August 2012 - Choosing carpets

The planning application has now been submitted for our new centre in Vauxhall (new name to be announced soon!). Design attention is therefore now focused on the specifics of the interior. We know where the reception; meeting rooms; conference centre and offices will be located. But what is more difficult, is agreeing on what they will look like.

At a recent Design Group meeting, much of the conversation was concentrated on floor coverings. Would they be carpet? Wood? Concrete?  What would work best? What would look best? As we mulled these questions over in our mind, our architect David suggested a different question was more important: What would work best to achieve our values?

The centre will support organisations working to reduce structural injustice, abuses of human rights, inequality or unequal distribution of resources.  We want to ensure that the interior design reflects this.

What’s the point of having carpets that are the correct pantone reference if in doing so, resources are wasted or the centre is harder to navigate? What’s the point of fitting the perfect coloured wooden flooring if it is not fairly traded or from sustainable sources?

The centre’s brand will not be any one  colour you associate it with. It will be the values you associate it with. Maybe the carpets won’t all match. Maybe we’ll have a variety of carpet colours all in one room. Maybe the wooden floorboards will look a bit rough around the edges.

But this won’t be a coincidence. Or lack of aesthetic awareness. Whatever we end up with will be chosen because it is the best choice in terms of reflecting our values of inclusivity; accessibility; sustainability and fairness.  And we think it will look great.

Janine Woodwood is Sales and Development Manager at Ethical Property. / @ethicalspace /
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