Explore Nature’s Edge

Sarah Pelham

With today’s fast paced life styles, when people escape their daily rat race, they want a memorable experience. People tend to disconnect during vacation, and when away, guests have more time for exploring. Both visual and tactile senses play a big role in experiencing new destinations. Finishes should be touchable, beholding textures with warmth and depth. The use of color can enhance the guest experience. For example, using colors that permit the texture and touch of materials to take the forefront allows one to experience and engage in their surroundings rather than passing them by. A trend of tone on tone, organic, calming hues with a few pops of accent colors are currently prevailing in the market. This stems from the human desire to connect to our surroundings. One of the reasons we love nature so much is our inherent connection to the outdoors and to natural elements that make us feel at peace and welcomed in a space.

At Interface Hospitality, we find that nature continues to influence color trends, especially these more subtle hues. Picture the shifting sands of a desert plain, the sky against a moonlit storm, or the ocean meeting the shore. Both time and nature work hand in hand to create a softened beauty that is peaceful and tranquil. The colors are earthy; the materials are organic; and the finishes are textural in feel.

With all these elements in mind, we have created a warm, understated, yet refined palette. All the products play on the edge, taking motifs that are found on nature’s own floor to create plush patterns rich in texture, and giving you an endless number of looks and combinations to create your own floor. Whether you are looking to the ocean, the sky or the forest for natural, textural elements, they can all be found in the subtle tonal variations of the products in this palette. Looking a little more in-depth at the products that make up the textural Nature’s Edge palette, you will see we combine three different collections, Over the Edge™, Urban Retreat,™ and Net Effect™. These products were inspired by the changes we find in nature from one edge to another, such as moss growing between rocks on the forest floor.

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Each collection is made up of a combination of different products. Over the Edge takes the union of textural transitions and detailed patterning to create three products, Lofty™, Edgy™, and Steady™. Lofty combines high and low yarns, creating a luxurious texture, rich in design detail, reminiscent of a hand carved rug. The second product, Steady, is a very dense, tightly woven, low profile product. It is a great understated companion with a multi-directional basket weave texture. The final product, Edgy, is the transitional tile. Edgy ties everything together by taking the plush high yarns of Lofty and the low profile yarns of Steady and mixing them in one tile.

Net Effect takes the detailed pattern motifs away and focuses more on a sophisticated textural transition between three different tiles. Inspired by the sea and how sea foam blends on sandy beaches, using Net Effect allows you to bring this aesthetic into your lobby or down your corridor. This enables your guests to continue experiencing the abstract suggestions of the ocean. Each product offers a slightly different note. B601™ has a more pronounced texture with shimmering ends on top of deeper tones. B603™ is a more dense construction with tonal coloration. B602™ serves as the transition between the two tiles, combining both constructions in one piece. With B701™ and B703™, Net Effect takes you even deeper, to the ocean floor where the sandbars form linear planks. Using the new skinny plank format of 25cm x 1m, these products mimic both sandbars and boardwalks in size. They each have unique vertical textures and the colors undulate from tile to tile.

Urban Retreat follows the same format of combining three different tiles UR101™, UR102™ and UR103™, to create a floor rich in textural transitions. If you are looking for that small pop of color, UR101 is the perfect product. If you need a bolder pop of color, add UR103 to create a variety of bandwidths across the floor.

These collections can stand on their own or be mixed with each other to create unique floors that bring nature into a space. While other design trends come and go, nature inspired elements continue to remain strong. The calming power nature has on our interior environments is unlimited. Consider using the floor to bring nature to the edge of your property while creating a memorable experience for your guest.

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Platform Shoes & Skinny Planks

Chip DeGrace

ChipDeGrace_2014_SkinnyPlanks2_webWe’ve all had moments in our lives when we have experienced something that has shaken us to the core and shifted our very perception of the world. For example, becoming aware that there was an opposite sex, getting your drivers’ license or your first pair of platform shoes. Suddenly a door opened that expanded your options and gave you a brand new vocabulary you hadn’t had in the moments prior. This is how it was for me when I saw my first Skinny Plank.

