Why Just Specify a Floor When You can Design One?
Anyone who follows us on social media or who had the chance to visit our booth at NeoCon this year will have been as excited as we are by the launch of Inside Shapes, the new creative toolkit designed to take carpet tile from being a surface covering to an interactive design tool.
Inside Shapes is that perfect design conundrum, a concept that is both simple and complex at the same time. It’s the simplicity of four basic shapes in 12 colours and shades from light to dark, ingeniously designed to work together with the option of cleverly devised premixed selections or with endless pattern possibilities as you mix and match. There is no wrong way to use these shapes, no prescribed pattern that you must adhere to, no restrictions— only imagination and creativity required. The simplicity is in how it works, the complexity is in the creativity it brings forth.
Inside Shapes gives designers permission to play, an open invitation to use the floor as a canvas for expression. It can take you back to childhood and the simple joy of the first puzzle you solved, the first time you locked two triangles together and created a square or be as intricate and sophisticated as the most complex mosaic from the art world. The joy is all in the creativity it generates and the ingenuity in how it can transform our idea of flooring.
Like all great innovations, this one starts with a deceptively simple concept – taking a standard 24” x 24” carpet square and then dividing it into complementary shapes. The square then finds its perfect companion pieces in the curve, the point and the diagonal.
The Square – Classic and calm, a companion for life, the foundation piece that stands alone but also contains:
The Curve – A creative character with a penchant for play.
The Point – A dynamic and sophisticated point of view.
The Diagonal - Bold, direct and straight down the line.
Did you ever play with building blocks as a child? If you did, then you remember the joy of construction from the simplest of shapes, if you didn’t, then now is the time to discover that pure, playful joy. Each shape can be used in combination with the others or used in a singular way to create patterns. Lean into the possibilities, whether the purpose is wayfinding or zoning or just a show-stopping visual that stimulates and excites as you enter a space. These four simple shapes come together as tools for both form and function, to establish changes of energy and mood. Use them as the building blocks of creative expression to create collaborative spaces or to establish quiet zones of concentration.
Now that you've met the shapes let’s consider the colours. The 12 colours each come in shades from light to dark, each derived from architectural materials, and the colours of the built environment and landscape of Sweden the home base of Form Us With Love.
The browns are derived from pine wood, the blues from glass, the greys - steel and concrete, the reds - from a paint used on the exterior of buildings, the greens from the distinct marble from the quarries in Kolmården. With this palette, you can generate high or low contrast combinations and play with tonality. Together the choice of 4 shapes, multiplied by 12 colours and amplified by shades of each from light to dark come together to form the basic creative toolkit that lets designers create their own floor. The possible combinations are endless.
Because we understand the challenges of our different design sectors, we know that the stimulating atmosphere that works in an educational environment must have different qualities and effects than the welcome offered in hospitality or the tranquillity and nurturing atmosphere essential in healthcare facilities. With those factors in mind we created 17 premixed options of colours and tones divided into what we call Impressions, each with different qualities that can be adapted to specific environments.
Impression I - The maximum mix of shapes and colours for energy and life. Five different premixes.
Impression II - Busy shapes in fewer colours for areas of a calmer pace. Six different premixes.
Impression III - Angular shapes are good for directions and rooms for focus. Three different premixes.
Impression IV - Curved shapes suit spaces for creative collaboration. Three different premixes.
See the impressions here.
The core value and excitement of Inside Shapes derives from the creative freedom it brings to floor design. There are no restrictions and no prerequisites beyond your imagination. With this in mind we also created a digital tool where you can experiment with the impressions, or design your own unique floor, changing colours, and shapes as you go along, re-arranging until you create the perfect pattern for your project. The digital tool will help with installation diagrams, estimate your flooring needs, and visualize all the possibilities Inside Shapes allows. The digital tool will launch this fall.
Breaking boundaries is essential for progress in design, in order to innovate we have to be prepared to look at things differently, to experiment and to take risks. Sometimes the deceptively simple is the smartest solution. We also think great work should bring great joy. Inside Shapes is our joyful, boundary-breaking, smart solution to transforming spaces through design.
November 05, 2018