I first wrote about tx:style Design Challenge in Mannington Commercial Carpet Design Competition - tx:style in December 2008. I was thrilled to hear back from Carly Rullman from Scout Brand - who coordinates tx:style - about the 2011 tx:style Design Challenge and asked her for perspective on the competition and on carpet design inspiration resulting from the program. Carly graciously put together the following interview with 2009 tx:style Design Challenge winner, Meagan Webb on her Squareberry Collection.
[Note: here are details for participating in the 2011 tx:style Design Challenge.]
From Carpet Concept to Installation: An Interview with 2009 tx:style Design Challenge Winner, Meagan WebbBy Carly J. Rullman
In the Nashville VA Hospital, there lies an area with brand new carpet flooring- a design called Canopy. Inspired by the finite details of nature, Canopy is part of the Squareberry Collection which healthcare designer, Meagan Webb, entered into the 2009 tx:style Design Challenge. Meagan Webb also won the first tx:style Design Challenge.
Now in its third year, the tx:style Design Challenge gives designers a platform to showcase their talents and a shot at having their design turned into a complete product line by Mannington Commercial. Meagan tells us about her experience in going from carpet concept to installation.
What prompted you to enter the tx:style Design Challenge?
I heard about the tx: style Design Challenge at a very sensitive time. The healthcare design firm for which I was employed experienced large layoffs due to the economic challenges that many architecture firms have experienced. I was affected by the layoff; therefore, a former coworker called to check on me and mentioned the contest. She encouraged me to enter, but the catch was—it ended that week! I decided to go for it and got to work immediately.
What inspired the Squareberry design?
I am amazed by the beauty of God’s creation when hiking. The finite detail that was put into creation astounded me. I noticed that not one leaf was identical to the next. As I pondered, I contrasted the way God designed the world with the way man interprets creation. Man sees everything on a grid. Everything has a size, shape and increment.
Squareberry contrasts the organic shapes of creation with the rigid grid that we design and see through our own eyes. This creates a delicate juxtaposition of geometry and organic forms.
Did you have any particular installations in mind when you were designing Squareberry?
Naturally, I thought of healthcare installations; however, I think the carpet design would work well for hospitality or retail applications, as well.
What 3 words would you use to describe Squareberry?
Organic, geometric, layered.
How was your NeoCon experience? [Note: finalists of the tx:style Design Challenge are awarded a trip to NeoCon World’s Trade Fair in Chicago.]
My 2009 NeoCon experience was indescribable. It was amazing to network with other designers from around the country and share the Squareberry design story. It was intriguing to learn about the other designers’ inspiration stories. Hearing those stories made me realize one can truly find inspiration anywhere. I really enjoyed getting to share this experience with the other extremely talented finalists. It was an opportunity of a lifetime that I will never forget and hope that many other designers get to experience it as well.
What have been the biggest challenges you've faced as a young designer?
The biggest challenge I have faced as a young designer is beginning and continuing my career in the current economic times. I have been forced to be creative and diversify myself as much as possible. While looking for a job, I did residential and commercial freelance work, including landscape design, graphic design and interior design, as well as renovating historic homes in Nashville. This was my opportunity to try new ventures and discover what aspects of design I was passionate about.
What are your goals for Squareberry?
I would love to see the entire Squareberry carpet collection installed in a healthcare facility lobby. I would relish the opportunity to continue designing carpet in the future and hope to build upon this experience. I really enjoyed the detail of pattern making and the process from concept to installation. It opened my eyes to the opportunities in carpet and textile design.
What are your goals as a designer?
I plan to continue my career as a healthcare designer working at the Nashville VA Medical Center serving our veterans. I find healthcare design a rewarding field by knowing I am creating a healing environment for those who are suffering. To keep my creativity fueled, I will purse my personal venture of renovating historic homes and businesses in east Nashville.
Where can someone find an installation of Squareberry?
I recently had the opportunity to install Canopy, a Squareberry carpet coordinate, in the Nashville VA Hospital Medical Services department. This was such a rewarding experience that brought the design to life.
What makes up the Squareberry line exactly?
Squareberry- Juxtaposes organic forms and rigid grid lines.
Canopy-Takes a closer look at the tree. Admiring the vast depth of the tree canopy. The deeper you look the more layers you see.
Bark- Inspired by the texture of bark, a grid like texture that repeats.
The Squareberry carpet collection is offered by Mannington Commercial. Meagan Webb currently works as a Healthcare Designer at Nashville VA Hospital and continues to do home and business renovations in east Nashville.
This year’s tx:style Design Challenge launched Dec. 6th, 2010 and goes until Feb. 16, 2011. The contest is open to all practicing designers and architects of varying experiences. To enter your winning design, go to www.manningtontxstyle.com.
Thank you, Carly and Meagan, and all the best to the Mannington Commercial 2011 tx:style Design Challenge participants!
Photo courtesy of Mannington Commercial.