Being an interior designer I’ve certainly specified carpet that came in rolls. But for all intent and purposes, the best carpet solution for commercial space came in modular squares. It was logical, practical, and even became an expressive way to design floors for any client or application. There’s something energizing about taking a piece of fabric and giving it structure like other architectural finishes. Carpet tile in squares has been my medium of choice. I’ve designed them and exclusively designed with them. Then a friend of mine showed me carpet tile in a rectangle, the Skinny Plank.

ChipDeGrace_2014_SkinnyPlanks3_webI know you’re thinking I need to get out more, and maybe I do. But a real sea change in floor covering is hard to achieve. People walk on this stuff and it needs to look good and wear well. Gimmicks quickly become tiresome, historical footnotes (pun intended). Skinny planks are a legitimately new medium that allows designers to create a whole new geometry to quietly support architectural expression, or embody expression themselves. In the Interface system, Skinny Planks can be used with the full range of Square Carpet Tiles.

The most effective buildings and interiors being designed today are elegant systems of integrated components. Same with Interface Carpet Squares + Skinny Planks. Give your platform shoes away and check out the full range at Interface.com or call your local Interface account executive.

Good talking with you!

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Three New Skinny Planks and a Whole New Set of Possibilities

Strike a Perfect Chord
Tune into Harmonize™ and Ground Waves™— two 25cm x 1m companions grounded in the same neutral palette. Harmonize mixes just the right notes of color, contrast and texture in colorways that can be mixed or used alone to create a muted, seamless look on the floor. Ground Waves adds two different bands of accent color that vary in frequency, making each tile seem unique.

Old School Charm
Reclaim™ calls upon the weathered beauty of painted wood planks, playing with layers of texture and hue in each of the 8 colorways. These colorways have a sweeping quality that gives the final installation variation and movement.

All are made with 100% recycled content Type 6 Nylon made from reclaimed materials like used carpet and discarded fishing nets and as i2® styles, you’ve got the additional benefit of mergeable dye lots and easier selective replacement.

View products online and order samples.

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2014 CEFPI School of the Future Competition

Barbara Worth

The School of the Future competition challenges students from across the globe to think creatively as they plan and design tomorrow’s 21st century learning environments to enhance teaching and learning, being healthy, conserving resources, being environmentally responsive and engaging the surrounding community. The multi-disciplinary solution teaches students how to follow a planning process from the concept phase to completion of the project with lifelong learning skills. Students present their projects to a local jury in the school district level competition and have the opportunity to proceed to the state and regional competitions.

Schools around the world are advancing the limits of public education by providing real world learning experiences and opportunities for students to ask questions and problem solve, collaborate and gain experience in tactile, hands on work while developing the eye for beauty and design. This is a 21st Century learning approach where students are enabled, engaged and empowered through a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) curriculum, including leadership and teamwork proficiencies to master the 21st century skills they need to succeed in today’s global economy.

Students compete at the regional level in every region of CEFPI including the UK, India and Egypt. The 2013 final competition took place during scheduled educational sessions at the Northeast Region conference, offering attendees the opportunity to see these amazing kids “up close and personal”, receive AIA CEU credits and even serve on the jury. Building on the success of the program at the Northeast Region conference, each CEFPI region will host the SOF Regional Jury during their regional conference, allowing members to participate in the jury, offering the competition as regular education sessions with CEU credits and familiarizing members with the obvious benefits of the program. There will be ample time for attendees to meet and interact with these outstanding students – indeed tomorrow’s designers and builders.

Unique to the 2014 SOF program, the final jury process will take place at the CEFPI Annual Conference slated for Portland, OR, October 4-7, 2014, hosted by the Pacific Northwest Region and the Washington Chapter. This will be a highlight of the conference and attendees from across the globe will have the opportunity to observe the jury process.

