Nature and Man Come Together in Urban Retreat
We embraced biophilic design with the same enthusiasm we brought to biomimicry. Biomimicry, after all, led us to our best-selling and perhaps most innovative product to date, Entropy®, and ultimately spawned an entirely new category of flooring products for us, i2®. We knew the possibilities that await when you use nature as a model and frankly, the concept of biophilia, this innate love we have for our natural world, just made sense.
Led by designer David Oakey, we introduced Urban Retreat™, our first carpet tile collection intended to satisfy that subconscious need to stay connected to nature even in the most urban environments. Oakey credits two particular events as the inspiration for this unique collection. The first was a walk through the Montana countryside with Biomimicry Institute founder, Janine Benyus, which provided inspiration for color. From tree bark to lichen and stone, these were compelling as nature’s neutrals. During a second walk through Yorkshire with Interface’s UK design team, Oakey saw moss growing on stone walls in the town and reflected on the “unbelievable beauty of nature and man coming together”.
Back in his studio, David and his team went to work on what ultimately became the Urban Retreat Collection. A mix of pattern studies that range from refined textures to broad organic forms, Urban Retreat evokes the quiet and sanctuary of an old-growth forest floor down to the occasional moss or lichen-covered stone. We also see the soothing, calming neutrals with energizing splashes of color just where they’re needed. And it’s made with a 100% recycled content nylon made with reclaimed fishing nets, carpet fiber and other waste materials.
Five years later Urban Retreat still resonates across the globe as a foundation for engaging interiors that draw people in.