We studied how nature designs what’s beneath our feet; from the leaves on a forest floor to the pebbles on a beach. Not only are these made up of unique individual modular pieces, but they're mobile and flexible as the components are constantly being moved around.
And it's this randomness we wanted to replicate in our carpet tiles.
Biomimicry in flooring design
You can see the influence of biomimicry in architecture and interior design. And working with Janine Benyus, biomimicry expert and President of The Biomimicry Institute, we developed flooring products inspired by nature.
We combined the ideas and characteristics of the natural world with our tufting technology to produce totally random tiles, each slightly different in pattern and colour. With no repeat pattern the tiles don’t have to be installed in the same direction, and if an individual tile or area of tiles is damaged, they can be replaced without disturbing the overall look of the floor.
Random tiles can also reduce waste, with off-cuts being used to fill in any perimeter area. This has always been possible with traditional carpet tiles, but with random products you don't have to find the correct piece of the pattern in the right size or direction.
Benefits of random tiles and non-directional installations:
- Increased flexibility
- Quick to install
- Less waste
- Longer life cycle
- Easy to maintain and repair
The influence of biomimicry in architecture and industrial design
Here are some examples of how biomimicry has inspired some of the everyday object we take for granted:
- A Swiss inventor noticed seed burrs hooking to his dog's coat, an observation that inspired the Velcro fastening system
- Swimmers at the 2000 Olympics wore all-in-one body suits to mimic the streamlined ability of a shark through water. The fabric copied the way a shark's skin cells adjust to allow water to flow over them
- Humans have split toes to help us balance and wearing shoes takes away the balance nature gave us. Nike developed shoes that split the toes off to help give enhanced balance and agility
- Termite mounds exist in climates between 30 and 100+ degrees, but due to the complex natural method of hot and cold air circulation and ventilation, the core remains at a constant 87 degrees. This has inspired the design of many buildings that use these tested methods to naturally heat and cool them.