2014 AZ Awards Winner: Best Product Design

2014 AZ Awards Winner: Best Product Design

David Oakey’s Net Effect Carpet Tile for Interface takes its raw material from discarded fishing nets and spins it into a beautiful flooring product.

Ray Anderson, the former chair of Interface, died in 2011, but his mission to “climb Mount Sus­tain­ability” remains a motto for his company, and for other modular flooring brands that have embraced green design as essential to bus­iness. Anderson would likely approve of the Net Effect carpet tile collection, launched last year by Interface and designed to deliver exactly what he preached to his green summit followers: take nothing, and do no harm.

The tiles are the vision of David Oakey, who crafted the elegant patterns based on endless shades of oceanic blues, from seafoam greens to wave-cresting whites; but central to the project is the nylon used in the carpet’s makeup. Interface and Oakey worked with Net-Works, a conservation initiative that gathers and reuses discarded fishing nets from Danajon Bank, the Philippines, one of the world’s few double barrier reefs.

The aim is twofold: to remove garbage from a fragile ecosystem, and to provide an alternate source of income to fishing. Rather than the nets being tossed, the nylon is
reconstituted (along with other recycled waste, such as carpet fluff) into durable, dramatic flooring. Net Effect represents something much bigger than what one sees when it is laid out on the floor: it is a stellar example of the complete-cycle thinking that Anderson so profoundly understood.

About the designer: David Oakey Designs has been a leader in biomimicry since the 1990s, and works exclusively with Interface on the evolution of sustainable textiles. davidoakeydesigns.com, interface.com

What the jury said: “You get brownie points for attempting to save the environment, but the question is, how good are the results? I’m convinced that Net Effect is not just full of good intentions; it’s equally good as a product.” – Ron Arad, juror

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