It’s no big secret that the workplace is one of the most stressful environments we expose ourselves to. There, anxiety can arise due to noise, pressure to meet goals, personal challenges, or a combination thereof. Whatever your biggest stressors might be, there’s no denying that tension is part of everyone’s daily life.
Simple solutions like painting walls green, incorporating natural wood and stone into the interiors, and increasing access to natural light have recently been introduced into many office settings to reduce work stress. But soon office workers may feel even more relaxed — not because of a monumental life change, but because of a new floor covering called “Relaxing Floors” that’s full of fractals.
Simply stated, a fractal is just a never-ending pattern, or a simple process repeated over and over in a loop. We are surrounded by fractals in nature in the form of rivers, mountains, trees, clouds, hurricanes — the list is overwhelming. Scientific research has proven that fractals lessen stress in humans, helping relieve mental, physical, and emotional problems.
Relaxing Floors and Fractals
Mohawk Group joined forces with Martin and Anastasija Lesjak of 13&9 Design, University of Oregon physicist Richard Taylor, a renowned expert on fractals, and Fractals Research to create Relaxing Floors, whose modular designs are chock-full of naturally occurring fractal patterns. Designed specifically for workplaces, the collection’s bold pieces even picked up a HiP award at NeoCon 2019.
How It Works
The Relaxing Floors collection melds art, science, and human-centric design to create fractal designs in carpet based on the flying patterns of scavenging birds and neurons formed in human eyes. These subtle patterns divert workers’ eyes from the scourge of computer screens around them and allow them to focus on something much more relaxing.
The Path to Production
Professor Taylor’s extensive research of fractals was impressive, but the challenge to translate his findings into a tangible product proved to be a tough one. Before long, he and 13&9 turned to two of his PhD students to develop a unique software that could work with Mohawk Technology’s trademarked machine technology.
The students succeeded, with the final carpet collection consisting of four designs: restD, mellowD, chillD, and Fractal Ground. Each one consists of mid-complexity fractals, which tend to be the ones the human eye naturally seeks out anyways.
The Color Psychology Factor
Besides the fractal component, Relaxing Floors also employs the effects of color psychology. This is done using green-gray and blue-gray color schemes, which make the fractals in the floor coverings easier to spot. According to Taylor, the combination of the two can offer genuine relief for the “stress conditions and illnesses that are on the rise. Our digitized and high-density built environments really need these kinds of patterns.”
Sustainability of Relaxing Floors
Mohawk Group is known for making products as sustainable as possible. In the case of Relaxing Floors, the carpets are all carbon neutral, Living Product Challenge Petal-certified, and aggressively support the planet’s ecosystem through outstanding energy and water-conserving manufacturing processes. On top of that, Mohawk’s Glasgow, Virginia carpet tile producer is a leader in sustainable manufacturing, and they’re single-handedly responsible for producing the entire Relaxing Floors line.