Category Archives: NeoCon

Interface Celebrates +Positive spaces with Great People and Great Design

Savannah Weeks
HiP Award

David and Cindi Oakey celebrate the HiP Award win for Human Connections.

Interface brought home three HiP awards at NeoCon 2017 and continues to garner recognition for its successful sustainability leadership and manufacturing practices

Human Connections, David Oakey’s latest global collection for Interface, highlights the beauty of the outdoors through its unique interpretation of nature’s role in communities. The collection won for Interior Design’s HiP Award for Best Workplace flooring, a highly competitive award category.

Our talented designer (and expert parallel parker) Gretchen Wagner won Interior Design’s esteemed HiP Rising Star Award, and San Francisco-based superstar Account Executive Brandon Maddox took HiP Seller.

While creating beautifully designed products remains a critical function for Interface, we also maintain a commitment to the earth and creating a climate fit for life. We recently garnered accolades for leadership in sustainability and recycling, being named CARE’s Recycler of the Year for 2016. Our Net-Works program, which in partnership with the Zoological Society of London, empowers people in coastal communities in the developing world to collect and sell discarded nylon fishing nets, won Business Partnership of the Year from the U.K.’s National Recycling Awards.

In fact, Interface was recently recognized as a global sustainability leader for the 20th consecutive year in GlobeScan and SustainAbility’s annual Sustainability Leaders Survey. Earning third place this year, Interface is the only company to appear on the list each year since the study began in 1997, and held a place in the top four since 1998.


Additionally, Jarami Bond, Manager of Sustainability, was recognized as a young leader by sustainability industry publication Greenbiz. Named one of 30 leaders under 30, Jarami was applauded for his commitment to Interface’s sustainability mission as well as his community involvement in Atlanta and college mentorship.

We thank and congratulate our employees for their well-deserved recognition. It’s their passion, talent and dedication that help us continue to create beautiful, sustainable and positive spaces.

Posted in Category NeoCon, Net Works, Sustainability | Leave a comment

NeoCon Buzz

Gretchen Wagner

NeoCon season has come and gone yet again and I’m still buzzing. Not sure if that’s the prosecco talking or all the inspiration. Every company puts out their latest and greatest for all to see and the months of preparation lead to an exciting three days of what feels like endless cocktail parties, tired feet and most importantly great design (not bad, huh?).

Top of my list every year is the Maharam showroom. This year (like all years) they delivered, but most notable was the teaser of leathers and hides that will be launching later this year. Soft suedes in the most yummy colors you could imagine were scattered amongst woven patterns practically begging you touch every piece of material hanging in their showroom.

The design trend of hackable furniture from Milan two years ago is ever present in the workplace – everything is in the user’s control now and at the touch of a button no less. Lift and lower workstations give every individual the opportunity to work at their own level (literally). Space is getting limited and the solutions are clever and dual purpose. Functionality and form are married at this point and there’s no turning back.

Rockwell Unscripted by Knoll

Rockwell Unscripted by Knoll. Photos courtesy of Knoll.

Modularity is key for the user to express themselves. Think movable walls that also have acoustic features, seating than can be stacked in a variety of functions and tables (with handles!!) that are light enough to lift and move around. Privacy barriers that double as hidden storage and cozy nooks that can expand into collaborative areas. I’m speaking about Knoll’s collection “Rockwell Unscripted”. The collaboration with David Rockwell has solidified this trend. Inspiration coming from Rockwell’s innovative scenic designs for Broadway theater not only inspired the collection but also landed him a Tony Award less than two weeks earlier. Talk about cross-disciplinary design (drool).

BuzziSpace launched some playful office products including a topsy turvy balancing surface that keeps your body agile while taking those lengthy conference calls. Also the adult equivalent to a jungle gym in the office kept showgoers entertained. If it wasn’t for the fear of scuffing my brand new Campers, I would have shimmied my way to the top in a heart beat.

I’m still excited about monochromatic color palettes that showcase varied textures, patterns and materials all mixed together in simple coordinating color palettes. Maybe I’m just geeking out that my years of color theory have finally come to fruition, but I’m seeing it across the board at Vitra, West Elm Workspace, BuzziSpace and Steelcase not to mention in retail and small businesses via Instagram. Is it possible that the year of ALL colors is upon us? Of course there are some notable standouts; mandarin, tomato, tangerine and everything in between still raves on and the soft pastel upholstery mixed with walnut and teak are ever present in the continued obsession with mid-Century modern.

