CHICAGO – This year, NeoCon attendees were instrumental in bringing the Antron® brand and showroom, conceived by leading interdisciplinary design firm Perkins+Will, to life in a rich, artful and experiential way. The showroom will be a place where designers can seek interest, inspiration and interaction, everything that yields sensory imagination.
“Exploring guests will be pulled through a portal to an exciting and rewarding experience on the other side, symbolizing the creative process itself,” says Tracy Cook, director of global branding, INVISTA Commercial Flooring. “This year, our goal is to unveil the new Antron® brand and make fiber matter in form and function as our showroom will literally unfold as an uncommon narrative telling the story of the process of fiber to carpet and the importance of the role fiber plays as the starting line of creativity to design.”
With a focus on architects and interior designers, carpet fiber was positioned at the nexus of imagination and activation, surface and depth, real and unreal. The experience began in the entry, an area defined by giant spools of actual fiber that transformed upon human activation into a light show of virtual fiber, enticing visitors into the space.
“Our vision for the showroom puts creation back into the hands of the designer. The experience is both intimate and engaging, encouraging a journey of discovery that drives imagination while supporting the brand’s technical expertise,” explains Keith Curtis, design director, Perkins+Will Atlanta. “This year’s goal is to capture the essence of the Antron® global brand through an experience that solicits an uncommon sensory relationship with their process, character, and products,” adds Kimberly Richter, project manager, Perkins+Will Chicago.
The showroom featured a single strand of fiber referred to as the “uncommon thread” transitioning between woven and solid carpet forms, engulfing the structure and defining a poetic abstraction of the beauty found in the manufacturing of the product itself. Ninety-four percent of the carpet in the showroom was re-used from last year.
Designed to be collaborative and intuitive, immersive projection technology stimulated the application of paint; splashing, pouring, and dripping color onto various surfaces of the showroom. The technology was activated by the designer’s movement and body gestures, and then recorded and had visual repercussions in other areas of the showroom.
Violinist Samuel “Savoirfaire” Williams created soundscapes that reflected and responded to the designer’s contribution to the showroom enhancing imagination. Williams created a custom soundtrack solely for the Antron® brand. Visitors will be able to access the soundtrack, “THREADS,” by visiting antron.net.
The design played with scale; fiberscapes are woven, carved, and integrated into large twisting sculptural loops. These unexpected colorful abstractions of geography, nature, and landscape provided intimate experiences where the pure beauty of fiber becomes understood as art, designed by Andrea Myers. She utilized roughly 350 of the 900 miles of fiber from the 2011 showroom for this unique exhibition. The remaining fiber was sculpted into “Cliff Clouds” and “Soft Rock Bridges” showroom installations following the show. Additionally, Myer’s work will be showcased on antron.net.