Surface design looks for innovative solutions

Recent research by Frost & Sullivan, prepared ahead of this year’s Middle East Coverings exhibition, shows that the tiles market is one of the fastest growing in the building materials industry with a share of 77.4% of the total flooring products market in the GCC.

With the increased focus on sustainability and customers looking for innovative solutions to improve energy efficiency, tile manufacturers are all the more challenged to create eco-friendly tile products.

CID’s Knowledge Partner for this report, RAK Ceramics, has just created a flexible product that is able to retain or disperse heat according to individual customer needs. Klima is created using special materials and is suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications. On external ventilated façades, the tile helps limit heat dispersion while when applied on indoor flooring, it retains room heat and releases it over the entire surface, producing a warmer feel than a standard tiled floor.

Meanwhile Ekaterina Semenova, a fresh graduate from Design Academy Eindhoven, has recently shared with us her graduation project. Titled “Care for Milk”, it explores the effects of different dairy waste when used as a glaze on ceramics, which makes the clay both more durable and waterproof. Focusing on waste reduction, she collected leftovers from neighbourhood households to experiment with new uses. By dipping earthenware into different dairy products, she managed to achieve a different colour result, ranging from light beige to dark brown.

Care for Milk by Ekaterina Semenova

Drawing inspiration from traditional ceramic techniques, the Colour of Hair is another exciting project, which aims to create a sustainable surface-altering process through the use of the natural hair. The process developed by Studio Ilio and Martijn Rigters uses human hair to create decorative patterns on a diverse range of surfaces. The duo developed a new collection in collaboration with UK-based manufacturer Solomon & Wu. It features low tables, trays, counter surfaces but also floor tiles.

Considering hair as a useful material rather than one to evoke distasteful emotion, The Colour of Hair proposes controlled and sustainable printing wonders, by turning hair into a printable ink.

For other product news, read about Nardi’s new contemporary outdoor furniture collection, or Binome’s Le Corbusier-inspired design.

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