Flooring Focus Q&A: Ilaria Baldini

Ilaria Baldini, senior designer in the interiors team at Fletcher Priest Architects, hopes sustainability can be at the heart of future flooring choices...

Which flooring materials do you particularly like working with and why?

I like to work with wall-to-wall carpets and rugs. I am fascinated by the process of yarn dying and looming. A woven vinyl like Bolon is a brilliant combination of texture and durability, making it a popular choice with clients.

Is there scope for using some of the very latest material technology in projects or do clients tend to have a preference for more traditional solutions?

I think there are some fascinating opportunities out there now when it comes to materials in general. I would love to use new eco-friendly products that are appearing on the market in my projects, such as coffee powder countertops, mycelium acoustics products – there are also some great mycelium flooring products – or algae-based faux leather. Clients can be reticent to use such products as they don’t have a track record for durability and maintenance, but I think it’s just a matter of time before those products are in mainstream use. At Fletcher Priest, we always challenge our clients to make informed decisions and I believe it’s imperative for designers to rethink more ‘usual’ materials to provide more sustainable environments.

How can designers look to exploit the potential of creative flooring, both in terms of design ideas, and material choices, in a range of different applications?

I believe a strong concept drives an innovative solution. Having a strong concept that balances client identity and culture with its regional relevance always leads to a unique solution in terms of overall effect and materiality. The only limit is the designer’s skill and imagination.

What would be your dream flooring material and how would it make a difference to your projects?

In an ideal world, my dream flooring material is one that allows us to recycle what’s already there and can be given new life at the end of its use. Unfortunately, composite materials can be good for longevity but they are often not recyclable. It would be amazing if we could incorporate a variety of existing materials to create a new tailored material that responds to the history of the place – ideally generating something unseen before that is poetic, pragmatic, and sustainable. www.fletcherpriest.com

Progressive Media International Limited. Registered Office: 40-42 Hatton Garden, London, EC1N 8EB, UK.Copyright 2024, All rights reserved.