If we think of large public carpets at all, we regard them as vast functional surfaces that are engineered to withstand and hide the abuse of thousands of dirty shoes, heavy carts, and spilled liquids. In the best cases, however, they can be highly considered design objects, enormous canvases of repeating patterns that subliminally provide behavioral and aesthetics cues. Good Magazine points to two articles that illustrate the use of carpet design to achieve specific ends.
In the Daily Mail, Claire Bates shows us the garish and almost psychedelic design of Las Vegas carpets. These amazing patterns were created specifically to overstimulate the overstimulated, because if you're sleeping, you're not gambling. They provide no rest for weary eyes, compelling you to look back up and direct your attention to the spinning wheels and green-felt tables that are slowly taking your money. (Shown above: the cartoon paisley design at the Bellagio.)
In Icon, George Pendle provides the visual and psychological opposite: airport carpets. The muted colors and subtle patterns found in airports can calm the harried and comfort the weary. He decries the "crimes against design" as airports choose undistinguished patterns or remove carpets entirely, but he fortunately provides a few examples of well-designed carpets. (Shown: The whorl pattern found in the Phoenix airport, which may reference the dangerous wind vortices that plague pilots there.)