We recently came across a unique approach to design in MIO. Since they are interested in helping churches make affordable and sustainable design choices, we thought we’d ask them a couple of questions to share their vision.
WL: Ideally, houses of worship have functionality as a welcoming/pleasing aesthetic. Can you share a little about how your company attempts to blend those two together?
MIO: When we think of design we think of it holistically. In our view good design is functional, beautiful and sustainable. If you take away any of those attributes you don’t end up with good design. We believe that making products responsible and functional should not be at the expense of aesthetics. We call our design philosophy “Responsible Desire.” We imagine a world of products where we don’t have to sacrifice sustainability for beauty or function.
WL: Your site says you are “dedicated to transforming culture through design.” What way does the design of a building affect the culture of the people?
MIO: We are deeply affected by our environments without even thinking about them. We make decisions every day, which are automatic, and some of them are dictated by the quality of a space. Lighting, color, texture, temperature and sound for example can redefine the experience of any space. Our products enable dramatic transformations that deal with these qualities. In fact when it comes to church and stage design we specialize in products that create unexpected visual experiences. Our products are also modular and size flexible, which makes them adapt to spaces and work hard at improving and beautifying those spaces.
WL: How have you seen houses of worship successfully use your products?
MIO: We have seen incredibly creative church stage designers use all of our tile products to great effect. They have used our tiles in unexpected ways that are exciting. For instance, they have used our FoldScapes dimensional drop ceilings as backdrops for stages, lighting them and mounting them in unique patterns and colors. The results are incredibly inspiring. Our Nomad System has also been used in church events and educational facilities to break down space further and create visual interest and acoustic insulation.
WL: Because audio is an important aspect to a church, we are particularly interested in your FeltForms. Can you explain how they will make a difference in a worship environment or a recording studio?
MIO: Our FeltForms are a new product that aims to revolutionize the acoustics insulation panel market. We have created beautiful, durable acoustical panels that are made out of recycled plastic bottles. They insulate and perform like the best acoustical panels in the market but have patterns you actually want to live with. FeltForms are also made out of recycled and recyclable materials instead of foam. Lastly, we made them easy to install. Each four-tile pack comes with double-sided adhesive strips. We recognize that not everybody has the budget to hire contractors or the mechanical inclination to use power tools and hardware. The panels have varying noise reduction coefficients that can be applied as needed in rooms of varying sizes and material composition. This makes them good in tiny recording studios or large spaces like auditoriums and churches.
WL: MIO also offers consulting; can you give us an abbreviated version of how you would consult a church looking to design or redesign their space?
MIO: MIO is a boutique design consultancy as well as a brand of environmentally friendly furnishings and accessories. We help organizations of varying sizes develop products and spaces that are beautiful and sustainable. We also consult daily with customers to make custom versions of some of our products. Our Custom Nomad System can be designed with specific colors, patterns, and messages. Our Custom FoldScapes can also be personalized with images creating virtual landscapes that can be used in any space with a two-foot ceiling grid. We have also been redesigned commercial interior spaces and events for a broad range of organizations.