Thinking materials

hornschuch

“Ancona” is the latest design from Hornschuch, nominated for the German Design Award 2015. Photo courtesy of: Hornschuch

In a leader article for the trade journal InteriorFashion, I have just had the rather special pleasure of considering the question as to what makes for a good  product these days. Is it the innovative idea? Undoubtedly so. Is it the success of the design? Of course. But as soon became apparent, there is something more. Something quite crucial. Namely, the choice of the right material.

The further technical development progresses, the broader the range of materials there is to choose from. Gone are the days when it was just a question of the advantages in terms of production, durability and functionality. The materials of the future are ideally natural, sustainable, sparing in their use of resources and smart into the bargain. Super matte surfaces, for example, to which no finger marks adhere.  From an aesthetic point of view, this is a great idea – a blessing for parents with three children, for instance, all busy exploring the world with their little hands. Or innovative coatings for stainless steel, which have an anti-bacterial and anti-viral effect and thus mean that they can be safely used in hygienically sensitive areas.

Then again, to return to the world of textiles, there is an upholstery material which reflects back any near-infrared rays and thus reduces the warming effect on the filling that it covers. That, too, is really pretty useful. In terms of outdoor furniture for instance.  Up to now, dark-coloured covers have not really been possible, because they heat up the surfaces that you sit on too much when the sun shines on them. With “skai cool colors” from Hornschuch you won’t burn your proverbial when you sit on the lounger on a hot summer’s day.  And whole new possibilities are opening up for the designer too. Pretty smart, eh?

Arnd Schwarze

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