Materiality

The materials one chooses for things such as furniture, flooring, and walls can have an impact on the feel of a space as well as on such factors as sound dampening and comfort. Some thing to think about when considering materials include:

Variety: Having a variety of textures, colors, and types of materials will create visual interest, and can be used to create a more home like feeling to a space.

This photograph was taken at the NSCA building at the University of Illinois. The materials shown in the photograph include carpet, glass, steel, aluminum, and wood. Collectively they make this space aesthetically dynamic, yet pyschologically it is calming.

Rubber Flooring: If sound control is a concern, rubber flooring can be used. Rubber flooring is very durable, and can be laid in any pattern creating visual interest or space delineation. Rubber flooring can also be cleaned very easily.

This photograph was taken at YouMedia in the Harold Washington Library of Chicago. Rubber flooring can be laid in a variety of colors and patterns adding color and life to any space.

Carpet: If sound control is a concern, carpet can be used. Carpet deadens sounds. Carpet is not as easily cleanable as other flooring options.  Carpet squares are great when flooring a high traffic space that would be more succeptible to spills and stains. Damaged or stained tiles can be easily replaced and is an economic solution.

This photograph was taken in the Champaign Public Library. The use of carpet here adds texture to the space. The carpet also helps to dampen the sound of pedestrian traffic in this sound sensitive space.

Natural Materials: Using natural materials, such as wood, creates a warm and inviting environment for collaboration, work, and play.

This photograph was taken in Grainger Library at the University of Illinois. The use of wood makes this study space feel more like home. The pendant lighting emits a warm orange glow as the light bounces of the wood tables and floor.

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