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Mohawk Group’s Homegrown selected for new IIDA headquarters

Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 4.25.01 PMCalhoun, Ga.—When looking for a woven broadloom solution that was classic, high-end, stylish, neutral and durable, the decision-makers at the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) fixed their gaze on Homegrown, an elegant textured commercial carpet from Mohawk Group’s Karastan brand. With its high-end visuals and classic craftsmanship, Homegrown proved to be an integral component of IIDA’s new 17,000-square-foot headquarters in Chicago.

“We are honored to have this beautiful product used in the stunning new IIDA headquarters,” said Jackie Dettmar, vice president of design and product development for Mohawk Group. “Homegrown really speaks to our rich history of woven products and was designed to bring a nostalgic feeling of comfort and home into the workplace while maintaining the performance of commercial flooring.”

Nearly 30 IIDA employees now occupy the second story of a modern glass building designed by famed architect and final Bauhaus director Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The organization’s new hub was conceptualized by Todd Heiser, IIDA, design principal and studio design leader in Gensler’s D.C. office, and Contract magazine’s 2016 Designer of the Year. Other manufacturers specified alongside Mohawk Group include 3M, Daltile, Herman Miller, Knoll Textiles, Maharam, OFS and Sherwin Williams among others. The beautiful space was established for IIDA associates as an intersection of purpose, function, product and aesthetic, complete with views of the Chicago River and surrounding cityscape.

“The comfort and flexibility the Homegrown carpet provides when our team is standing at adjustable-height desks or working in meeting rooms is a reflection of the design intent behind our new headquarters: a truly human-centered space that places productivity, health and wellness at the forefront,” said Cheryl Durst, Hon. FIIDA, LEED AP, executive vice president and CEO of IIDA. “The texture and tactility it offers complements the workplace with a layered, residential aesthetic and enhances design elements that were intentional and critical to the overall success of the project.”

Homegrown epitomizes the Karastan brand, reliving its classic, sophisticated legacy in seven neutral colorways of high and low loops that reflect this sense of storied elegance. With Homegrown, Mohawk reintroduced the midcentury-era Karaloc loom to the market by combining updated fiber systems with timeless weaving technologies, resulting in artisanal woven construction and a more luxurious carpet.

“Homegrown speaks to the Maker Movement and this focus on the handcrafted that we are seeing in design culture,” said Royce Epstein, director of design segment for Mohawk Group. “The extreme texture makes it truly stand out in the market. Homegrown brings all of the ‘creature comforts’ of home to the workplace and we know it will provide that special sense of warmth to our friends and colleagues at IIDA who work in this beautiful space.”

Homegrown was officially unveiled to the architecture and design community at NeoCon 2016, where it was met with acclaim. Earlier this year, the woven broadloom was honored with a Metropolis Likes at NYCxDESIGN award, as well as a Gold Design Award from the Georgia chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). Made from Mohawk’s Duracolor premium nylon fiber and manufactured at the company’s Eden, N.C. facilities, Homegrown is a sustainable option as a Red List Free product.


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IIDA awards Mac Stopa the 2017 Titan Award

iida-logoChicago—The International Interior Design Association (IIDA) has awarded architect Mac Stopa the 2017 IIDA Titan Award. The Titan Award recognizes significant contributions to the Interior Design profession by an individual, company or organization in the field. Stopa will be presented with the honor and celebrated at the IIDA Annual Meeting on June 11, 2017, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.

“Mac’s work spans architecture, interior design, industrial design, art and fashion, allowing his multi-disciplinary sensibility to both inspire the industry and deeply influence how spaces are experienced,” said Cheryl Durst, IIDA executive vice president and CEO, Hon. FIIDA, LEED AP. “With a passion for mathematics, he is leading the way for flexible design that is customized and adaptable to the environment and the end user. We are so pleased to honor Mac Stopa as the recipient of this year’s IIDA Titan Award.”

Stopa is the founder of Massive Design, an award-winning architectural design firm specializing in corporate interiors for Fortune and Global 500 companies, designing public spaces, architecture and industrial design. His clients include Google, Samsung, BMW, MasterCard, Credit Suisse, Viacom and Bacardi-Martini, and he has designed products for Mohawk Group, Cappelini, Laminam, DuPont and Milliken.

