Next week Mohawk Group will host the latest presentation in its Resourceful CEU series and debut an accredited session that showcases an emerging body of work in the realm of biophilic design. “Fractal Fluency in the Built Environment” will focus on the intersection of science, design and art, and the concepts behind a stress-reductive approach to commercial spaces.The hour-long course will be offered on Wednesday, Sept. 16, at 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. EST to accommodate guests tuning in across different time zones. Each CEU is free to attend virtually, but attendees must register to view and receive credit through AIA and IDCEC.
Presented by Anastasija and Martin Lesjak of Austria-based 13&9 Design and Dr. Richard Taylor of the University of Oregon, the course addresses fractal fluency and how fractals can be translated into design. Seemingly random shapes and forms found in nature often appear haphazard; but, upon closer inspection, there is a structure underlying these natural arrangements. As we look closer and closer, the patterns repeat over and over. These patterns – fractals – are the building blocks of many of nature’s motifs and have been scientifically proven to reduce stress by as much as 60 percent.
“We work with our team to pursue design strategies that are based on the scientifically well-founded analysis of stress-reducing concepts within a space, especially in the workplace and healthcare,” stated the Lesjaks. “One of our main areas of focus concerns research into perception and the effects of specific patterns that occur in nature. These patterns have the greatest significance in the built environment, where people have little to no access to nature.”
From their scientific interest came a collaboration with one of the leading scientists and physicists in this field: Richard Taylor, professor of physics, psychology and art at the University of Oregon and founder of Fractals Research.
“The beautiful thing about fractals is that you repeat a pattern at different size scales, but that repetition generates an enormous amount of very rich and intricate structure. Our eyes welcome that complexity,” said Taylor. “It is an amazing opportunity to have an impact on society because we spend approximately $300 billion on stress-related illnesses each year.”
The collaboration between 13&9 Design, Fractals Research and Mohawk Group ultimately produced the Relaxing Floors carpet system – one of the manufacturer’s most awarded collections to date.
Individuals have a deep-seated desire to see these fractal patterns, to connect to nature and to have more inspiring and relaxing environments in which to live and work. As humankind continues to find itself increasingly surrounded with urban landscapes and artificial workspaces, society risks becoming further disconnected from nature and its healing benefits.
“Comprehending the art and science behind biophilic design helps us better understand how to create environments for decompressing and getting away from the technology overload that plagues us constantly,” said Jackie Dettmar, vice president of design and product development at Mohawk Group. “We are excited for our colleagues to share their findings through this new CEU because this approach will have a groundbreaking impact on the built environment. We want to make sure the design community is able to follow along with the same excitement and anticipation we have had over the last three years working with this amazing transdisciplinary team.”
Mohawk Group established the Resourceful CEU series last March to provide outlets for the contract design community to revitalize their knowledge and renew their well-being while many are still working remotely. To register for “Fractal Fluency in the Built Environment” and other sessions within the continuing education series, visit http://bit.ly/MGSeptCEU.