Choose your country

Pulldown 2
Pulldown 2
Pulldown 2
Pulldown 2
Pulldown 2
Pulldown 2
Pulldown 2
Pulldown 2
Pulldown 2


Designing with Dynamics of a Building

  • Student Challenge LISAA | Topography
  • Student Challenge LISAA | Forbo School
  • Student Challenge LISAA | Library pods
  • Student Challenge LISAA | Line o leum

The Challenge

Twenty students from the Architecture & Design Institute LISAA in Paris, were challenged to design spaces by using the different dynamics of a building as a starting point. By using the possibilities offered by the broad choice of floors from Forbo Flooring, these creative students were able to reach remarkable results.

The students from LISAA in Paris


In April of 2021, twenty 3rd-year Interior Architecture & Design students of LISAA (l’Ecole Supérieure des Arts Appliqué) in Paris, France, were invited to design the spaces of a building of their choice using the Dynamics of a Building as a starting point and show how the design of the floor can play an important role in creating different atmospheres.

The project was launched by Forbo Flooring and Alba Mroz (AM), Educational Manager in Interior Architecture & Design at LISAA. Marijke Griffioen (MG), Senior Designer, and Dorothé Kessels (DK), Director Global Design, both working at at Forbo Flooring Systems, guided the project virtually from the Netherlands.

Alba, can you tell us more about LISAA and why you chose to work with Forbo Flooring Systems?

AM: 'Our Interior Architecture and Design school is located in the heart of Paris. LISAA is one of the few schools to be recognized by the Ministry of Culture & Communication. Our students work for 5 years to obtain a double degree in interior architecture and design. After three years of generalist training, we allow them to specialize in interior architecture and design and to approach design in a transversal way in order to bring out innovative solutions.

Forbo interested us in particular for its international aspect but also for its design and creations. It is a company that often works with established and recognized designers in the field, but also gives young emerging creatives a podium. Its huge range of products makes it possible to address both areas that LISAA focuses on, namely interior architecture and design.'

Marijke and Dorothé, can you explain the assignment?

MG: ‘In 2015 we identified that buildings are not as unambiguous as they used to be. For example: a hospital now also has restaurants, shops and leisure spaces, and schools have areas to study and to relax. After research, we coined five main interactions taking place in a building: receiving, moving, connecting, concentrating, and recharging.

These different scenarios are more and more combined and interwoven within the spatial design for a building. Buildings are becoming multifaceted and their interior design flexible, and with our flooring designs we want to support this change. As a response we developed the Dynamics of a Building (or DOAB) story to be used as a reference when designing an interior.’

DK: 'With this philosophy in mind, we asked the students to use DOAB as a starting point and to select at least two different interactions taking place in the same building (working, relaxing, connecting, etc). The brief was to describe the different sensorial experiences that play an important role in these specific dynamics, and to show us how the floor design can play a main role in the different atmospheres.'

Was this a new concept for the students?

MG: 'Yes, but the story of DOAB was well understood and embraced by the students. They provided us with fresh perspectives on how to use the DOAB philosophy as a tool. An example: one of the student teams translated the theme ‘recharging’ into several sub directions, each with its own colour range but still in line with the general atmosphere that belongs to the ‘recharging’ dynamic.

Another team selected a restricted range of green hues. By playing with the saturation brightness and contrast of these selected colour tones and by applying the principles of the five dynamics they succeeded to present in a convincing way different colour dialogues, each with their own specific atmosphere.'

Student Challenge LISAA | looking at samples
Student Challenge LISAA | working in teams

For this challenge, the students also had to work in teams. Did that provide a different dynamic?

DK: 'The working in teams of two clearly worked well, we felt there was a nice interaction between the student couples.

MG: 'It was interesting to see that each team selected another type of building as starting point for their assignment, there was hardly any overlap. Some teams executed the project in a very realistic and practical way with detailed and thorough descriptions of the interior and its materials. While other teams were more conceptual in their approach. Their narratives supported the concepts often in a strong and convincing way.'

There were twenty students, from which you chose four winning teams. What do you think about the outcome?