Take a swing over to our Pinterest page for continued visual inspiration and we’ll see you in Chicago – same time, next year. XoXo.

Posted in Category Design Inspirations, NeoCon | Leave a comment

NeoCon Happenings 2016


NeoCon is here and we can’t wait to share some big news with you. Not only are we launching the World Woven™ Collection, we’re also beginning the next chapter of our sustainability journey.


While you’re at NeoCon, visit Interface at two locations from 9am – 5pm:
– Merchandise Mart Suite 10-136
– 345 North Wells Street, 3rd Floor (across from the Merchandise Mart on the East end)

8am – 10am | Coffee and smoothie bar with barista | 345 North Wells, 3rd Floor
9am – 5pm | Show hours | MM Suite 10-136 & 345 North Wells, 3rd Floor
5:30pm – 7:30pm | Cocktail party | 401 North Morgan | RSVP here

8am – 10am | Coffee and smoothie bar with barista | 345 North Wells, 3rd Floor
8:30am – 9am | 14 Patterns of Biophilic Design book signing and giveaway with Bill Browning of Terrapin Bright Green | 345 North Wells, 3rd Floor
9am – 5pm | Show hours | MM Suite 10-136 & 345 North Wells, 3rd Floor
10:30am – 11:30am | 14 Patterns of Biophilic Design book signing and giveaway with Bill Browning of Terrapin Bright Green | MM Suite 10-136
1pm – 2pm | “Beyond Beauty: What is Biophilic Design and Why Does it Matter?” with Bill Browning and David Gerson | NeoCon session T217

9am – 5pm | Show hours | MM Suite 10-136 & 345 North Wells, 3rd Floor

Can’t make it? We’ll bring it to you virtually! Follow us on Twitter and Instagram with #NegativeToPositive and #WorldWoven.

Posted in Category NeoCon | Leave a comment

A Closer Look at Equal Measure and Near & Far

Mindy O'Gara

As designers, few things are more satisfying than creating a beautiful space. That’s why we love to supply you with innovative products and design solutions that transform the floor and enliven the experience.

Equal MeasureTM, a global collection of Skinny PlanksTM, draws its inspiration from cobblestone streets where the pieces are selected and placed into patterns that serve both the utility and the beauty of the road. Take a closer look at the way these three modular carpet tiles work together to create a beautiful, nature-inspired floor.

Nature finds a way to carpet the ground with endless textures blended in seamless compositions without ever drawing a straight line. When you use nature as inspiration for your interior design, beautiful things emerge. In the second video below, I’ll walk you through the Near & FarTM Collection and show how these two Skinny Planks complement each other.

I love to collect images that inspire me. You can explore more inspiration and color palettes on our Pinterest boards for these two product launches – in Warm and Cool Neutral.

Posted in Category Design Inspirations, NeoCon, Products & Services | Leave a comment

From Daylighting to Skateboards: An Exploration of Restorative Potential – Part 2

This is the continuation of a discussion on the potential of restorative business between David Stover, CEO and co-founder of Bureo skateboard company, and Bill Browning, expert in biophilic design and partner and co-founder of Terrapin Bright Green. Lindsay James, vice-president of restorative enterprise for Interface, moderated the discussion.


David Stover (left) and Bill Browning (right) discuss the potential of restorative business.

Lindsay James (Q): Do you think that there is potential for a restorative approach as more and more businesses embrace this idea and begin generating restorative technologies? Will those become leap-frog technologies that will allow our society to avert some of the pending crisis?

Bill Browning (A): I am going to go back to the social on that because I think it’s the mindset. When you have folks who are doing the work that David and his team are doing, it inspires other people to start thinking about different ways of doing things. When Ray first had his epiphany to go this route, a lot of folks doubted his proposal, but over time it became part of the culture. It inspired a lot of knockoffs—a lot of other companies looking at Interface and trying to do the same things. In some ways I think the technologies come along after that—after this inspiration and new way of thinking about the world.

David Stover (A): We founded one solution but we’re not in this alone. We look to other partners and other people doing great things around the world like Interface. We’re enticing people to do this on a broader basis. Bill’s point is that Interface is using its project to inspire others. Because we make skateboards, we get to touch a younger generation, which is really great.

