Designing a Path to the Future

Armstrong Flooring Project with Thomas Jefferson University Generates Product Ideas & Aids Students

Lancaster, Pennsylvania (August 2017) – Education often paves the way to success. For a group of Thomas Jefferson University students, this may be true both literally and figuratively.

When the students attend their Graduate Exhibition in August, the entrance way will be paved with floors they created during a project with the Armstrong Flooring design team.

For the second year, Armstrong Flooring partnered with the university’s Masters of Science in Surface Imaging program. The department was originally part of Philadelphia University, which combined with Thomas Jefferson University on July 1, 2017.

The goal for this year’s project was to investigate the realm of digital print possibilities, collaborating with R&D to produce real-life solutions that could be added to Armstrong Flooring’s diverse hard surface product portfolio.

The spring semester project started in January at the university, with an introduction to Armstrong Flooring products and trends in the industry. “We then invite the students to the Armstrong campus for a tour of the design studio, our print process, and a tour of the Lancaster luxury vinyl tile and sheet flooring plants,” said Residential Flooring Designer Rachelle Roberts. “Members of the design and R&D teams go out to visit the students throughout the semester for three check-in milestone meetings and critiques to push their digital print boundaries and creativity.”

“My visits to Armstrong and the meetings with the team really helped to push my work beyond where I thought it could go,” said Taylor Weckerly, one of the students who went on to hold a summer internship with Armstrong Flooring. “Visiting the plant was a really cool experience that I thoroughly enjoyed. To see the production of it all was inspiring as a designer and made me work harder on my concepts.”

The final presentation of their projects was held at Armstrong’s Lancaster Campus, with an audience including members of the design team, R&D, product management and other departments. Eight students representing five different countries presented their initial design and color concepts and inspiration boards. They showed their working process of prototypes – including what worked and what did not. Each presenter had final products printed and mounted on various shapes, planks, sizes, and print surfaces.

“Typically in the past my design experience was with textiles, so with this project it opened up new doors in understanding design, concept and color,” Taylor said. “By being a part of this industry project I was able to get feedback that helped me to think more creatively and change my own studio practice.”

“We were able to generate a lot of creative concepts that can be further developed for future products,” Rachelle said. “Plus, by working with students and helping them learn about the flooring industry, we have the opportunity to seek out candidates for internships.”

Armstrong Flooring will be working with the students to digitally produce their work as the flooring for the entrance way to their Graduate Exhibition, which will be held on August 4 from 4-8 p.m. ET at the Design Center at the university in Philadelphia.


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Published August 01, 2017