Carpet creation for a cause: Interface hosts artistic charity event

Home Categories Carpet Carpet creation for a cause: Interface hosts artistic charity event

by Melissa McGuire

New York City—Interface North America unknowingly kicked off one of the most anticipated fashion nights of the year with its inaugural IdeaLab:12 Carpet Art event, held here at its newly opened showroom in midtown Manhattan.

Formed in partnership with Interior Design magazine, the event is a spinoff from a 2009 function held at Interface’s LaGrange, Ga., manufacturing facility in which select designers were invited to create vignettes using only Interface’s carpet materials.

“We needed to do something in conjunction with the opening of our New York showroom,” said Jennifer Bush, vice president, A&D market development, Interface North America. “After brainstorming with Cindy Allen, editor-in-chief of Interior Design, we remembered how successful the Idea Lab was in LaGrange. We thought it would be great to have designers create something out of our carpet. And not just the carpet, but everything that goes into the carpet. Cindy and I worked together to form a list of designers all over the country, sent them a parts kit with a menu of request items, and were blown away with what they sent back.”

As it happened, the party was held on the eve of New York’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and the celebratory Fashion Night Out. “We didn’t realize our party was on the same night as the start of Fashion Week,” Bush said. “We were very nervous no one would show up.” Quite the contrary as a packed house throughout the evening soothed her fears.

The IdeaLab:12 Carpet Art process kicked off after NeoCon in June. The goal was for designers to utilize Interface materials to make a unique piece of art. The only stipulation: the creator had to use ingredients provided from Interface. Bush said the designers could take artistic liberties and many surprisingly requested more items. Some creators even came to the Interface showroom to construct their artwork personally, she said.

Bush and her team compiled creative kits containing various materials of items all related to the manufacturing of Interface carpet “to get the creative juices flowing.” The one-of-a-kind artworks included sculptures, drawings, photographs, books, lamps, chairs, installations and mixed-media objects.

“The whole concept was completed in under three months,” she explained. “We were blown away when the pieces started coming in. No two things are alike and they range from huge creations that take up a significant amount of room to small tabletop displays.”  And interior designers weren’t the only artists included. “We also had industrial designers and even a photographer join in with individuals and firms from all over the country participating.”

Launching the Interface showroom with an art party wasn’t even the main focus of the event. Bush explained while brainstorming for the function, she and Allen decided there should be a greater good that would come from the entire process. They wanted to have a meaningful party. She noted the entire A&D community has a soft spot for the charity DIFFA—Design Industry Foundation Fighting Aids. “It’s the darling of our causes,” she said. “What better way to give back than to auction off these incredible pieces and donate the money to DIFFA.” And the goal for the night? “I’d love to see us raise $30,000.”

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