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Social Distancing in Style: A Creative Approach To Flooring Design For The Changed Workplace


Milliken launches a design-led carpet tile collection to assist social distancing and promote mental and physical well-being in the workplace.   

To support the safety and cultural needs of the new workplace, Milliken has created ‘Social Factor’: a collection of informational carpet tile graphics that can be easily inserted into an existing carpet tile layout. As the lockdown begins to ease in some countries, Milliken designers have taken up the profound challenge of creating an aesthetically pleasing floor covering collection to facilitate a safe return to work.  Milliken research has supported the theory that the floor plane can play a vital role in supporting the requirements of new workplace design. Carpet can effectively be used to define boundaries, create zones, provide wayfinding, set navigation, direct traffic and provide a measuring tool through graphic messaging, colours and patterns. Social Factor uses Milliken’s proprietary patterning technology to bring safety messages to life with vibrant and imaginative design treatments. Social Factor floor tiles not only provide an effective way to design important new safety elements into the office layout, they also help promote a spirit of positivity and sense of security.

Social Factor carpet tiles can facilitate responsible behaviours such as social distancing and enhanced hygiene practices. Designs include distancing and directional arrows, footsteps, chair positioning and hand-washing icons. They provide a highly visible and easy to follow guide for employees returning to work. In addition they contribute well-being elements to improve the workplace experience: from introducing vibrant colours and beautiful patterns, to using cushion backing for improved acoustics and luxurious underfoot comfort.

The colourful and intricate artwork and graphics seen in Social Factor are made possible by Milliken’s proprietary high resolution digital patterning technology Millitron®. The collection is formed of 5 design concepts; the first ‘Chase The Rainbow’ celebrates the spirit of community and recognises the extraordinary work undertaken by healthcare professionals and essential workers. ‘Set In Concrete’ combines bold neon graphics with spray-paint graffiti styling overlaid onto a rugged concrete effect background. ‘Drawn Together’ is a family of informational carpet signs lovingly crafted through the artist’s hand whilst remaining true to the beauty of the original inspiration. ‘Clerkenwell Life’ celebrates the cultural diversity of this trend-setting design hub and pays homage to the East London community where Milliken’s London showroom is based. And finally ‘Fixated with Stripes’ takes the vibrancy of the stripe and marries it with informational messaging to offer a lively burst of colour and movement across the floor plane. Together these 5 designs form a powerful arsenal of tools to help protect the returning workforce.

Social Factor can be quickly and easily customised to meet the specific information requirements of each unique interior. Milliken’s team of in-house designers and well-being experts can work with organisations to provide tailor-made visualisations to help clients work through these new challenges and develop creative solutions.


Milliken is a leading supplier of floor coverings, with a rich history of delivering dynamic carpet and luxury vinyl tile collections from its award-winning design studios and manufacturing facilities in Wigan, UK. Combining global insight with national expertise and proprietary technologies, Milliken is at the forefront of innovation and design, offering high-performance, expertly-engineered products. Founded in 1865 Milliken has achieved an amazing 150 years in the textiles business and is now one of the largest privately owned companies in the world, providing expert solutions across a range of disciplines, including specialty chemicals, floor coverings, and performance materials. With over 100 years of environmental stewardship, the Milliken family of companies is one of the world’s most responsible manufacturers.

Designing innovative products and solutions for our customers is of the utmost importance. Through meaningful design, deep science, and unique insights, we advance product development to the next level, while supporting Milliken’s efforts to increase sustainable results and minimise environmental impact of all products. Milliken’s holistic approach to innovation encompasses all stages of the life cycle – from material sourcing and manufacturing practices to end-of-life management. Our commitment to transparency, health, safety, quality, and sustainability allows us to put our customers, associates, and communities first. In 2020, Milliken was named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute for the fourteenth year running.


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