Thursday, September 4, 2008

Nature Inspires Invision's Altered Elements Carpet Collection

Ann Hurley recently caught up with Laura Compton [pictured here on the right], Invision Carpet Systems Director of Design, to discuss Altered Elements, its newest commercial carpet collection. The collection consists of three carpet lines:

Image courtesy of J&J/Invision
+ Broken Slate
+ Tumbled Stone
+ Weathered Steel

All three are inspired by nature in a way that "captures the interplay between the elements and the wonder and drama Mother Nature creates on a daily basis" per the press release.

Ann asked Laura to talk more about the collection and its inspiration.

According to Laura, the intent for the collection was to create visual textures that still read at a distance. She wanted to emphasize the distinctions of nature -not only its variations but also its imperfections [e.g., the effects of time and pressure on slate, tumbled stones, and the natural patina of rain on steel...].

Image courtesy of J&J/Invision

To make this intent reality, she incorporated novelty yarns with specialty textures.

In many ways, she took an approach more similar to what is seen in fashion apparel than traditionally in floor covering. Not only did she work with novelty & specialty textures, but also with luster & dye levels that create subtle reflections & colorations.

Ann's take on this: by combining various luster and dye levels, Laura's team at Invision has produced this new collection, creating new colors with dimension, as well as reflections, taking commercial carpet to a new level!

Pretty exciting, if you ask me!

All three carpet lines are available in modular tile and broadloom in a rich palette of 20 colors ranging from vibrant to neutral.

We are particularly excited because the Altered Elements collection uses Ultron® nylon 6,6 carpet fiber, bringing together stunning aesthetics with cutting edge fiber technology.

All three lines work well together or alone for corporate, retail, or almost any environment.

Ann is much more involved on the commercial carpet side of the business than I am. However, several elements caught my attention when I first read Invision's press release titled "Invision Introduces Altered Elements. New Product Collection Proves - When Elements Collide, Something Beautiful Happens."

The notion of being inspired by 'colliding elements' and the effects of the weather on surfaces definitely intrigued me.

But, then, I was also impressed and curious about a product launch that seemed - from its very inception - to turn traditional processes upside down.

According to the release, the collection "represents ... a new level of collaboration between top product design and technical fiber development teams from Invision and industry-leading designers Shawn Littrell and Donna Stubbs, who have worked extensively over the past two years with Invision Director of Design Laura Compton to create Altered Elements. From the base fiber materials to the dye lab, everyone was inspired to create unusual yarn constructions that allow the yarn’s varying luster and dye levels to capture the richness and texture of the weather’s effects."

It seems, too, that design, manufacturing and marketing collaborated for the creation process. Very cool!

Before finalizing the three carpet lines, Compton and her team reviewed a multitude of images capturing visual representations of the effects on steel, stone and slate that weather has. In my mind's eye, I can envision [or invision?] textures and colors, closeups and groupings that have the brain reinterpreting everyday elements.

By the way, you may have caught sight of Broken Slate in A Foot's Perspective - Episode 9.

Although these carpet styles are geared more toward the commercial end of the marketplace, we are seeing more and more of these elegant looking styles in high tech residential media rooms.
Whether in a commercial or a residential setting, the Altered Elements collection definitely capture wonderful inspiration from nature, delivering a look and feel that combine contrasts in luster, dye levels, textures and yarns, and are guaranteed to both delight and soothe the soul while inspiring the mind.

Image courtesy of J&J/Invision
NOTE: While putting this article together, Laura put me in contact with Natalie Faulkner, Creative Marketing & Communications Manager for J&J / INVISION. Natalie shared with me the advertisement Invision is running for Weathered Steel [see right].

This ad pictured on the right - and the ones for Tumbled Stone and Broken Slate - are quite distinct with a definite 'Altered Elements' look to them.

Natalie says that "the people in the ads are real. They were painted and dressed to blend into the elements in the background. Their emotions and overall look give each element a unique feel."

Very cool!

Thank you, Laura and Natalie.

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