Another HD Expo officially came to a close on May 17th and it did not disappoint. Every year the hospitality design-centric trade show and conference serves as a venue for designers, brand executives, and purchasers to learn about new trends in the sector and network with colleagues. It’s also a prime opportunity for manufacturers to unveil their latest offerings to eager industry professionals.
Durkan was one of those eagerly anticipated manufacturers, having won the 2018 IIDA/HD Expo Product Design Award for Flooring: Carpet/Rugs with their Crafted Convergence collection. They decided to revisit the same source of inspiration for that collection, Santa Fe’s Museum of International Folk Art, and came up with Spirit Moderne for 2019.
“For this collection, we did a deep dive into the Museum’s mid-20th century folk art and textile archives,” explains Elizabeth Bonner, Durkan’s design director for hospitality. “We drew inspiration from a Nigerian tie-dyed wrap skirt that was made out of an old seed bag, wax-resist-dyed textiles from Indonesia, an esoteric quilt made by an local artist, and a linen bedspread with multiple eye-catching patches. All of these items also highlighted the larger theme of ‘scrap culture’ that we were working with. Folk art in particular resonated with this theme because it demonstrates inventive reuse and the hidden potential for beauty to exist in practicality, something the industrial textile market hasn’t caught on to yet.”
Spirit Moderne, a broadloom and carpet plank collection, takes the original design language of these items, blends them together, and then adds an inflection of contemporary aesthetic trends into the mix. Rather than simply replicating the patterns found in these textiles, the Durkan designers created an amalgam of their essential elements and then rendered that new look in a vibrant color palette. Eschewing neutral hues, Spirit Moderne comes in a range of blues, teals, and indigos with accents of acidic mustards, warm and cool grays, and tangerine oranges.
“For us, this collection really represents how the world has fundamentally changed due to globalization, the internet, and the rich conversations about cultural identity that are happening in the mainstream now,” says Bonner. “Today we’re crossing boundaries and layering different aesthetic influences on top of each other in ways we wouldn’t have thought to in the past.”
Spirit Moderne can be fabricated using any of Durkan’s proprietary techniques, but it is perhaps best rendered in the brand's Definity technology. Through a specialized tufting machine and solution-dyed nylon, broadloom carpeting made with Definity has multi-level textures, superior performance, and unmatched sustainability when compared to similar manufacturing platforms. Definity also enables Durkan to have extensive customization capabilities, enabling designers to use Spirit Moderne as a visual launch point for their hospitality projects. “The Spirit Moderne collection tells the story of the museum,” says Bonner, “but it can always be mended to fit the specific needs of whatever hospitality space a designer is working on.”
Portions of the proceeds from this collection will go to support the Museum of International Folk Art in its mission to preserve and promote the artistic and craft traditions of the world’s artisans.