A Glance at the 2013 School of the Future Program

Walking away with top honors, Eastview Middle School of Alberta, Canada, received the Award of Excellence. Capturing the Award of Distinction was the engaging Tauheedul Islam Boys’ High School team from Blackburn, United Kingdom.  The enthusiastic girls from Oakwood Junior High, Dayton, Ohio, took the Award of Merit.

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Eastview Middle School, Red Deer, Alberta Canada, received the Award of Excellence for their proposal.

Eastview Middle School provided solutions not only for their school, Mamawayawin, but for their entire community and its public spaces. Their comprehensive research and incorporation of creative 21st century design solutions, which resulted in a downtown urban setting for their building, focused on the establishment of community partnerships and educational delivery. Emphasizing that “learning is not limited by four walls,” it was clear that these students thought through every aspect of contemporary educational design, learning styles and pedagogy. Following Finland’s very successful portfolio system, they created individual learning programs and grouped students by learning styles.  “Gamification” was introduced to inspire alternative learning skills. Incorporating geothermal heating and cooling, solar energy and public access for micro-climates with their green roof and gardens, the school serves as a learning tool for the entire community. Following their first place win, the students pitched their ideas to an important audience closer to their home in Alberta that included Premier Alison Redford, Minister of Education Jeff Johnson and Minister of Infrastructure Wayne Drysdale.  Following the presentation, when asked if Red Deer had a Mamawayawin School in its future, Johnson said, “Stay tuned.”

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Award of Distinction went to Tauheedul Islam Boys’ High School team from Blackburn, United Kingdom.

The Tauheedul Islam Boys’ High School team chose to build their STEM-centered facility on an abandoned coal mine, rethinking the existing landscape and truly embracing “renew, reuse, recycle” in creating their sustainable building. The team exemplified great social understanding with integration of multi-cultures as one of their highest goals. Their strong research and grasp of sustainable features and systems was exceptional.  Utilizing rammed earth construction, a recycled oil rig infrastructure, hydro electric energy, wind turbines, nitrogen generation, thermo-chromic glass and rainwater harvesting, the students created a unique learning environment that incorporated flexible space to support project-based learning and collaboration with local businesses. Adding a spot of humor, they included “people- energy” with turbine tennis shoes as a power source, offering the community recreation privileges in exchange for their hours of turbine production.

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Students from Oakwood Junior High, Dayton, Ohio took the Award of Merit.

A team of enthusiastic, engaging and innovative girls from Oakwood rounded out the day with a very thoughtful presentation regarding sustainability. In a phenomenal demonstration of their unique concepts, knowledge and collaborative planning, including content specific opportunities for content specific collaboration, they designed their paperless school in a solar shape symbolizing the sun as the ultimate source of energy, reminding us to engage sustainable means. Translucent building materials provided daylight and excellent insulation. Opening and closing of the students’ lockers powered small generators.  Additionally they utilized vertical axis wind turbines and sold excess energy back to the grid.

“Chairing the jury affords me one of the best days of the year,” remarked David Schrader, AIA, CEFPI international board member. “As we watched the presentations, it was clear that no matter how knowledgeable and talented each of the jury members from across North America, Australia and the UK were, the children’s message, knowledge, passion and enthusiasm humbled each and every one of us. These students truly represent tomorrow’s leaders and our future is in good hands.”

The Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI) is the only professional organization whose principal purpose is improving the places where children learn. CEFPI embraces a diverse group of professionals with one single goal – building healthy, safe, high performance and sustainable learning environments that enhance student and teacher performance and support culture and community vitality. To learn more, visit www.cefpi.org


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Go In Style

Mindy O'Gara

Our latest skinny plank collection—Posh™—draws from the elegant accommodations wealthy Europeans enjoyed during early twentieth century transoceanic travel. A highly textured blend of two shades in one, SH901™ creates a striking look on the floor alone or with its more softly textured, solid companion, PO801™. Both are offered in a neutral, sophisticated palette and create ultimate luxury underfoot.

View Products Online and Order Samples

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