Fairkorkt by Sarah Gerner and Johanna Kolb

Bright ideas

A group of enterprising young interior design students from Hannover University of Applied Sciences and Arts have developed innovative concepts for tomorrow’s floor coverings.

THE 14 students, from the university’s interior architecture and design department, were asked to develop concepts that embody the trend of product individualisation in line with the keynote theme for this year’s Domotex exhibition. Their objective was to create practicable,

sustainable products that combine superior design values with ecological and economic responsibility. The students could draw inspiration from nature or focus on renewable materials and ecological sustainability to develop a new type of floor covering. A key part of the brief was that their prototypes should still be in the experimental phase so

Blindsight by Nina Düwel

What if floors could communicate with people and help them find their way around? That’s the kind of innovative thinking that led this student to develop a new type of navigation system for the blind. The system uses intuitive, universal symbols (e.g. for bathrooms, lifts, information areas) to give the blind and vision-impaired new freedom and independence. In this way, it provides help and guidance in situations where conventional signage and directory systems are of no use or are unavailable.

Superficious Heat by Nele Ratjen

Inspired by thermoregulation in reptiles, this is a flooring system that incorporates a new approach to floor heating. Unlike conventional floor heating systems, which are hidden in the subfloor, this system is featured proudly as a design element that can be customised by the user. The result is a floor heating system that is highly individualised and easy to repair. 33

that visitors to Domotex could understand the work processes employed by the students in developing their creations. Some of the prototypes are experimental

and visionary, while others are more focused on practical, real-world solutions. Among them are a carpet that purifies the air, a floor tile that changes colour depending on the viewing angle, a floor surface made of beeswax, and a type of flooring that – thanks to an instantaneous chemical reaction – can be sprayed on and then ‘cooked’ to return it to its original state.

Phoenix by Janna Marie Bombek und Franziska Roethemeier

Used as a wall cladding, charred timber is not especially new. But as flooring? These two students set out to develop a method to make this attractive material suitable for flooring so that they could bring the charred wood aesthetic indoors. As part of their research, they conducted a series of inspired experiments. In one, they coated timber with molten glass, which charred the upper layer of the timber and then cooled to form a protective layer.

Fairkorkt is a vegan, organic carpet made of tiny diamond-shaped cork discs. Each disc can move and has different colors and surface finishes on each side. The result is a carpet that constantly changes in appearance as you walk on it and feels great under bare feet.

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