CHICAGO -- NeoCon (#10-118), June 12, 2017How can design be unencumbered and wholly creative?  How can a process with no defined end-point yield something both unexpected yet beautiful?  These intriguing questions are answered through J+J Flooring Group’s new Form + Finish Collection.

The historic Pewabic pottery studio in Detroit, Mich., provided the departure and destination point for J+J’s design team to immerse themselves in the time-honored crafts of pottery and glazing. Studying and working alongside skilled artisans, J+J’s designers abandoned all preconceived ideas of what a finished collection should look like.  Instead, they simply designed to the element that spoke loudest to them.  The result – like a beautiful and unique piece of pottery – are six inspiring products that bring an unexpected yet sophisticated addition to any space.   

The six products in the collection include a plethora of texture, luster, pattern and dimension. Amorphous, Atmospheric and Emulsion are three 24” x 24” modular carpetswhich are available in 13 unique colorways and answer the desire for plush textures and non-patterned patterns.  Organic Raku, an 18” x 36” plank carpet, offers a dynamic flooring option through its rich 12 colors and a patterning effect that embraces visual movement.  Two Kinetex products, Fracture, a 24” x 24” modular product in 12 colorways, and Flux,a 12” x 48” demi-plank in six colorways, round out the collection.

All six products feature bold organics, unique color combinations that effortlessly wash into each other and the graceful yet unexpected fluidity of patterning that results from the art of glazing. For greater flexibility, the carpet and the Kinetex products can be easily paired and installed together in various methods to create distinct design combinations. Products from the Form + Finish Collection can also be matched with J+J’s new LVT products, providing even more solutions for creating the perfect flooring statement. 

An added advantage comes from the two Kinetex products, Fracture and Flux.  As a textile composite flooring, these products contain the design appeal and feel of a soft surface with the durability and maintenance attributes of a hard surface.  Developed from the practiced approach of evidence-based design, they also bring a proven array of safety and health benefits. 

Design highlights of the four Form + Finish carpet products include:

Amorphous (24”x24”) Just as glazes create a cast of colours that wash from one to the other, Amorphous in turn morphs contrasting neutrals and bold hues in a uncharacteristically graphic pattern that allows for endless variations on installed aesthetics.

Atmospheric (24”x24”) – Morphing the form of a textured surface with the finish of glazed colour, Atmospheric highlights the subtle movement that embodies each element as they coalesce and disperse in a non-obtrusive reaction.

Emulsion (24”x24”)-- As with glazes, patterning pulls and drips, rendering an endless unexpected outcome of free-form effects.  It’s the ability to let go and allow the process to relegate an uncontrolled aesthetic that often yields the most intriguing and statement-making results.

Organic Raku (18”x36”) – Taking its cue from the art of Raku firing, Organic Raku embraces the visual movement that comes from a quick-fire process.  Mattes mixing with lusters and neutrals supporting rich palettes of saturated colour create a flared effect that changes as you move across an finished application.

To achieve the plush textures and dynamic patterns, three of the carpet products utilize innovative ColorPoint tufting technology.  This technology allows for multiple pile heights, sophisticated cut and loop construction, intricate yarn placement and a more continual pattern through horizontal and vertical tufts. 

All four products are manufactured using J+J Flooring Group's Encore® BCF Nylon, a high performance solution dyed/yarn dyed combination nylon with lifetime performance warranties; and ColorLoc® Plus, a bleach-resistant technology enabling carpets to resist permanent staining from both acid (coffee, sodas, tea, wine) and disperse-type agents (betadine, ketchup, mustard).

Design highlights of the two Kinetex products include:

Fracture (24”x24”) –Focusing on the patterning that a crackle glaze creates, Fracture embodies the concept of perfect imperfection. By highlighting each separation within the glaze, this new finish takes on a dramatic and aged appeal.

Flux (12”x48”)Flux focuses not on the glaze as a finished application, but rather on the beauty of the liquid itself as it first begins to transform in the firing process.  Colour emerges in intense fashion as the form begins to give way to its final culmination: A versatile, beautiful and organic design that morphs from each of itsplanks or seamlessly combines with other J+J Flooring products.  

As Kinetex products, Fracture and Flux are standard with PreFix™, a pre-applied releasable adhesive allowing the ability to install over concrete with an RH up to 99 percent, reducing the need for costly moisture mitigation.

All Kinetex productshave a 50 percent lower environmental impact than traditional flooring.  They also contain more than 55 percent recycled content and are fully closed-loop recyclable. Both are NSF 140 Platinum certified and have an EPD and a HPD available for complete transparency.

All Form + Finish products are manufactured at J+J’sadvanced vertically integrated manufacturing facility in Dalton.  The industry’s first third-party certified zero-waste-to-landfill facility, it is also certified to the newest ISO 14001 Environmental Management System Certification, ISO 14001:2015.

For more information, or call 800.241.4586.

