Skip to Content

Taylor, Smith and Rowland’s contribution to stress reduction through fractal pattern carpeting highlighted in Around-the-O

Taylor hopes the partnership with Mohawk Group and 13&9 will allow UO scientists to evaluate potential public health benefits of fractal flooring. He leads an interdisciplinary research network that investigates the positive physiological changes that occur when people look at the most common form of fractals found in nature.

Their findings to date, published in numerous peer-reviewed scientific journals, indicate that merely looking at such patterns can reduce stress by as much as 60 percent. More than $300 billion are spent annually in the United States on stress-induced illnesses and disorders.

“One of the best pieces of news from our psychology research is that you do not need to be exposed to fractal patterns long to get the positive effect,” Taylor said. “You don’t even need to stare directly at them. This means you can be walking along an airport corridor, not even paying attention to what’s under your feet, and the patterns on this carpeting may help reduce your level of stress by up to 60 percent.

In addition to the Lesjaks, the Austrian team includes Sabrina Stadelober and Luis Lee. Two of Taylor’s graduate students, Julian Smith and Conor Rowland, also have been serving as consultants on the Oregon side.

“Julian and Conor are fundamentally at the center of all the pattern creation action,” Taylor said. The Oregon team’s software-generated fractals are based on parameters that previous psychology experiments indicate reduce stress.

“We uploaded these fractal patterns to the 13&9 design team in Austria so they could adapt them according to their design vision and send back to us for analysis.” Taylor said. “Our next challenge was to adapt their designs to be sure they would meet the required parameters, no matter how randomly the blocks of carpeting are laid out when they are installed in huge venues.”

You can read the full Around-the-O article here.