A Material Girl dishes on what's new, what's now and WHAT'S NEXT® in interior finishes


What's Trending in Corporate Design

This month, interior finishes from ASI were highlighted in the Materials Pavilion at NeoCon, North America's most important design exposition and conference for commercial interiors, held at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. NeoCon had a focus on products that inspire collaborative corporate environments.

ASI President Nancy Jackson, Marketing Director Amanda Zapp and Chicago Account Executive Shelly Ave walked the show, making key stops at the Materials Pavillion, the Knoll Showroom for Rockwell Unscripted™ and the Haworth Showroom.

Let's Talk Trends!

1. Social Spaces

Companies today desire offices that will foster creativity. Influences from the Hospitality industry are driving corporate design with social areas in the workplace which include open, flexible hotel lobby inspired social spaces or "The third space" where employees can collaborate and socialize.

2. Immersive Planning

Blur the lines between workspace types to enhance interaction and invite connected experience. #HospitalityInTheWorkplace

3. Adaptive Planning

Offer a variety of assigned and unassigned places to support working together on diverse projects

4. Core Planning

Provide abundant access to natural light with open spaces

5. Technology for social interactions

Haworth's interactive bluescape technology was a huge hit (ICYMI: Always ahead of the trends, ASI incorporated this technology at the IIDA Hospitality Forum last year, held in the NYC Haworth Showroom) The screen enables everyone to create, communicate, visualize, organize, strategize and socialize! 

In the Materials Pavilion, ASI showcased distinctive finishes that encourage optimum workplace engagement. Product collections selected included Techno® Recycled Glass Surfaces, Quarto™ Stone Veneers, Haute Décor Wall Tile, QuarryStone Vinyl Flooring, Ornamental Surfaces, Embossed Wood- Geometrix™ Collection, Interfuse™ Wood Panels, Interwoven Eco-Panels, Fusion Wood Panels, European Hardwood Collection, Marbled Porcelain, Structura™ Eco-Panels and Cast Stone Dimensional Panels. When these materials are installed, they support the common thread trending this year at NeoCon, creating collaborative work environments!

ASI enjoyed walking around the show for corporate design ideas and inspiration. Here were some favorites:

          @steelcase                                  @wolfgordon                           @buzzispace

What did you like best at NeoCon? Share your story in the comments below!

Next up, brand identity in boutique hotels. Have a favorite example, drop me a line at materialista@archsystems.com

Posted at 6/20/2016 10:26 AM

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HD Expo 2016 is a Wrap!

Each year I look forward to heading to Las Vegas for Hospitality Design Expo to present new ASI products at our tradeshow booth, attend the unparallel seminars, network with industry luminaries and rising stars and celebrate collaborations!

Architectural Systems HD2016 Booth

I also like to track industry trends and I found three to share: 

1. Instagram and Pinterest are KING! The visuals shared from around the world on these sites provide the A&D Community with inspiration for their designs. #howpinteresting #InstaInspiration 

2. Sustainability is Evolving. Solar energy and the internet of things are changing the way we live our lives and as a result architects and designers are incorporating this shift into their projects. For example, facility operations can manage and monitor energy consumption with smart sensors in connected devices. The hotel can offer a digital guest experience by allowing travelers to control the room lights, thermostat, curtains and more through a smartphone app. Room preferences can automatically load for return guests.  Now that's customized service!

3. New Brands are Establishing Identities in Unique Ways. New boutique hotels are emerging within corporate brands (like Marriott International, Inc. and International Hotel Group) to cater to a specific type of traveler. These spinoffs tend to be geared for a stylish yet affordable experience. A great example is Marriott's Moxy Hotels for the millennial "fun hunters" #ATTHEMOXY  

The ASI Booth 

I love meeting with leading architects and designers at the booth. Architectural Systems had another successful show introducing WHAT’S NEXT® in hospitality finishes with materials and projects that showcase the demand for a connective guest experience. #BeAuthentic #FeelConnected

This year, the ASI Booth had the new Ultrawide Wood Grain Vinyl Flooring installed throughout, and the Embossed Wood- Artisan Tabletops delivered an elegant yet modern reception desktop (it certainly created a Wow Factor! in the booth).

ASI had overwhelming responses to the latest collections displayed on the museum stands which included  Rustik™ and Lucido™ Wood Grain Porcelain, Hudson Valley Hardwoods, Shore Hardwoods, Quarto™ Stone Veneers, Haute Décor Wall Tile, Structura™ Eco-Panels, Glam Acrylics, part of Ornamental Surfaces, Crossfuse™ and Interfuse™ Wood Panels.

Oh and the ASI swag was a huge hit (even back at the Cetra Ruddy office! 

Kimberly Campbell, Designer, Redwood Construction;  Ximena Hoyos, Interior Architect and Designer, Cetra Ruddy

#ICYMI check out all of the museum stands and photo gallery at the Booth on the ASI HD Microsite here!

Networking & Celebrations!

Only in Vegas! ASI hosted a fabulous #DiningandDesign at DB Brasserie with the Francesca's Design Team and Bergmeyer Associates plus a "rock star" guest stopped by just in time for a photo bomb!