Mac’s designs emanate from his fascination with parametrically driven design, organic geometry, modularity, sculptural shapes and digital art, which compels him to create modular objects for serial production that introduce innovation to the market and allow the user to interact with and adapt the objects to the required functionality or character of a space. Since 2013, Stopa’s designs have received over 40 international design awards, including multiple Red Dot Design awards, Good Design awards, Interior Design’s Best of Year awards, a Best of NeoCon Gold award, and an Iconic award: Interior Innovation, among others.


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David Mourning earns IIDA Star Award

iida-logoChicago—The International Interior Design Association (IIDA) has awarded David B. Mourning, FIIDA, AIA, renowned architect and founder of IA Interior Architects, the 2017 IIDA Star Award. This prestigious award is given to an individual or organization that has made significant contributions to the design industry. The 2017 Star Award will be presented at the IIDA Annual Meeting on June 11, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.

“David’s insight and guidance has solidified IA’s position as a global leader in visionary workplace design and shaped the practice of commercial interior design,” said Cheryl S. Durst, IIDA executive vice president and CEO, Hon. FIIDA, LEED AP. “David’s expertise in management, marketing and design has propelled IA’s rapid growth to 19 offices in the U.S., London and Asia in addition to an alliance with firms worldwide. We are so pleased to honor and celebrate David Mourning as this year’s Star Award recipient.”

An architect and interior designer for more than 30 years, Mourning worked for several architectural and engineering firms before joining Environmental Planning and Research (EPR). It was during his seven years at EPR that he developed a love for the interior design practice along with the national contacts that enabled him to found IA Interior Architects in 1984. Under his direction, IA has become the world’s largest employee-owned architecture firm dedicated exclusively to workplace design, and he is among the industry pioneers credited with creating a blueprint for the modern interior design firm.

Mourning holds an NCARB certificate and is licensed to practice architecture in 27 states. He is a member of CoreNet Global, the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and has served as a commissioner on the California State Board of Architectural Examiners. In 2015, Mourning was honored by Contract magazine with its 13th annual Legend Award.

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Fuse Alliance: Group seeks greater interaction with A&D community

March 13/20, 2017: Volume 31, Issue 20

By Reginald Tucker


Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 11.28.38 AMAustin, Texas—“We’ve done a good job growing membership and increasing sales, but we could be doing much better in terms of engaging the A&D community.” That was the gist of Geoff Gordon’s message to contractors in attendance at the annual Fuse Alliance conference held here recently. As executive director of the organization, he believes the group might be losing business by not casting a wider net when seeking new clients.

Gordon understands the inherent challenges in trying to develop better relationships with the A&D sector. “Just getting in to see designers can be difficult. Sometimes there’s a three-month wait. It’s not like the old days. Manufacturers have a lot of reps on the street calling on specifiers, but we are an unbiased group. We can help with budgets, specifications and even transitions. We are the go-to network.”

Truth be told, some Fuse members already count designers among their client base. But by and large, according to Gordon, it’s a sector underserved by the vast majority of members. “There are some members in our group who don’t focus on A&D at all, and we feel it’s a missed opportunity. Our members have access to a variety of product lines, and we should be trying to leverage that.”

As it turns out, Fuse is in the prime position to meet the needs of the design community. According to Mike Hutton, head of Fuse Commercial—which manages the group’s national accounts program—Fuse Alliance members already have an advantage; they just have to learn the nuances of the business and work toward building a better base of specifiers. “You are the consultants,” he told the scores of commercial flooring contractors in attendance. “End users want turnkey suppliers who can provide everything from materials sourcing, installation services, project management and even product reclamation. Most of all, end users want transparency (i.e., line item bidding) and financial security in their vendor partners. Fuse Alliance members offer that single point of accountability, responsiveness, consistency and professionalism.”

It’s no accident that much of the educational programming offered at the Fuse Alliance conference this year was tailored toward showing contractors how they can better develop their A&D contact base. In her presentation to the group, Laurie Baatz, director of market development, Schönox, provided a few concrete examples of how contractors can achieve this objective. “Don’t leave it to the manufacturers to provide designers with an education. Build trust by becoming the design specifier. Don’t just compete on price. Also, develop case studies, which are important to specifiers, and take a strategic approach by following up.”