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About J+J Flooring Group

For more than 60 years,  J+J Flooring Group has intelligently crafted beautiful commercial flooring products for diverse applications. As a division of Engineered Floors, LLC, we are proud to be a part of the third largest carpet company in North America. With our range of products including broadloom and modular carpet, Kinetex textile composite flooring and luxury vinyl tile – we engineer all of our flooring solutions with a steadfast commitment to design, quality, service, integrity and sustainability.


In 2016, J+J Flooring Group joined Engineered Floors, LLC. Based in Dalton, Ga., Engineered Floors is a privately held carpet producer founded in 2010 by Robert E. Shaw. The company, which employs more than 2,800 people, produces stain-resistant and colorfast solution dyed nylon and polyester fiber and carpeting for residential replacement, new home builder, multi-family and main street commercial applications. To learn more visit,


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PLANO, TX – (June 1, 2017) – Flexible classrooms require more options for flexible active seating. Smith System is answering the call by introducing oodle, a contemporary, new K12 stool line that meets a range of alternative seating needs. Foremost, oodle is the education industry’s first stackable stool that offers two-in-one seating:  stationary or 10-degrees of multidirectional “wiggle.”

“Unlike other products on the market, oodle is a universal solution for K12 learning environments. It’s a simple, comfortable way to support student choice and reduce the amount of improvised seating,” said Michael Risdall, Smith System director of marketing. See a video of how oodle works at

Oodle Concept

The basic oodle features three disc-shaped components, each 17 inches in diameter and 6.5 inches high. Teachers can assist students in using the sections individually or in stacking them higher. Additionally, by simply flipping a separate, floor-facing disc insert 180 degrees, students can sit still (the insert’s flat side) or enjoy 10 degrees of multi-directional rocking motion (the insert’s convex side). Research shows that active seating – seating that gently moves with the student – improves focus by giving them a healthy way to channel excess energy.

For safety, a sturdy rotation lock keeps the proprietary stack-and-lock system securely fastened. Oddle also has a built-in “stop” to prevent a seated student from rocking too far. (NOTE:  Smith System recommends stacking no more than four sections for seating. Higher stacking is useful when storing oodle.)

“Oodle provides enough movement to realize the benefits of active seating, without causing a sense of imbalance or tipping. It’s fun without being distracting,” Risdall added.

Ideation and Creators

After exploring stool concepts internally, Smith System collaborated with award-winning industrial design experts Joe Ricchio of Ricchio Design and Charlie Patterson of Patterson Design. They agree the stool’s stackability also benefits educators, who can assist students to adjust stool height to students’ stature, the classroom or lesson configuration, or other individual needs.

“Previously, school furniture designed to allow student movement either didn’t have a strictly stationary option, or it was essentially adult-sized exercise equipment or office furniture modified to fit a K12 student,” Joe Ricchio explained. “Oodle is right-sized, meant for today’s flexible classroom, and provides a universal option for customized seating.”

Mix and Match Choices

Oodle’s bold colors and clean shapes bring a sophisticated, graphic palette to the classroom. Individual stool sections come in five mix-or-match colors:  charcoal, platinum, apple, orange and cerulean. Pieces are molded of high-density polypropylene and manufactured in the United States.

About Smith System

Founded in 1905, Smith System ( has helped American education evolve by being ready with the right furniture at the right time. An industry leader in school furniture innovation, Smith System is committed to developing products that support optimum learning environments – addressing the needs of students and educators, the demands of the curriculum, and the realities of space, maintenance and budget.

About Joe Ricchio and Charlie Patterson

Joe Ricchio is founder of Ricchio Design, a consultancy focused on product, furniture and graphic design. He has designed seating, accessories and more, with widespread recognition, including IBD, IDSA and Best of NeoCon awards. Charlie Patterson is the founder of Patterson Design. He has been an award-winning industrial designer for more than four decades.

(Cincinnati, OH; May 15, 2017) BHDP Architecture is pleased to announce the opening of a new office in Pittsburgh. The office will be led by Mark Chachula, RA, LEED AP, PE who has been with BHDP for five years. “I’m excited to help bring BHDP Architecture to this region. We are already serving several clients in this area from our offices in Cincinnati and Columbus, OH and Raleigh, NC; so it makes sense for us to have additional design and project management resources here,” said Mark Chachula, Sr. Architect.

“Mark is an experienced Registered Architect and Professional Engineer who has led many assignments for multiple FORTUNE 500 clients. Putting Mark and our newest office in Pittsburgh is part of our long-range growth plan. With project locations spanning all 50 states, 5 Canadian provinces and 20 different countries around the globe, this expansion will help us better meet the needs of our growing client base,” said Mike Habel, President/CEO of BHDP.

BHDP’s new office is located at 6425 Living Place, Suite 200; Pittsburgh, PA 15206 and can be contacted by phone at 412-450-6031.

