Obviously I was hugely bummed that I missed Neocon this year (some things have to be sacrificed to the greater good)—especially as I seem to miss it every year for some reason or another. One of the main reasons for this, other than being able to see all the cool shit that I can't afford everywhere, was being able to look at all the amazing innovation in different areas of the industry. I'm a huge fan of companies like Designtex and Carnegie.
Textiles has always interested me because its design which is somewhat simplified by the fact that it isn't necessarily form led, but rather material or manufacture led. I've always enjoyed material studies, or the idea of trying to create something new in a way which no-one else has done or hasn't applied to a field before. This is Carnegie in a nutshell, and this week I had the opportunity to visit the showroom and creative department in New York
Our first day started with a drive to New Jersey to tour a mill. It was absolutely fractionating to so see the environment where some of the Carnegie textiles are produced (Carnegie produce many different forms of textiles at mills through out the country). Learning about the production process and the extended lengths inside the textile industry that a piece of material goes through from start to finish really makes you appreciate the complexity of the industry. It also really opens your eyes as to why environmental considerations are so important.
When you look around and notice that material and textiles are all around you, it really starts to hit you hard once you hear about all the terrible stuff that is in them (formaldehyde, chlorine, fluoride). Not only that, but production methods which cause huge amounts of environmental and energy waste—it’s really something we should try to pay attention to on a larger scale.
So Carnegie, well they huge on this. They center themselves around integrity, durability and the environment—they have been PVC free since 1980, and are B-corp certified—as well as being creative badasses and working with some of the coolest people in the industry. For example one of their huge products (half of the creative team works on this) is Xorel. A plant based extruded material which allows them to create intricate an interesting designs which are rated as some of the best environmentally.
Huge on principled design, their focus is on the integrity of the brand, in how they deal with their customers, clients, mills and employees. They strive to be different, and to stay on the cutting edge of their industry using creativity to push material and form further. Most of all, I would say the passion through the office in all of the people I met, was amazing. All of them love the company, love the work they are doing and love the environment they are doing it in.
In terms of originality- the goal is to create things which are useful and different. This can only be proved out through them being financially successful, that's the point of a business after all!