#12 – The latest on 3-D Printing Buildings and Materials

A la Mode for Architects@Work

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Ah, the place of fashion and design. France welcomed architecture professionals at the tradeshow Architects@Work in Marseille October, 2015. The space allowed visitors the opportunity to check out the latest in lighting with companies such as Belgium’s Delta Light and the Netherland’s QisDesign. In addition to lighting, a main focus for the tradeshow was materials. The exhibition MATIERE GRISE focused on the use of “grey material”, while exhibitors presented an array of materials and products such as Italian brand Caesar with their ceramics. Spanish brand Jai were among those who introduced wall and ceiling coverings and panels, while French brand 2&GO showed how water heaters can have a sexy look with their Twido design.

Located in a country known for fashion, the tradeshow became an opportunity to discuss the idea of trends. We’ve discovered many designers and architects struggle with the concept of “product follows la mode.” Still, while urban planner Dider Brandazzi told ArchiExpo, “Fashion kills creativity,” almost everyone agreed that there’s still leeway for imagination. “We’re forced to follow fashion,” Indira & Suzie from Atelier du sur Mesure told ArchiExpo. “However, many clients are looking for something original and unseen, giving us room to play.”

During Cersaie, Italy’s international exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings, Australian architect Glenn Murcutt also touched on this: “The real problem is fashion.” Finding the right tile to work with can be challenging. Murcutt is disappointed that they soon become unavailable or altered due to what’s “in.” “Some of these products are timeless, they don’t need to change.”

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