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Results for "characteristics"
  • An Overview of Wood Block Printing

    Photography Courtesy of Kattiya.L/Shutterstock.com Wood block printing onto fabric has been a main staple of Indian culture and commerce for the last 2,000 years. Although today there are mechanical means, such as screen printing, which are able to mimic the appearance of traditional block printing—some not only echoing the motifs,…

  • An Exploration of Pleats as an Expressive Interior Element

    Photography Courtesy of Shutterstock A material embellishment embraced for its ability to infuse volume, texture, and dimension, pleats are an expressive element of design that hold a long history. The traditional techniques used to create this age-old motif can be traced back to ancient Egypt, and pleats have been reinterpreted…

  • The Alluring Art of Embroidery

    Photography Courtesy of Shutterstock Embroidery is the art of using needle and thread, yarn, or fine wire to decorate a material. A practice that is as far reaching as it is old, embroidery methods have been found on every continent but Antartica and the craft continues to be practiced by…

  • A Comparison Between Thin Brick and Extruded Brick

    Although there has been evidence of kiln fired bricks since 4400 BC, new opportunities with technology and a resurgence in popularity of having exposed brick has led to a variety of brick types over the last few decades. Today, two types in particular—thin brick and extruded brick—are often utilized by…

  • A Closer Look at Leather Alternatives

    One leather alternative is made from the Nopal cactus (also known as prickly pear). It’s free of toxic chemicals, plasticizers, and is partially biodegradable. From leaves and mushrooms to plants more, an expanding array of innovative and eco-friendly leather alternatives exists. Our article on innovations in traditional hide leather explores…

  • Innovations in Hide Leather

    Photography Courtesy of Moore & Giles Leather is a luxurious, soft, and durable material that’s been used by human civilizations since at least 2200 BCE.  But leather is also a warzone—that is, between those who believe hide leather is a fantastic, sustainable material and those who would argue to the…

  • An Overview of Acoustical Plaster

    Photography Courtesy of Fellert Although plaster has been used since the ancient world, acoustical plaster has been gaining momentum in the industry over the last couple of decades due to its sound absorption properties and seamless appearance. Acoustical plaster has an array of inherent advantages that include flexibility, ease of…

  • The Enduring Appeal of Zellige Tile

    Photography Courtesy of Riad Tile Zellige tiling is a time-tested art form that features fresh textures, rich colorways, and handcrafted charm. The glossy, handmade tiles come in a broad selection of shapes and sizes—though they are most commonly square—and due to the imperfect nature of the glaze no two pieces…

  • A Closer Look at LVT Flooring

    Photography Courtesy of TileBar Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) is a hard surface flooring material available in a range of shapes, sizes, and aesthetics that can evoke the appearance of authentic wood or stone while providing practical benefits not possible with natural products. Available in a diverse array of different constructions,…

  • Exploring Thermally Fused and High-Pressure Laminate

    Photography Courtesy of JSI For more than a century, designers and architects have used laminate when looking for surfacing solutions that offer a range of aesthetics. Today, Thermally Fused Laminate (TFL, also known as Thermally Fused Melamine (TFM)) and High Pressure Laminate (HPL) provide cost-effective options. The information that follows…

  • Comparing Incandescent and LED Lighting

    Photography Courtesy of Shutterstock With climate change a central issue in President Joe Biden’s administration, designers can expect a renewed push to phase out incandescent bulbs in favor of LEDs. The latter, which utilize 70 to 80 percent less electricity than incandescents to produce the same light, are a simple,…

  • A Brief History of Terracotta

    Photography Courtesy of Shutterstock A unique clay that is celebrated for its rich, reddish orange hues, Terracotta has been used in sculptural art, architecture, and pottery for centuries by civilizations across the globe. Holding a prominent place in history, the material’s many modern uses include a diverse range of design…

  • A Comparison Between Vinyl and Linoleum Flooring

    Photography Courtesy of Shutterstock Low-priced and highly resilient, vinyl and linoleum flooring have both been used by designers and architects for decades. While the two materials maintain many common characteristics and similarities, a number of important differences between linoleum and vinyl exist. The information that follows offers an overview of…

