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11/28/2012

It's a Wild World

Durkan’s Wild Corners collection, designed by Stacy Garcia, takes visitors on a visual trip to exotic locales around the globe.

By Janet Wiens
 

Durkan’s Wild Corners collection, designed by Stacy Garcia, takes visitors on a visual trip to exotic locales around the globe.

Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport features a sizable art collection to offer visitors a brief respite from the hustle and hassle of traveling. In the Transportation Mall, from the T Gates to Concourse A, travelers will find “Zimbabwe: A Tradition in Stone.” Featuring 20 sculptures from 12 of Zimbabwe’s finest artists, it was here that designer Stacy Garcia found the initial inspiration for what would become the Wild Corners collection by Durkan.

“Seeing the sculptures from Zimbabwe sparked something in me, and I started sketching ideas when I was in the airport,” says Garcia, who also heads her own, eponymous design house. “I found myself coming away with a range of thoughts.”

Garcia’s overarching motivation was the idea that as people, we are citizens of the world. In her opinion, we can no longer be independent; we must be socially aware and respect what is going on in the world. “Technology can connect us in ways never before possible,” she says. “We must be aware of events and respond as we can.”

Her approach to design is based on a simple formula: Inspiration = Creation = Inspiration. It is Garcia’s mission to be inspired by the world around her, and to create based upon that inspiration so that her designs and products will serve as inspiration to others.

“I ask myself if the designs I want to create are relevant to the marketplace,” Garcia says. “In this case, there is a strong movement to global design, so it was appropriate to move forward with the collection. You must be at the crossroads where design and business sense live.”

In the case of Wild Corners, how the collection would resonate with guests was very important. Garcia contemplated potential responses to patterns and colors. Would the designs contribute to memorable and engaging interiors? Would guests recommend the property to a friend, post pictures online or tweet about their experience? Most important, would the guests’ responses lead to a healthy bottom line for the owner? These and other questions laid the foundation for final design development. PageBreak

“The hand of the artist was very evident in the [exhibit’s sculptures],” Garcia recalls. “I took my sketches to an artist to produce a series of watercolor paintings, which helped me to see the layers and a greater sense of the human element in the works. I also looked at antique textiles and African cloth, which was scanned and used to create some of the textures in Wild Corners.”

The result is a collection of 46 SKUs that, according to Durkan, embody the “primitive, indigenous and exotic.” Wild Corners includes beautiful floral and striking geometric prints in a variety of presentations that are bold and engaging. It’s easy to see a lush island setting or the weave of a hand-crafted African tapestry in Garcia’s designs. Her personal favorite is GA16098, a bold geometric reminiscent of a rope bridge.

The colors of Wild Corners reflect the locations where the designs might be found: the rainforest, the desert, the ocean. Rich blues, reds, greens, browns, golds and mauves are available for each of the patterns in the print option, where customers may choose from 28 selections and up to 12 colors in a pattern. Durkan’s Spectronics technology also allows customers to create their own custom blends from 1,000 colors.

Another option available to customers is Durkan’s Computer Yarn Placement (CYP) technology. This unique tufting process uses software to create tufted patterned carpets that rival woven offerings. In addition to being lower in cost, the CYP option offers a shorter turnaround time with the same wearability that designers and customers have come to expect from Durkan.

Mark Page, senior director of color and design for Durkan, says that Wild Corners is part of the company’s continual design evolution. “We are committed to bringing to the marketplace collections that are appropriate for both current and potential future trends. Working with Stacy Garcia is an important part of this commitment, and we expect that our partnership with her will continue to yield vibrant product offerings for us.”

Page notes that the development of Wild Corners was an interactive process between Garcia and members of the Durkan team. Key design points were developed and analyzed, with the initial concepts expanded to create a broad line. That collaboration resulted in the creation of a collection that looks unlike anything else produced by the company.

“The tribal and other references are not mainstream,” Page says. “While they are very different, we believe that they speak to a niche trend in the markplace that addresses, as Stacy said, a global view of the world. We believe that there is great opportunity for the collection.”

Wild Corners captures that sense of adventure and wonder inside all of us. By harnessing the aesthetics of far-away lands like Zimbabwe, the collection allows the world to become a little bit smaller, and brings some of those exotic locations within reach. And in this busy world where we tend to focus on our own lives and locations, that’s a good thing indeed.

Learn more about the Wild Corners Collection at www.durkan.com or www.stacygarcia.com.

 

Janet Wiens is a freelance writer based in Memphis, Tenn. She was formerly a marketing manager for HNTB and now works with industry clients to address their marketing and public relations needs. She can be reached at jwiens@bellsouth.net.