HD Expo's parties certainly did not disappoint. #ASIOutandAbout The opening night party at Omnia was a hit! On night two we went to Party by the Pool at MGM's Wet Republic with the Sargenti Design team! #DrinksandDesign

I love walking around the show for new ideas and inspiration. Here are some of my favorite booths I discovered while exploring the expo!

Check back for the next blog post with real life examples of Brand Identity with the best of the best from the Moxy Hotel, The Proper, Virgin Hotels and The Marmara Park Avenue!

Posted at 5/13/2016 9:43 AM

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Keeping Your New Years Resolution- Health Inspired Design + More New ASI Products for 2016

Most New Year's Resolutions, according to statistics do not last longer than three months. With my upcoming wedding, the plan is for me to be more focused on wellness  (#shreddingforthewedding). I've been staying motivated with early morning workouts, healthy meals and spotting the latest fitness-centric industry trends.  In the spirit of maintaining these goals, this blog post highlights "health-conscious" projects. 

One of the easiest ways to break a resolution is while traveling, but with hotels becoming more wellness-focused it is easier than ever to stay on track.

A great example is EVEN® Hotel Times Square South, the latest brand from IHG® designed by Glen & Company. This property caters to health-conscious travelers, with the slogan "Stay well at the EVEN® Hotel" and whether traveling for business or pleasure or both (#bleisure), guests are assured that their wellness routine will not be compromised.  

When you enter the property, you are greeted with natural elements including Interwoven Eco-Panels on the focal wall, MIXX® Porcelain and NaturaStone™ Porcelain installed on the floor complementing the wall of living foliage. The hotel also has a wellness den (also showcasing Interwoven Eco-Panels) where guests are encouraged to play ping pong, listen to music, and curl up in the reading nook. Freshly prepared and fully customizable food is available at the hotel’s Cork & Kale™ Market and Bar.

Adding to the hotel’s fit and hip vibe, a 1,200-square-foot gym is visible for all guests on the ground floor, the motivation starts there!  In each guest room, Cork Flooring supplied by ASI is the perfect application as it is high-performing, sustainable and, most importantly, conducive for the foam roller, yoga mat, core exercise ball and a mounted fitness wall equipped for the In-Room Training Zone. Added bonus: Your workout clothes can be washed and dried in one hour - free of charge... now that's luxurious motivation! 

In need of some rest and relaxation? The Marmara Park Ave Hotel is the perfect escape from the noise, pressure, and pace of the busy city. The tranquil wellness center features a beautiful lap pool and a stunning Turkish Bath. ASI supplied the custom teak wood ceiling above the pool and Eco-Essence® Mother of Pearl shells as a spa accent material. The warmth from the Chelsea Hardwoods flooring collection adds to the overall comfort in each guest room, for that home away from home feeling, which is perfect for the extended stay travelers.

Equinox is taking the fitness experience to the next level by launching a hospitality brand. The properties will have indoor and outdoor pools and a restaurant serving organic and locally-sourced ingredients. This new lifestyle brand is expected to open in 2018 in NYC, and as a strategic material partner with Equinox Clubs, ASI is anxious to be part of this new concept.

Now that we have travel covered let's talk about food! The ASI team recently discovered Hungry Root (www.hungryroot.com). You have to check out these meal delivery options made of all natural superfoods that  are ready to eat in under seven minutes. Ideal for all of us on the go!  For a healthy treat, Yogurtology serves up frozen Yogurt - sculpting the delicious focal wall for this tasty shop is the Sculptured Collection.

ASI’s resolution is to remain committed to New Year, New Products. And this month, we are looking forward to launching two new vinyl collections and exciting additions to the uber popular Designer Laminate and Shore Hardwood collections.... stay tuned!

Whether its fitness goals, self-improvement or pursuing happiness, I hope this blog post provides you with  motivation to stick to your goals throughout 2016 and "health-conscious" inspiration for your upcoming projects.

Posted at 3/7/2016 10:41 AM

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The Materialista® Product Awards – A Product Winner Among A Diverse Group of Nominees

ASI hosted our own version of the Oscars, The Materialista® Product Awards. A diverse group of the most innovative and distinctive ASI interior finishes of 2016 were under consideration in the following categories:

Cast Stone Dimensional Panels for Best Performance in a LEED® Role
Haute Décor Wall Tile for Best Visual Effects
Lucido™ and Rustik™ Wood Grain Porcelain for Best Production Design
FORM Concrete Porcelain for Best Performance in a Supporting Role
The Allen House for Best Picture 


And the winner is …

Based on votes from the multicultural architecture and design “academy” – determined by the total number of sample requests and social media interactions, the Materialista® Product Awards 2016 winner is FORM Concrete Porcelain for Best Supporting Role. This product won by a landslide over the other nominated products.

The runner up was Haute Décor Wall Tile for Best Visual Effects.

Highlights from the Oscars

This year’s Academy Awards was fast-moving, full of controversial humor, exciting upsets and powerful musical performances. As for fashion on the red carpet, the stars closed out awards season in absolute class and style.