Fuse Alliance contractors had the rare opportunity to get feedback from designers and specifiers themselves, thanks to a special panel discussion focused on “What designers want.” The four-member panel included: Carol Reitter Elia, ASID, IIDA LEED AP, SAGE, owner of CR Design; Jeffrey Rausch, production executive, Bar Napkin Productions; Karen Hoffman, senior interior designer, GSR-Andrade; and Dean Maddalena, AIA, NCARB, IIDA, ASID, founder and president of StudioSix5. Following is some advice they had to offer attendees:

Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 11.29.11 AMBuild your online presence. “A lot of designers go online right away when researching potential products for their projects,” Rausch said. “Link your account to Pinterest. You’re missing a big part of the audience if you don’t do this. Remember, the best project is the one that leads to another project.”

Offer solutions, not just a low bid. “We’re problem solvers, and we’re looking for solutions for various things,” Reitter Elia said. “Some clients are budget conscious; others are pressed for time. Demonstrate to designers that you are the experts and how you can offer real solutions.”

Be knowledgeable. “In most projects, 90% of the discussion is focused on flooring,” Hoffman said. “How is the flooring going to perform? Be prepared to answer those questions.”

It’s also important for commercial flooring contractors to gain a better understanding of not only how the design process works but also how architects and designers think. It’s also necessary for flooring contractors to better understand all the considerations that go into the design process. Cheryl Stubblefield Durst, CEO and executive director of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), delivered an informative and educational presentation that touched on everything from the impact of technology on the specification process as well as how architects are developing based on demographic changes. “Today’s designers are designing for engagement,” she explained. “Five generations will be working side by side in the year 2020, and 54% of the world’s population today is under age 30.”

Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 11.29.19 AMDurst also poked holes in the myth that the “open-office” format is the wave of the future. In support of her belief, she pointed to human resource experts who say this format isn’t working. “The biggest complaint is noise interruptions, which is an impediment to worker efficiency.”

With respect to technology, Durst strongly encouraged contractors to embrace technology as a matter of course in their daily routines. She cited statistics showing 3 million social media accounts exist today and that there are 3.5 billion Internet users. Also, in just one hour, 1.8m blogs will be posted and 1.9 billion Google searches will be conducted in the same time frame. “You can’t deny the influence of technology on our lives,” she said.

Speaking of technology, that’s definitely an area where Fuse Alliance management wants to see members increase their proficiency. This is particularly true when it comes to utilizing social media. “It’s a great way for members to learn about what’s going on in the industry, i.e., projects that are breaking ground,” said Catherine Minervini, principal of Green Owl Studio, which helps Fuse members in their promotional and marketing efforts. “It’s also a good way to recruit talent. And you don’t have to utilize all the social media programs available—just pick one.”

Look for more on the 2017 Fuse Alliance conference in upcoming editions of FCNews.

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NeoCon East: New innovations, sustainability define the agenda

December 5/12, 2016; Volume 31, Number 13

By Sarah Bousquet

screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-9-05-53-amPhiladelphia—In keeping with its Midwest counterpart, NeoCon East—which took place here recently at the Pennsylvania Convention Center for the second year in a row—drew thousands of influential design professionals from the Northeast corridor. The two-day conference and exhibition also provided a platform for roughly 200 exhibitors to showcase their latest products, services and commercial flooring solutions.

“NeoCon East delivered on many fronts, but most importantly it connected the key players in our industry interested in expanding their knowledge and business opportunities,” said Julie Kohl, vice president of exhibitor sales for NeoCon Shows. “With thousands of new products on display, it is in these connections that business happens and market share is won. These relationships are vital to our industry dynamic, and for this reason NeoCon East will continue to gain momentum.”

Exhibitors and attendees alike agreed that relationship building and knowledge sharing continue to be the linchpins of regional shows such as this.

Ralph Grogan, president and CEO of Bentley Mills, explained that the company’s goals this year were two-fold: Highlight new product and network with an entirely new demographic of attendees. “Yes, we are showcasing Lost Angeles as we did at NeoCon earlier this year, but most people here were not in Chicago,” he said. “Philadelphia has a lot going on, and the people here are excited about business and education. I don’t think we lost anyone from Baltimore—NeoCon East’s previous home—and we’ve definitely increased conversations with people from New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.”

