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Connect to the sensory. Low tech, exaggerated textures and natural elements provoke the sense of touch. New landscapes emerge, wild and nomadic, creating a tactile atmosphere to enhance the senses. The expanded plank format, 30.5 x 122 cm (12” x 48”), provides a new sensory experience underfoot.

“Extraordinary is largely inspired by process and pushing current technologies to new heights. Using Tapistron machinery, stray ends of yarn are typically left on the carpet face after tufting. Usually, we take this excess material and shear it, but here, we use it as a styled feature By rethinking technology and modifying the process, this element was exaggerated to inject bold and dramatic texture. Pattern is implied through varied texture and a natural, tonal palette to enhance the relief. Hinting at raised foliage and Nordic landscapes to create moments of respite, we explore the emotions texture can influence – highlighting the user experience underfoot.”
John Crews, Sr. Designer, Workplace

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Celebrating Global Design Excellence

Announcing 2016 Design Is…Global Award Winners

In its eleventh year, the Shaw Contract Design Is… Award program honors architecture and design firms that challenge the very idea of design. The 2016 Global Award winners and People’s Choice Winner have been selected. These projects represent the highest caliber of work within an industry segment. An esteemed panel of design professionals selected 6 winners out of more than 450 entries submitted from 32 countries.

“The design showcased in these entries signify the global reach of our brand and utilization of high performance, Cradle to Cradle CertifiedTM products across the globe,” says John Stephens, Vice President of Marketing for Shaw Contract. “This year’s winners reflect how design profoundly impacts the mission of the space and its positive effect on the people that use it.”

Winning projects include

Large Office (Greater than 40,000 sq. ft.)

FIRM: Perkins + Will
PROJECT: Nixon Peabody, LLP
LOCATION: Washington, D.C.

This project challenges many of the sacred law firm design characteristics such as the large corner office, solid walls and solid doors, liberal use of stone and mahogany, and the segregation of attorneys and support staff. Focus remains on crafting a visually-impactful design that’s reflective of the Nixon Peabody brand.


FIRM: MARS Interieurachitecten
PROJECT: Interior Design for the Study of Aeronautical Services, Hospitality & Tourism
LOCATION: Rotterdam, The Netherlands

A former gymnasium transformed into a new training facility featuring a mock-up airplane and hotel.

Albeda College innovates by making the transition from education to working easier and show us the impact of design aesthetic is as important as functionality.

FIRM: Haskell Architects
PROJECT: Wyndham Vale Primary School
LOCATION: Wyndham Vale, Australia

Wyndham Vale South Primary School is located on Melbourne’s western fringes within a new Estate development in Wyndham Vale. The challenge was to produce a new facility that provided a civic space in a residentially dominated area, whilst generating a campus design that supported the school’s desire to deliver 21st Century teaching and learning across a broad curriculum.


FIRM: Stars Design BV
PROJECT: Post Plaza
LOCATION: Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Contemporary yet classic – this charming city boutique hotel features eclectic interior and pays respect to the original building through subtle references to the former post office.

Public Sector

FIRM: PIVOT Architecture
PROJECT: TriMet Center Street Report Area
LOCATION: Portland, OR

Floor-to-ceiling windows and glass-enclosed spaces connect users to the outside world. Application of bold color denotes areas of relevant work-related information and transforms the space into a vibrant atmosphere. The result: a successful melding of spaces provides purpose to hundreds of people 24 hours a day.

PEOPLE’S CHOICE WINNER – (a Senior Living Project)

PROJECT: Berman Commons
LOCATION: Dunwoody, GA

This multi-layered project features inviting spaces and insightful vignettes that encourage the human scale of daily living. The conceptual design idea was to create a space where shared moments become the driver for the layout of the design. The design impact is geared towards an elegant, refined approach which speaks directly to the residents.

About People’s Choice Award

All market winners from the 2016 program are entered for People’s Choice voting, where digital audiences have the opportunity to vote on their favorite projects and choose a winner.

Click here to watch a video profiling the 2016 Global Award winners. Firms can currently enter the 2017 Design Is…Award competition here.

