projects, locate your favorite art museums across the country, or tag locations that inspire you around the world.
This month, Pinterest introduced its newest function: pins you can purchase. These pins have blue prices, which signals that the specific product is available for purchase. This is useful for both the seller and the consumer. It enables individuals as well as companies big and small to sell their content. For those of us who want to turn our time exploring online into something more tangible, simply find a buyable pin, and purchase what you need.
To explore more ways to take advantage of Pinterest for architecture and interior design, take a look at our CEU on Pinterest and the A&D Community.