MG: 'There was a big diversity in the outcomes. The presentations were very diverse with a broad variety of expressions with unique and personal signatures.

For us the collaboration was a nice way to test the accessibility of the DOAB principles. The students proved to us that the principle of DOAB works well as a framework, that it supports, can be used as point of reference, and inspires rather than being experienced as a restriction.'

DK: 'The overall quality of the visual expressions was impressive. As 3rd-year students they have already well-developed design skills in concept development, scenario writing as well as in digital visualization.'

What did you both enjoy most about this collaboration?

AM: 'What we appreciated most about this collaboration was the generosity of the Forbo Flooring teams, both in terms of time and feedback to students. Forbo provided us with a range of samples and this was crucial as most of the project took place remotely. The students had the opportunity to appreciate the material, the colours, and experience the properties.'

DK: 'Working with the LISAA team was great, they were very dedicated and supportive, there was clear communication (all in English) and the team was able to provide the students with professional and constructive feedback. Their commitment to the DOAB principles, to Forbo and our products felt genuine. With their support the students were able to get familiar with the assignment in a short time span. By guiding the students in a structured way, the students succeeded to come up with inspiring, creative as well as realistic and commercially viable solutions. In this project clearly awareness was created on what it means to work with a commercial partner.'

Anne-Toscane & Alice

Student Challenge LISAA | library pods
Student Challenge LISAA | library pods

Anne-Toscane & Alice - Library pods

'We wanted to base our work on students, and how to improve their working environment, so we chose to focus on libraries, as it is for most students an opportunity to work in another context than at home. To provide a solution to that problem, we created two different pods, allowing them to connect with others and recharge when needed.

In the connecting pods, students will be able to work, talk and create in a space with tables, chairs and pinboards and whiteboards, helping them to communicate, share ideas, and in the end increase their productivity.

In the recharging pods, students will be able to recharge and concentrate. They can choose their desired neighbours, lighting and view, as the pods are installed on a turning platform. The muted colours of the flooring and the panels add another relaxing dimension to the space, as green reminds us of nature and its calmness.'

Student Challenge LISAA | Anne-Toscane and Alice

Our approach on the Dynamics of a Building

'It was the first time we actually worked on the various dynamics a building offers, and it really pushed further our thinking and creative process. Out of the five scenarios, we decided to work on connecting and recharging, as they were the ones, as students, that appealed more to our problem. Furthermore, in the context of our pods, the two scenarios were both very similar and so different at the same time, as one happens in silence and the other in sharing.'

The products that we used

'We mainly used Forbo materials that had sound insulation properties. For our connecting pods, we used Sarlon in bright and inviting colours such as copper stardust 4804T4315 and soft peach stardust 4806T4315 to create a pattern inside and between each pod. In addition to that, we used Bulletin Board in brown rice 2187 for the pinboards and Furniture Linoleum in smokey blue 4179 for
the countertop of the table.

We delimited the space of our recharging pods with Tessera Cloudscape in summer storm 3412 and Marmoleum Decibel in
rosemary green 335535. They are both green, making them the perfect color for the relaxing space we imagined.'

Student Challenge LISAA | connecting pods
Student Challenge LISAA | recharging pods

Clara & Zoé

Student Challenge LISAA | sport terrain
Student Challenge LISAA | cafe

Clara & Zoé - LINE O LEUM

'For this project we have chosen to rehabilitate a ruined space into a sports complex: the Daniel Faucher University restaurant in Toulouse that is surrounded by nature.

We were interested in the idea of bringing the exterior inside the building, in an abstract way with patterns reminiscent of nature. We took inspiration from outdoor sports areas, using bright and dynamic colours to create an original and lively space that motivates people. The lines of the sports field are expanded to create patterns and signage to identify the different areas and guide people.'

Student Challenge LISAA | Clara & Zoé

Our approach on the Dynamics of a Building

'It was a complex task to understand the different dynamics of a building in order to link them together while distinguishing them from each other. This project was like our concept: a winding line that kept evolving. The wide range of products offered by Forbo Flooring allowed us not to restrict ourselves in the design of our different spaces and to go ahead with our project.'

