Heard of a tile collection that would be displayed on wheels for architects and interior designers? Raj Menon of Interface speaks about this concept in an interview with RANJANI GOVIND

The carpet tile manufacturer Interface has just launched ‘Office On Wheels’ in Bangalore, “an initiative to make the target group of architects and interior designers aware of the company’s latest modular carpet collection called ‘Net Effect’” says Raj Menon, Country Manager India, Interface.

Interface manufactures and sells the industry’s range of carpet tiles, in a variety of colour combinations, textures and patterns suitable for most kinds of commercial installations.

Excerpts from the interview:

* What exactly is ‘Office On Wheels’? Would your products be displayed right there at commercial establishments and offices? Or would be made available to architects and designers? What do you think is the advantage here?

The Interface ‘Office On Wheels’ is a new concept to reach out to our customers with our latest range of products literally at their doorsteps. It is a mobile vehicle which would be parked near the offices of prominent architects and designers, who have already been intimated through invitations about the same, and we would visit their premises to better engage with them even as we showcase our latest collection ‘Net Effect’. If we were to do a conference or seminar only a handful of people would have turned up.

But with the mobile vehicle many more customers end up coming. A mobile vehicle can go to the target group at a time convenient to it rather than us waiting for the group to visit our showroom.

Explain your latest ‘Net Effect’ collection, and its social perspectives

Interface is a global leader in the production of carpet tiles with a focus on sustainability – it has been one of the first companies to commit to eliminate its negative impact on the environment by 2020 according to its mission zero® philosophy.

‘Net Effect’, the latest range in our carpet tiles, continues to address issues of environmental and social responsibility, and contains 100 per cent recycled content yarn. It also honours the ocean not only in its aesthetic references but also in a tangible way through a project called Net-Works.

Net-Works provides a source of income for small fishing villages in the Philippines while cleaning up their beaches and waters of discarded fishing nets that threaten their livelihood and the very precious Double Barrier Reef off their shore. Discarded fishing nets are collected and sold to Interface’s trusted yarn supplier and partner, Aquafil.

Since 2011 they’ve been re-purposing waste nylon from discarded fishing nets and other sources, including yarn reclaimed through the company’s own ReEntry® programme, to provide recycled content nylon for Interface carpet tiles. The ‘Net Effect’ product collection provides a subtle visual reminder of the sea on its surface, with a design reminiscent of swirling currents. Created by David Oakey, the collection of six modular carpet tile options embraces sustainability in construction and concept.

Net Effect’s square tiles evoke the sea with a texture that references the moment when waves wash over land. They capture the fluidity of water and convey the expanding and contracting rhythms of the tides with more linear patterns. The tiles’ coastal colour palette has been drawn from the depths of the ocean, and the sun-and-salt-bleached wood and stone found on shore.

What kind of responses have you received? How would this move help architects in deciding on the product?

The response from architects and designers from Bangalore has been encouraging and we hope to replicate this initiative in other cities.

The architects are able to see, touch and feel the product and also be briefed by the Interface sales team, who would be present in the mobile vehicle to explain to them the highlights and features of the new collection.