Others agreed. Karen Ostromecki, interior designer, IIDA, LEED GA, from Rochester, N.Y., thinks of NeoCon East as a “hub for collaboration and learning and a great place to network for future project opportunities.” Being able to view the latest products and trends while conversing with other professionals in the field is critical, she added.

screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-9-06-30-amIn line with the collaborative theme of this year’s NeoCon East, it was apparent that manufacturers were looking to answer attendees’ requests for new and different solutions. For instance, Procedo Floorings’ Loom+, which is produced by infusing a durable fabric top layer with an LVT bottom layer, received a lot of attention from booth visitors, thanks to its versatility. “Everybody is interested in our loom-woven vinyl flooring because it’s a different product,” said Brent Fike, sales manager. “It looks like—and has—the unlimited design capabilities of a soft surface but provides the durability of an LVT, which has gained interest from the hospitality, corporate and retail segments.”

Patcraft’s Mixed Materials collection drew similar notoriety for its ability to seamlessly use hard and soft surface flooring side-by-side, alone or in multiple combinations. Tara Currier, communications manager, noted the new product is part of a bigger conversation. “We’ve been meeting with the team to talk about well building,” she noted, explaining that designers are increasingly asking how the products they specify effect the way people work, live and interact. “As a manufacturer, we want to be in pace with designers and even ahead of the curve to help them answer these questions with new solutions.”

Several manufacturers also utilized their booth spaces highlight sustainable design options. For example, Shaw Contract discussed big-picture ideas around diversity in design, sustainable processes and healthy living.

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Tile & stone show set to make Atlanta debut

By Louis Iannaco

Volume 26/Number 24; April 15/22, 2013

Coverings 2013 is sure to be the most exciting tile and stone super show ever, noted show director Karin Fendrich of National Trade Productions (NTP), the management company for Coverings, as the biggest tile and stone market in the U.S. comes to Atlanta for the first time in its 20-plus year history.

Coverings is on track to have more than 900 exhibitors from over 50 countries when it opens at the Georgia World Congress Center on April 29, running through May 2. “There is no fee to visit the show,” she explained. “And unlike many other events, there is no charge to attend the nearly 70 educational sessions, either. Continue reading Tile & stone show set to make Atlanta debut

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Milliken presents at IIDA Carolinas Spring Leadership Summit

Stacy Walker with the panel and IIDA officers

Spartanburg, S.C. The International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Carolinas Chapter recently hosted a Leadership Summit to address the importance of leadership, empowerment and personal development in business. At the event, Stacy Walker, director of marketing for Milliken’s global floor covering division, presented “Creating a Culture of Innovation: It’s a new day for strategy in the business world.” Continue reading Milliken presents at IIDA Carolinas Spring Leadership Summit

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Surfaces | StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas to offer diverse education

Floor covering and stone industry professionals seeking a cutting-edge, multi-track educational program to enrich their business development should register today for Surfaces | StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas while the conference program is still free with exhibits registration. These leading industry events are scheduled for January 28-31, 2013 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

More than 70 business, installation, technical and “hot topic” sessions representing the newest ideas on every challenge from sealing stone to avoiding problems with floor covering to effective time management skills will be offered over four days. Topics are designed specifically for floor covering and stone industry professionals wishing to increase their level of expertise in their field. Continue reading Surfaces | StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas to offer diverse education

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Collaboration and product development prevail at annual nora design workshop

Rubber flooring manufacturer nora systems, Inc. recently held its annual Architect and Designer Workshop at nora’s international headquarters in Weinheim, Germany. Comprised of fifteen experienced architects and designers from throughout North America, the workshop challenged the design professionals to work together and think creatively and collaboratively during product development. Continue reading Collaboration and product development prevail at annual nora design workshop

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noraplan sentica promotes a soothing, healing environment

Salem, N.H. — nora systems is proud to introduce noraplan sentica, the latest high-performance floor covering from nora that offers versatility for healthcare applications.

“We brought together designers from across North America to drive the design and the color selection for noraplan sentica,” explained Andreas Mueller, president, nora systems, Inc. “Our goal was to have this group develop a product that provides more options for our customers, and that‘s exactly what they did.” Continue reading noraplan sentica promotes a soothing, healing environment