The products that we used

We used the following products in our designs:

- Marmoleum Sport: 83711
- Furniture linoleum: 4185 powder & 4157 pearl
- Sarlon 19dB colour: 4803T4319 vanilla stardust
- Flotex: s246016 metro grape
- Bulletin Board: 2186 blanched almond

Student Challenge LISAA | escalier
Student Challenge LISAA | gradier

Juliette & Lisa

Student Challenge LISAA | green
Student Challenge LISAA | corridor

Juliette & Lisa - Topography

'We based our design on a topography pattern created by Forbo to create various spaces, adapted to the needs of the students and to create an overall better living space in universities. We put the students' needs and actions as a priority in order to create a space that will allow the students to shift their comfort space from their phones to an actual space. They will be able to identify with the space and therefore have a better relationship with their surroundings.

For the connecting space, we wanted to go further in the use of the corridor, making it not only a circulation space but also a connecting space between students.

The recharging space is based on colour psychology, it is a study that shows that different colours reflect different emotions. Our goal was not to dictate any emotions but to let the students choose the space where they feel most comfortable. Therefore we created four smaller spaces, each representing a certain mood.'

Student Challenge LISAA | Juliette and Lisa

Our approach on the Dynamics of a Building

'This project has made us take an extra step in the thinking process for dynamics. Going further than thinking of what the general action happening is in a space, and asking ourselves what are the other possibilities and variations. How a corridor can be more than a space connecting two rooms, how a break room can be more than just chairs and tables. And how these spaces can contribute to the wellbeing of the users.'

The products that we used

We used the following products:

Main floor : Marmoleum custom made, 3369/336935 titanium
Love space : Marmoleum 3268/326835 honey suckle & Flotex s246031 metro cherry
Zen space : Marmoleum 335535 rosemary green & Flotex s290014 calgary lime
Resting space : Marlomeum 336035 vintage blue & Flotex s290025 calgary riviera
Dynamic space : Marmoleum 3251/325135 lemon zest & Flotex 40522 lemon

Student Challenge LISAA | general view
Student Challenge LISAA | blue space

Kimia & Natalia

Student Challenge LISAA | transition
Student Challenge LISAA | recharging

Kimia & Natalia - Forbo school

'Forbo School is an elementary school inspired by the shape of Forbo’s logo. We wanted to create a positive space using biophilic design principles resulting in a positive and restorative atmosphere. Our approach was to distinguish each dynamic of a building while keeping one colour palette.

The green environment has a positive impact on children’s learning experience and health. Our layout of flooring and the selection of materials from Forbo Flooring’s portfolio became key elements of designing an interior space. We also chose to play with a path on the floor that gives a feeling of unity and connection in the building.'

Student Challenge LISAA | Natalia and Kimia

Our approach on the Dynamics of a Building

'It was interesting to learn about the different dynamics of a building as it became easier for us to identify our scenarios and make choices about their specific material needs. We believe every dynamic is equally important, however, creating different moods in one colour palette can be more challenging. Therefore, we used various materials and green tones to distinguish our areas. Creating a transition between spaces was another new aspect that we started considering while designing our flooring system. The connection can be achieved in many ways, but we decided to create a sense of movement and unity using line paths inspired by Forbo’s logo. We hope to use this approach in our future projects.'

The products that we used

For our designs we used:

Coral for heavy traffic entrances - 6122/6142 salt
Linoleum for furniture - 4182 spring green, 2212 fresh pineapple
Marmoleum for hight impact sound reduction - 322435 chartreuse
Vinyl flooring for high traffic resistance - 10182 colourful terrazzo, 50238 sea green, 50044 turquoise, 50048 pistachio, 40642 apple, 50436 lemon
Needlefelt for wear-resistant performance - 96008 field
Flotex in a sheet format - s482006 penang sage
Carpet tiles for comfort - 2128 custard, 2120/2120PL apple
Flex wood - 60064FL1/60064FL5 whitewash elegant oak
Onyx+ for wall application - 26508 soft almond, 26514 greige accent

Student Challenge LISAA | concentrating
Student Challenge LISAA | usage scenario