Fractals are the building block of many of nature’s patterns and have been scientifically proven to reduce stress and provide benefits to physical health.
This visual language is the basis for Relaxing Floors, a modular system designed by 13&9 in collaboration with Fractals Research and Mohawk Group. This collection is the culmination of art, science and human-centered design based on fractal patterns. Relaxing Floors utilizes fractals to give our eyes a break from the digital world and deliver the essence of nature to the contract built environment.
Today’s continuous exposure to technology impacts how we live, work and interact, and poses many challenges on physical and psychological levels. Based on their transdisciplinary approach to design, Martin and Anastasija Lesjak of 13&9 worked
closely with Richard Taylor, professor of physics, psychology and art at the University of Oregon, and founder of Fractals Research, to create the next generation of flooring solutions with Mohawk Group.
Two styles within the 12" x 36" carpet plank collection mimic the eye movements that take place as we view natural scenery. These movements are much like the flight paths of foraging birds. Software was developed for the team’s design process to create or “grow” a fractal pattern similar to that of a flying bird releasing seeds that will themselves grow into trees and plants. Using specific scientific parameters, the team grew mid-complexity fractals that correlate with stress reduction. Fractals with midrange complexity, as measured on a parameter scale labeled D, are the most common in natural scenery. Style mellowD utilizes a line-shaped seed which repeats at different magnifications, while chillD employs a triangular segment-shaped seed.
The restD plank style builds on the University of Oregon’s studies of fractal-based electronics. These electronics have the capability to connect to the eye’s neurons with the potential to revolutionize the medical world. Under a microscope, these neurons look like miniature trees with fractal branches and glow red due to a fluorescent dye. This fractal form is the starting point of the design. The neuron formations are then transformed into outline patterns using the research on stress-reductive fractals to provide a literal translation. Completing the Relaxing Floors collection is Fractal Ground, which offers a coordinating organic groundcover visual in a 12" x 36" plank format.
Relaxing Floors is manufactured using Mohawk Group’s Duracolor Tricor solution-dyed nylon fiber and EcoFlex NXT tile backing. Duracolor Tricor utilizes a groundbreaking modified triangular-shaped core to deliver unsurpassed stain resistance, colorfastness, durability, color clarity and enhanced soil performance. The collection’s carpet plank styles are manufactured to achieve stringent Living Product Challenge Petal Certification and have a net positive impact for people and the environment through innovations in materials, manufacturing and community involvement initiatives.
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