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Shaw Contract Celebrates World Green Building Week 2016

This week Shaw Contract is celebrating World Green Building Week, a flagship event of the global green building movement – organized by the World Green Building Council and led by its network of 74 Green Building Councils and their 27,000 member companies.

The week raises awareness of green buildings around the world, highlighting how they are the most effective means to achieving a range of environmental, social and economic goals, from addressing climate change to creating sustainable homes, businesses and communities – better places for people to live, work and play.


During the week, Shaw Contract is partnering with the member countries of the World Green Building Council to get the word out on the impact of buildings on the environment. Check out our social campaign and please help us spread the word about green building!

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Made by Design: PLACES

Spend the day in a vibrant metropolis. Explore the shores of a coastline. In your travels, slow down. Take a glimpse of the changing landscape. City to sea, local to global, collaborate workplace to quiet retreat.

Places captures single moments in a natural landscape and weaves in architectural moments of a city landscape to evoke a memory of a journey or destination. This collection is inspired by global travel and provides a glimpse of the quiet moment of nature contrasted by the lights and action surrounding a city skyline. Natural and atmospheric, the color palette features a range of soft colors along with moments of bright purposeful color.

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PIVOT Architecture | TriMet – 2016 Design…Is Award Global Winner

Shaw Contract conducted interviews with all firms of all Market Award winning projects from the 2016 Design Is…Award program. As part of this process, we always like to share a portion of the response on our blog for readers to learn about the winning projects. These are their stories.

Describe this project in one word.


How does this project demonstrate design impact?

PIVOT Architecture in Eugene, OR partnered with TriMet, Portland’s metropolitan transit agency to renovate a few of their existing and leased buildings, with the intention of elevating their level of design. One of the phases of this project, was to reimagine the bus operators’ space at their operation headquarters. The existing space was dark, dingy, and one big open space where a variety of functions took place. Things appeared to be placed haphazardly, without rhyme or reason and there were limited spaces for the drivers to relax and unwind during down time. As
one bus operator summarized during our interviews, “Getting through the daily transition between ‘Work Me’ and ‘Regular Me’ is critical to our mental health and morale, but it’s unsupported at work, and can’t happen at home.” One of our main goals for this project was to use the design of the space to separate out the users’ distinct modes of working and to support these various functions in order to help promote a positive atmosphere and well-being amongst the staff.

Views through floor-to- ceiling windows and glass-enclosed spaces let users remain connected to the outside world and the bus yard, while providing an abundance of natural light. The application of bold color through the carpeting and wall colors simultaneously denotes areas of relevant work-related information and transforms the space into a vibrant atmosphere. At two
entries into the main report area, there are graphic displays made from photos and quotes of bus riders. These graphics help remind bus operators as they enter the building the importance of their job and how they can have a positive impact on others.

Each project is a process. Explain your journey with this space.

Setting the tone for this project and weaving its way through the design of the 14,580-SF space was a top-level directive to reimagine how this almost 24-hour operation functions and reflect
one of its main goals of transparency. Before any decisions were made, the design team held a number of in-depth sessions with the users to examine the functional requirements of the space
and what modes of working were either well supported or lacking. Using that information, we took a fresh look at how their operations could function and designed the space to optimize their
performance while making them feel comfortable, valued, and well supported. Since the design of this space was a drastic departure from their current way of working, TriMet utilized change
management strategies to help the users become accustomed to the new layout and function of the spaces.

Tell us about any challenges or lessons learned from working on this project.

One of the main challenges on this project was that the report area functioned almost 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and needed to remain fully functional during the six month construction
period. Because of this constraint, TriMet decided to temporarily relocate the 400 + bus operators, station agents, bus transportation managers, and all associated services to a modular building complex situated in an adjacent parking lot.

On trends: Is there anything in particular with this project that is reflective of current culture/society?

Overall, this project is reflective of current culture/society in regards to designing spaces where people want to be. The atmosphere is fun, engaging, bright, and open. This space was designed around the end users and what spaces they need to function and feel well supported. It’s not enough just to provide a space anymore. Design is more about the users and how they
interact with the space than simply having a space that the users occupy. It’s about choice and providing varied spaces for the users to select what is right for them at that moment.

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