As the piece is circumvented by the viewer, it reveals a visual representation of the ideation process. We wanted to use this concept to tie into Milliken’s continued innovation in multiple fields, and the importance of sketching and brainstorming to generate novel ideas within the Milliken brand.
The audience is first met by tight pattern work, something of a “finished product”, when walking into the Customer Center lobby. The patterns were developed by researching Milliken carpet designs throughout the years, but also pull from elements of traditional tile patterning. We focused on a visually appealing mix of designs that are more timeless in nature, and not representative of a specific trend in any one era. Toward the right side, the patterns begin to dissipate, allowing the viewer to see that the piece continues on the backside of the glass panes. The linework showing through is erratic and curvilinear, creating a pleasing contrast with the meticulous patterns.
As the viewer moves behind the panes to investigate, what looks like freehand looping patterns flow across the glass, giving way to geometric structures. The detailed, front facade of the piece is partially visible, showing through the frosted glass to the back. The backside of the piece, facing the seating area and meeting rooms, is representative of the somewhat chaotic, flowing ideation process; a process that could be happening in the very rooms that this side of the work faces. The looping pattern was created by dissecting and abstracting the Milliken logo, and is a nod to Cy Twombly’s Untitled works in which he repetitively used cursive characters, primarily “e”s. The concept behind these paintings actively breaks down language as it strips away immediate meanings found in complete words and sentences. Twombly’s quest for hidden or deeper meaning through the unconventional means of breaking down language structures hints at eccentric thought processes that are inherently valuable in the brainstorming phase of ideation. We wanted to parallel Twombly’s ideas by emulating these works, and were inspired by Milliken’s past reference to their aesthetic in a carpet collection. As another conceptual layer, we also like the ties that this abstracted font has to Roger Milliken’s signature. Visually, this section of the piece allows more of the patterns on the frontside of the artwork to show through.