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Behind the Collection: Struktur 1

Sarah Foster-Smith, Senior Designer, Forbo Flooring
July 2021

Struktur 1 Blog header

Following the launch of our brand new microtuft carpet tile collection, Tessera Struktur 1, we caught up with Senior Designer, Sarah Foster-Smith, to gain deeper insight into where she got her inspiration from, why she chose the microtuft style and what interior designers can achieve by specifying the new range.

What was the design inspiration behind the Tessera Struktur 1 collection and why launch a microtuft?

Scandinavian design, which is characterised by a minimalist and clean approach but still creates a warm and inviting feel. This is a style of design that continues to be very influential here in the UK. Therefore, to reflect this, we wanted to create a carpet tile with a really simple and pared back texture which would easily complement most interior schemes. We wanted to create something that was very authentic, where what you see is what you get.

We have a wide selection of carpet tile constructions in our existing portfolio but what we don’t have is microtuft, which is a very low pile height style of carpet tufting. Microtuft carpet tiles are an alternative to traditional flatweave flooring, offering the same aesthetics but with the hardwearing and fitting benefits of carpet tile. I think that microtuft bridges the gap between softer and harder floors – it’s something different and offers a breadth of choice that we couldn’t offer before. The manufacturing process is also very different to our other carpet tiles.

Sarah Foster-Smith canva
Neutrals moodboard new

Can you tell us about the design process?

As a Design department, when we look at creating any new product, we begin by researching global trends. Whilst we follow trends in flooring, we concentrate on architecture, interior design, furniture and the changing trends in commercial spaces. Are spaces being used differently and how are these spaces evolving? While the flooring is key, it is part of a wider interior scheme and that’s what we have to remember.

Once we had a concept in mind, we created mood boards, came up with drawings using all of the inspirational material gathered and carried out machine trials, before then taking the prototype samples to different markets to test them out. From there, we looked at different furniture and fabrics to see how they worked together with the new product, making any changes where necessary before delivering the final product.

What inspired the product name “Struktur” and how did you decide on the colours that would be included in the collection?

As the product is inspired by Scandinavian design, “Struktur” is in fact Swedish for “Structure”. It reflects the simplicity of the product and the notion that ‘less is more’. Nordic countries tend to work with softer and warmer colours, which was interesting for us to find, so we made a conscious effort to keep the colours very warm so that the tones create a beautiful ambiance once installed.

The names of all 18 colourways found within the collection are also in the Swedish language, for example Rost is rust, Brun is brown and then we have the likes of Pafagel which means peacock (a teal/blue shade). The collection offers a combination of neutral tones and directional colour, meaning that there is something for everyone – no matter what the project is.

Rust moodboards Struktur1
Campaign image Struktur 1

What can interior designers achieve by using this range?

With Struktur 1, interior designers can create a pure and contemporary look with a balanced feel. Its minimal, clean appearance means that the carpet tiles can be used on their own as a neutral backdrop or they can be mixed with other shades in the collection.

Struktur 1 also works perfectly with resilient floors like Allura Flex and Allura Ease or they can be used with other carpet tiles in our range, such as the chunky loop of Tessera Chroma for a different textural relief, or Earthscape and Cloudscape for interesting colour, texture and pile combinations.

It’s the ideal solution for all sectors and offers huge scope from both a practical and aesthetics perspective.

What are the environmental implications of this collection?

Designed in-house and manufactured at our factory in Bamber Bridge, Preston, Struktur 1 is also stocked in the UK, which means less road miles and better environmental impact.

Each product contains 65% recycled content by weight, which in comparison to its low pile weight of 350g gsm, is very high.

We are the only company that manufactures our microtuft carpet tiles here in the UK – and this is something that we’re really proud of.

Struktur 1 close up

What is your favourite colourway in this collection and why?

All of the colourways have been designed to complement one another so it’s difficult for me to choose! There are so many factors that influence colour choice, whether it’s mood, style, application or lighting, that’s why we have developed a comprehensive collection and there will always be a suitable option.