  • Elements of Modernist Design

    The Eames House by Modernist Architects and Designers Charles and Ray Eames. Photography Courtesy of Shutterstock. Reinventing the relationship between space and aesthetics, the Modernist design style emerged at the turn of the 20th century as a celebration of composition and materiality achieved through transparency, technology, and efficiency. Guided by…

  • A Better Understanding of BIFMA Standards

    The Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association is known as BIFMA, and its namesake furniture standards are widely known across the design industry, but little understood. The confusion primarily exists around what the organization is, and what its standards mean for the products being specified and purchased. BIFMA is not…

  • A Brief History of the Vienna Secession

    The Secession Building. Photography Courtesy of Shutterstock Like many styles in the late 19th through 20th centuries, the Vienna Secession was a rejection of the traditional conservative style that was prevalent throughout art, architecture, and design. Begun by notable artists and architects Gustav Klimt, Joseph Maria Olbrich, Koloman Moser, and…

  • Exploring Greek Revival Style

    Second Bank of the United States in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photography Courtesy of Shutterstock Inspired by the symmetry, simplicity, and proportions of ancient Athens temples, Greek Revival architecture became a dominant design style in the United States and Northern Europe during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Strong columns, gently…

  • Exploring the Influence of Buckminster Fuller

    The Geodesic Dome. Photography Courtesy of Shutterstock A renowned visionary celebrated for cross-disciplinary and pioneering projects produced during the 20th century, Richard Buckminster Fuller’s inventions, ingenuity, and ideologies hold a lasting influence on contemporary architecture and design. With an expansive portfolio of projects that covered and combined many fields—from architecture…

  • A History of Art Deco

    Photography Courtesy of Shutterstock. Art Deco was one of the most influential Western aesthetic movements of the twentieth century, particularly in France and the United States. Short for arts décoratifs, or decorative arts, Art Deco was named after the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts, which was held…

  • A Brief Overview of the Baroque Style

    Photography Courtesy of Shutterstock Characterized by an elaborately ornate and highly adorned aesthetic that aims to inspire a sense of awe, Baroque is an extravagant and complex style of art and architecture associated with grandeur and luxury. Evoking ethereality through the use of unexpected and dramatic contrasts, Baroque décor often…

  • An Overview of the International Style

    The Willis Tower in Chicago. Photography courtesy of Shutterstock In the midst of chaos in the early- to mid-20th century, International Style emerged as a response by architects to societal issues that were plaguing Western countries. While design before the 20th century often took inspiration from previous styles and centered…

  • Elements of Victorian Style

    Photography Courtesy of Shuang Li/Shutterstock A style of decorative arts, interior design, architecture that emerged in the United Kingdom during the period of Queen Victoria’s reign from 1837 through 1901, the Victorian aesthetic is characterized by both ornamentation and orderliness. Encompassing a broad selection of designs that surfaced during the…

  • Characteristics of Mediterranean Style

    When looked at individually, the nearly two dozen countries in Europe, Africa, and Asia that surround the Mediterranean Sea have wildly different design histories and aesthetics. However, as Mediterranean style began to gain popularity in North America from 1918 to 1940, designers and architects pulled inspiration from elements that were…

  • A Primer on Cleanability for High-Touch Surfaces

    Photography Courtesy of United FabricsExplore Materials and Sample Before 2020, only specialists needed to know the ins and outs of cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Now it is more important than ever before. The surfaces that we touch frequently in indoor spaces can harbor harmful microbes and toxins, turning them into…

  • An Overview of the Arts and Crafts Movement

    Larkspur by William Morris (1834-1896). Photography Courtesy of The Met Museum/Shutterstock.com The Arts and Crafts movement is a historical style of design that began in the United Kingdom around the 1860s before expanding into the United States around 1890. Based on the philosophies of A.W.N. Pugin and John Ruskin, the…