Mannington Commercial, a manufacturer of flooring for commercial interiors, has joined with teams of architects and interior designers in Austin, Texas, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco to create four flooring collections inspired by the unique spirit of their cities. The teams have posted their collections, and the final prize winner will be selected entirely by online voting at the Design Local site.
“As product manufacturers, we have always been interested in finding new ways to connect with the A and D community. In particular, we love to find ways to engage designers in product design,” says Natalie Jones, vice president of brand development and creative product at Mannington Commercial. “We were captivated by the idea that a large company could create a platform to support local design, with an emphasis on how design reflects, and contributes to, the communities where creative people live and work.”
This idea led the company to launch Design Local, a new product collaboration program, where Mannington partnered with professional designers from different firms in the four cities, tapping their creativity to capture and translate the unique spirit of their hometown. During a 24-hour design immersion, the teams fanned out into the city in search of ideas and inspiration—then worked as a team to create themes and concepts for a collection. In the weeks since, the teams have collaborated with Mannington’s product designers and colorists to develop their sketches, photography and artifacts into coordinating patterns.
READ: I&S traveled to each of the Design Local cities to spend a day with the teams. Read our recaps in our Inside Sources blog.
“As the teams shared their perspectives and inspirations, it was remarkable to see common themes come to the surface, and evolve,” Jones adds. “This gave us, as manufacturers, a remarkable opportunity to participate in the designers’ creative process, and for them to participate in ours. Seeing the individuals talents come together as teams was an incredible experience, and has given birth to four remarkable and beautiful collections.”
Team Chicago’s collection, Urban Luxe, brings together layers of varying colors that, when dissected, create clean lines and sophisticated coordinating patterns that show the contrasts of chic elegance and edgy grid that help give the Windy City its unique sense of place.
Team San Francisco’s Fog City Collection offers clean, almost minimalist patterns inspired by movement and transportation—the power lines and tracks that carry cable cars through downtown streets and the texture of coastal pathways.
Team D.C.’s On the Grid was inspired by the maps, signs, transportation and topography that draw people to the city and bring it to life, day and night—reflecting the neutral buildings, contrast of green spaces and cherry blossoms.
Team Austin has created Urban Patina, inspired by the landmark neighborhoods in the city, as well as earth colors, halftones, screen printing and rusting corrugated metal—the happy accidents of nature’s hand on the built environment.
WATCH: Meet the teams making up the Design Local competition in the I&S Media Center.
Voting is open until February 25, 2013. The winning team will be announced the next day; their collection will be featured in the May issue of Interiors & Sources and in Mannington Commerical's showroom at NeoCon 2013.
The public can view profiles of each team, and watch a short video on their creative process, at http://manningtondesignlocal.com. Facebook users can also track the latest Design Local news on the Mannington Commercial Facebook page.