In March of 2008, marquardt+ (work performed as Design Collaboratives)
was retained by Invista, a subsidiary of privately owned
Koch Industries, Inc., to design a completely new Antron® showroom
for their Antron Brand Carpet Fiber division. The brief required a complete
gut/renovation of their existing showroom space in Suite 10-111, Merchandise
Mart, Chicago. The brief also required marquardt+ to design
an installation that would achieve LEED certification and be ready for
occupancy in time for NeoCon® 2008.
marquardt+ designed, developed and coordinated the completion
of the new Antron Showroom in 13 weeks. The space was completed June 9th
just in time for the first day of NeoCon® and the project was awarded
LEED-Gold certification by the United State Green Building Council, (USGBC).
antron project narrative
marquardt+ re-envisioned the Antron Carpet Fiber installation
as an educational space that would engage a new generation of young designers,
clearly present the performance and quality characteristics of Antron
Brand Carpet Fibers, and easily transform to accommodate new products
and evolving technical and educational presentations to come. The showroom
facilitates ongoing designer training and interaction relative to industry
developments, mill offerings and three core components of the Antron Brand
that differentiate Antron fiber from their competitors: Inspire, Perform,
The tag line "Inspired by Science" was created to capture the
excitement of Antron's ongoing product development, creative applications,
and continuing education that bring new possibilities to carpet performance,styling
and specification. Although LEED Gold certified, the design intentionally
avoids an earthy appearance and instead captures and exploits the aesthetic
scientifically engineered beauty of long life, reuse and "up-cycleability"
inherent in the Antron product.
The space was conceptualized using the following models as reference points:
Black box (theater)
Lighting and media infrastructure are latent in the space until activated
as required to facilitate evolving training, messaging and atmospheric
moods. Ambiance and information can change throughout the day, per event
and/or on an annual basis without modification to the base infrastructure.
The idea is to create a "plug n play" wrapper that that will
accommodate future changes without wasteful deconstruction.
Partitioning is made up of large, reused sliding glass panels from the
original installation, plus tables on casters, and rolling stools can
be reconfigured into 3 specific layouts and numerous other arrangements
as dictated by event occurring in space. Perimeter display units are easily
changeable. Focus areas and components are multifunctional and flexible
to optimize the tight footprint of the 2700 square foot space.
Mac vs. PC
Antron becomes the smart, technical and casual cool that appeals to younger
designers who have a different view of what is "hi-end", professional
and business-like. They prefer to be engaged interactively in understanding
the industry, appropriate applications, and product lifecycle ramifications.
A more informal, hands-on approach that is progressive, hip, yet approachable.
antron showroom/presentation specifics
Replace conventional demonstrations as follows:
Life of a Polymer "See and Squish"
- Testing Lab,"Perform": 5 tests that show performance aspects
- Antron.net Lab, "Perform": Go live online and spec a carpet
for optimal performance.
- Inspiration Lab, "Inspire": Use mill samples and Antron products
for designers to create their own fiber art.
- Recycle Lab, "Sustain": Use recycled pellets for designers
to make their own extrusion.
Perimeter of main interactive video space is banquette seating, storage
for rolling stools, and demonstration of the "Carpet to Car Part"
recycling story. In a question and answer seminar, people interact with
the Antron green story while they rest on and eventually examine, feel
and squish the dome bolsters that are stuffed with the resultant product
in each stage of manufacturing from polymer pellets, to fiber, to carpet,
and back to polymer pellets which are then extruded into car parts. More
environmentally economic than cradle to cradle, this "up-cycling"
process generates a 2nd life product (Mercedes Benz car part) which has
more monetary value per weight than the first life product. The 2/3 point
in the life of a polymer sequence is actual carpet including a sample
of carpet that has been on the floor for 35 years with a reminder above
that "sustainability begins with carpet that lasts".
See, Feel and Do Columns
A sequence of columns for fun interaction with the Inspire, Perform and
Digital Media, Audio
- Feel, "Inspire": Antron polymer pellets fill column and spill
into welcoming rubber glove hands so designers can squeeze and engage
the first stage in the fiber manufacture process.
- See, "Perform": 3 comparative tests viewed through eye holes
get designers and up close view of soil resistance, stain resistance,
and appearance retention..
- Do, "Sustain": A calibrated matrix allows each designer to insert
a recycled glass marble to offset their carbon footprint. For each marble,
Invista will offset .66 tons of carbon, the average consumed during a
To allow for change every year at minimal expense, digital media devices
are incorporated throughout the showroom. 9 wide format flat screen monitors
are positioned in 4 areas (entry, office 1, antron.net lab, office 3)
and used to simultaneously communicate/interact with 4 to 11 experiences.
A high output projector can be run with updatable content from a DVD,
iPod or laptop.
To also allow for change every year at minimal expense, flexible and dimmable
lighting can be controlled and changed on a minute by minute or year to
year basis to keep the showroom fresh and up-to-date with no physical
modifications. Dimmable two-circuit track lamps within codes allows flexibility
for changing displays and moods. LED strip lighting used to edge light
plexiglass gives a unique life to the product that can be modified significantly
with just application of vinyl graphics. Theatrical lights with gels and
gobos create drama within the space.
Rotating wall of Carpet
60 sq feet of floor space handles an interactive display of 264 mill carpet
samples on triangular rotating display columns, that can be rearranged
at any time to focus on a particular mill or color story. Clear tag holders
with self printed tags allow quick change out with minimal resources.
Perimeter millwork is designed with an exact 2' deep interior for optimal
yield of 4' wide panels.
A continuous carpet throughout the showroom demonstrates ANTRON® FiberEffects™
carpet fiber texture variations, subtle-to-bold color gradations and color
to neutral ramping. There is no repeat on the entire
floor yet the construction is an identical weave 12' wide product, which
is cut into lengths and beck dyed for a front to back color gradation
over the 70 foot showroom floor. Ends are used for samples, many of which
are on the
rotating wall. There is virtually no waste in this application.
additional components by marquardt+
- Antron.net Home Page
- Antron Flash Screensaver
- Magazine Bellyband Advertisement
- Promotional Giveaway (reusable)