 About BHDP

BHDP, an award-winning international architectural firm with offices in Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio and Raleigh, North Carolina, is recognized for intelligent, innovative and inspiring solutions in architecture, planning, interior design, project management, strategic consulting; and now offers custom facility management, location tracking tools and analytic support via AVUITY, its independent tech services consulting practice. BHDP serves five core markets: Workplace, Retail, Higher Education, Science and Integrated Industrial Design. For information visit



Menlo Park, CA (May 17, 2017) – Menlo Park Small High School celebrated the ground breaking for the TIDE Academy, which stands for technology, innovation, design and engineering, designed by LPA Inc. Ensuring all students have access to high-quality learning opportunities, the TIDE Academy is designed to include classrooms, STEM labs and varied flexible learning spaces and is expected to be complete in  2019.

Located a quarter mile from the south end of the San Francisco Bay, the 45,000-square-foot public high school implements a project-based learning curriculum with a focus on college and career readiness in STEM fields.

“The design of the school reflects the innovative and collaborative spirit of the district and is outwardly focused to invite community and industry partnerships to drive the technology-based education,” said Katia McClain, Associate and Managing Director at LPA. “We designed a flexible, functional, multiuse space in both the interior and exterior including learning clusters as an innovative approach to scale learning for multiple preferences.”

The learning spaces will be stacked on three floors wrapped around a “vertical courtyard” for maximum indoor/outdoor connection at every level. In addition to classroom spaces, the campus features a makerspace shop, a coding lab dedicated to computer code education and software development and a design lab for rapid prototyping and implementing design concepts. Reflecting its progressive curriculum, the school is designed to be both innovative and responsive to enhance hands-on learning.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, STEM occupations are growing at 17 percent, while other occupations are growing at 9.8 percent. As the demand for technology is expanding into every aspect of life, students at the TIDE Academy will benefit from their new learning environment and develop their capabilities in STEM education.

Matching the innovative curriculum approach to learning, LPA applied an equally creative integrated design approach to maximize the school’s sustainability. The building is organized to promote daylighting, as well as views of the bay. A large, perforated metal scrim shades the building, protecting it from direct glare and reducing solar heat gains. Other sustainable initiatives include: a planted green roof, resiliency and active design strategies, high-efficiency HVAC systems and native, drought-tolerant landscaping.

Already an award-winning campus, the project has received design awards from the Coalition for Adequate School Housing (CASH) and from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Santa Clara Valley Chapter.

“To create a seamless use of the school by both students and staff, collaboration is woven into the fabric of the design,” explained Helen Pierce, Design Director at LPA. “Our strategy is to allow the students to become innovators by providing space that supports the flexibility to change modalities and empower students.”

Sequoia Union High School District (SUHSD) has a strong initiative to deliver innovative and engaging student environments. "[We are] very excited to build such a dynamic school building that breaks the mold of 960 square foot boxes once and for all and where collaboration is truest 'built in’,” said Matthew Zito, Chief Facilities Officer for SUHSD. “The building is also a singularly beautiful piece of architecture and will serve as a great physical place to attend high school for the next 100 years.”

About LPA Inc.

Founded in 1965, LPA has more than 350 employees with offices in Irvine, Sacramento, San Diego and San Jose, California as well as San Antonio and Dallas. The firm provides services in architecture, sustainability, planning, interior design, landscape architecture, engineering and graphics. With a proven commitment to integrated sustainable design, LPA designs facilities that span from K-12 schools, colleges and universities and corporate, healthcare and civic establishments. More than 700 major design awards attest to LPA’s commitment to design excellence. For more information, visit


For media inquiries: Carina Calhoun  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (949 7014040

Space influences behavior and attitude, which in turn influences the learning process. At NAC Architecture, designs are about more than just the building itself.  NAC recognizes that space influences behavior and attitude, which in turn impacts the learning process. Academic success is enhanced when an educational environment is thoughtfully designed to spark creativity and encourage innovation.

Equally important to designing inspiring learning environments is creating flexible spaces that can adapt to changing curriculum and a plurality of learning styles. In collaboration with Boston-based organization room2learn, NAC recently launched a campaign aimed at crowd-sourcing information on what teachers are doing in their classroom to improve the learning experience. The "Hack Your Classroom" campaign invites educators to share how they’re adapting their classrooms to better achieve desired outcomes (e.g., personalized learning, student engagement, student-directed learning).

Whatever you’re doing,  "Hack Your Classroom" wants to hear about it!

Additionally, the campaign wants to recognize and promote excellence in teaching and classroom design! That’s why one lucky hack submitter will be selected to receive $500 for new classroom supplies. The winner will be determined by a NAC + room2learn jury. Interested parties can submit their classroom hacks online here. Submission deadline is May 31, 2017.


Volume 26/Spring 2017 

Check out the digital edition 

Review all Articles & 59 Award Winners:




10.25.2017 - 10.27.2017
EDspaces 2017


10.26.2017 - 10.29.2017
A4LE - 2017 LearningSCAPES Conference

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