Technology drives Innovation in International Interior Design
Last week we shared with you some of our experience at Cersaie 2015 in Bologna, Italy but today we’d like to dig a little deeper… Remember a few months ago when we attended a short chat with Karim Rashid about innovation in technology? He showed us ways that technology inspires innovation in design.
At Isaloni, this idea that technology drives innovation was very present. The Italian Ceramics Industry has invested HUNDRENDS of MILLIONS of dollars in technology in their industry in the past few years and it was definitely present at this show. With this type of dedication and investment into innovation, the world of international interior design reaches a whole other level. As we continued to visit the booths we saw new color trends and sizes available but most of all we began to see how many of the exhibitors consistently pointed out the advancements that they had made with their existing products.
For example; the conventional 4″-8″ X 36-48” ceramic wood planks now were available with more realistic textures suitable for interior and exterior applications. Many of the company’s have also begun developing paver options and pool accessories pieces that can be used on exterior applications. This is very useful for interior design projects in South Florida. Most of the lines now come with dozens of prints so that you avoid having the same “wood plank image” on two tiles installed side by side. A few of the companies are even offering different widths within each collection to give an even more realistic wood feeling.
One of the advancements we were most excited to see is the wood ceramic is now offered in large 1 meter X 3 meter sheets. This is particularly useful for us when applying for exterior facades of homes. In Miami, the sun takes a strong toll on most materials and using real wood is a very costly installation that requires almost annual maintenance in order to keep it looking rich and not ashy as most wood eventually acquires over time.
In the marble ceramics industry you can see similar advancements. Vendors’ talking points were how realistic their marble printed ceramics are. By using high resolution digital photography of real marble imprinted on ceramic, the differences between companies were mostly found in how pixilated or unpixilated the images are and again, how may variations of images there are available in each collection to avoid two of the same tiles ending up right next to each other. These ceramics are now also available in large 4’ X 8’sheets.
We were very familiar with these products from before our trip to Cersaie (our conference room table is made up of a Neolith slab donated to us by Omicron) but these products are now available in dozens of colors and sizes and can be used on floors, walls and even furniture. Take a look at how versatile these advanced versions are below;
Now this advancement is something we think is really going to be a game changer for interior design. Whenever we’re suggesting flooring for our clients they typically ask “how large can the tiles be?” Our answer has always been anywhere between 36″ by 48″ , maybe 40″ X 40″. In general we have had experienced with flooring in these 3′ -4′ sizes. At Cersaie, ceramic companies are now pushing these limits by installing these large slabs on the floor. La Fabrica Ceramiche has made a really cool video of how to install their products on flooring and walls .
These are just two examples of how technology has influenced design and now increased practical options that we can offer to our clients. While real wood and marble are beautiful, in high traffic homes with children and dinner parties, they’re not always the most practical and it’s our responsibility to research these options for them.
Want to learn more about Ceramics of Italy?
Guess what?? We’re going to CHICAGO!! so pack your packs again!!
The Italian Trade Agency has invited us to a special business-2-business program, “Spotlight on Innovation & Sustainability – Design Series,” taking place October 25-28 coinciding with the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial. We’ll be learning more about the future of the Italian ceramics industry and how technology and innovation are influencing trends moving forward.
Click on the link for a look back at Karim Hashid’s talk at Maison Object 2015 in Miami, FL.