Last year, we visited around 55 schools, telling kids our story. The younger generation is pretty inspiring. Last week I visited The Island School, which is a school set up in the Bahamas for people interested in ocean research. These are high school students from 15 to 18 years old. We watched a presentation about three 16 year-olds who were catching fish in the Bahamas, studying all the toxins in them and looking at their impacts on our environment. It made me realize that I became aware of environmental issues later in life. Through early awareness the next generation has a jumpstart on finding viable solutions.

Lindsay James (Q): What role should beauty play in designing our desired future?

Bill Browning (A): Everything. (laughs) If it’s not beautiful, we’re not going to take care of it. If it’s not beautifully designed, it’s not going to last. One example of biophilic design that we use quite a bit is the Great Workroom at Johnson Wax by Frank Lloyd Wright. A lot of times we’ll show a picture of that space and ask the audience how old they think the space is. It’s a contemporary picture that we took a couple of years ago. No one in the room guesses that it was designed between 1936 and 1939 and that it’s still used in the original configuration. We’ve talked to people who work in that space. Some of them are the grandchildren of the people who worked in the space originally. They love being there. It’s inspiring. It’s gorgeous. And it’s a productive space. Now think about that – an office design that is so good that it lasts that long.

David Stover (A): Beauty comes in from the beginning. You have to think about the end-product. We knew we wanted to set up a recycling project and make an eco-friendly product, but we had to make a great product that stood up next to competitors and in the market. If you don’t do that, then you really don’t accomplish what you want. If people aren’t buying it and people aren’t putting value into it, then you’re not able to create a sustainable program. It’s evident when there’s a lot of sustainability and eco-friendly practices going on, but most importantly there’s a beautiful product put in front of people. I think when you have that effect on people, you get them to smile and you get them to enjoy something. Afterwards, you explain that the product is created from collecting discarded fishing nets and cleaning up the water. You explain that the product is 100% recyclable. You’re able to capture them from the start with a beautiful product, then blow them away with the story behind it. I think it’s a powerful approach. I think it’s definitely changing the world of design and changing the way things are made.

Bill Browning (A): Look at this board! (holds it up) It’s beautiful with the reference to the fish tail and scales. How awesome is that?

Bureo Board

The “Minnow Cruiser Skateboard,” made from discarded fishing nets. Photo: @bureo Instagram

Lindsay James (Q): How important is happiness/well-being to the broader sustainability movement?

David Stover (A): There’s a saying on our team, “bringing joy in the marvels of risk.” This highlights the joy that you feel in nature, which was a lot of the influence behind our project. One of the things that hit home for us was that this place, the ocean, was special—being in the water, whether it was sailing, surfing, or swimming. This was where we were seeing the impact of pollution and we wanted to do something. But we also wanted to make a product that would bring joy and happiness to people while they were using it. I think a lot of people feel doom and gloom about what’s going on in the environment. But highlighting some of the more beautiful things that are out there and making sure to expose nature in design is really important.

Lindsay James (Q): If you had the power to change anything in our world, what would it be?

David Stover (A): Let’s go back to the issue of waste. Think about a cleaner tomorrow and what the world may look like without waste. If you can eliminate that word, you could live in a cleaner eco-system. I think that’s a pretty awesome world to think about.

Bill Browning (A): I want to conclude with the topic of restorative. One of the things that really pushed us when thinking about biophilic design is the fact that more than half of the world’s population now lives in cities. Some of those cities around the world are huge and sprawling but they don’t have much nature. It’s about how we reconnect people with nature in the built environment as a way for them to be healthy and more whole.

About the Panelists
David Stover is a global citizen. He is the CEO and co-founder of Bureo, a skateboard company. Bureo recycles used fishing nets into high quality, high design skateboards. David holds a Bachelor of Science and Mechanical Engineering and has a background in financial analysis. He grew up in a small island community and that is where he attributes his love for the ocean.

Bill Browning is an advocate for sustainable design solutions at all levels of business as well as government and civil society. His organization, Terrapin Bright Green, has brought biophilic design into the spotlight with their research and practice. They are also leaders in bringing biometric solutions to the forefront. Bill has been a long time advisor of Interface, serving on our eco-green team and advising our sustainability journey for nearly two decades.

Posted in Category Biophilia, Biophilic Design, NeoCon, Net Works, Sustainability | Leave a comment