A surprising win- “Spotlight” won best picture, beating out “The Big Short” and “The Revenant.”
ASI also was surprised with FORM Concrete Porcelain winning “Best Performance in a Supporting Role” triumphing over the uber popular Cast Stone Dimensional Panels up for Best Performance in a LEED Role.

The real moment we’ve all been waiting for, Leonardo DiCaprio finally won an Oscar for best actor in The Revenant! After his thank-you speech, he focused on climate change, calling it the “most urgent threat facing our entire species.”

And a huge congrats to Brie Larson, who won best actress for “Room.”

My favorite part of the night, the red carpet really stole the show! My top picks: Brie Larson in Gucci, Charlize Theron in Dior and Alicia Vikander in custom Louis Vuitton.

I hope you enjoyed the “For your consideration” emails and thank you for participating in the first annual Materialista® Product Awards.  We look forward to another exciting Awards season next year!

Posted at 2/29/2016 8:51 AM

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The Materialista® Product Awards!

Each year, I look forward to the biggest event in Hollywood, The Oscars! My absolute favorite part of the night.. the red carpet! The latest trend in the fashion world is finding creative ways to draw attention at award shows rather than the runway. Looking at the Nominees, my vote for BEST PICTURE is The Martian and for Actress In a Leading Role, Jennifer Lawrence in Joy (such an inspirational story about a female entrepreneur). I also can’t wait to see Chris Rock hosting again!

In the spirit of the Academy Award season, ASI is hosting the first annual Materialista® Product Awards. The 2016 nominees are among the most innovative and distinctive interior finishes of the year!

The race is on! You be the judge, the most social media likes/shares and sample requests will determine the winner. Be sure to check back here on February 29, where I will announce who took home the gold and recap my favorite moments from The Oscars.

Critics agree: More is More in this dynamic ASI Stone double feature- the glamorous, high-gloss Lucido™ Wood Grain Porcelain and the authentic, hand distressed Rustik™ Wood Grain Porcelain.

VOTE NOW:     

Paying homage to a timeless elegance of old work craftsmanship, these three dimensional solid and mixed patterns receive standing ovations for their luxe look for vertical wall applications.

VOTE NOW:     

This Eco-Friendly collection is a Designer Fave, combining substance and style with 90% recycled quarried stone, Class A fire rating and extraordinary texture and dimension.

VOTE NOW:     

Transforming any space with a roughhewn, industrial aesthetic, this cool and contemporary collection won audiences over with its worn, weathered textures and unified palette of muted earth tones.

VOTE NOW:     

A historic residence is renovated into a boutique rental building, rich in luxury and heritage with a modern take, achieved with a custom chevron pattern hardwood flooring supplied by ASI.

VOTE NOW:     

Posted at 2/24/2016 9:21 AM

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New Year, New Products: Designers Weigh in!

Happy 2016! In the spirit of New Year, NEW PRODUCTS, ASI has been busy launching WHAT'S NEXT® in interior finishes. After the first IIDA Hospitality Forum committee meeting of the year in the ASI Showroom (we are planning another fabulous event ...details to follow !) I got to catch up with fellow committee members and discuss the latest industry trends.  

Elle Sears and Dylan Kruse of the Rockwell Group and my friend Jennifer Mehra from Glen & Company shared their ideas and inspiration on the new ASI product collections that were on display. 

I’ve highlighted their responses and where they envision incorporating these materials in their current and upcoming projects!

Quarto™ Stone Veneers  A Thin Stone Veneer with Translucent and Opaque FRP backing options. This collection launch was so successful it crashed the website- Literally!

Elle Sears, Rockwell Group: " This material has nice texture and great depth. It feels like a full slab a stone."

Jennifer Mehra, Glen & Company: "This is a really cool product, I could see using it for an exterior application in New York City and in elevator vestibules."

Lucido™ Wood Grain Porcelain  A high-gloss finish for a compelling take on porcelain walls and floors. Also, an Instagram favorite!

Dylan Kruse, Rockwell Group: "It's pleasantly confusing, I love it! The product is so shiny I almost thought it was plastic, I've never seen anything like it."

Elle Sears, Rockwell Group: "It's natural yet glam. I can't wait to find the project to use this material."

Jennifer Mehra, Glen & Company: "It's playful!"

Rustik™ Wood Grain Porcelain - An evocative material with a superior natural finish.  #ICYMI - A feature on #Ihavethisthingwithfloors!

Elle Sears, Rockwell Group: "I really like the luxe dark colors in the Rustik collection. These great neutral colors are different, you don't see them everywhere" 

Dylan Kruse, Rockwell Group: "It's unexpected in a good way. I could see using this in bathrooms and even outdoors."

ASI has many new products to launch this year! Interested in discovering What’s Next® ? Here’s how:

Explore the Power of Materials®:
Schedule an appointment with me in the  ASI Showroom, email: materialista@archsystems.com and see materials installed in actual applications!

Be In The know:
Do you receive our Let’s Talk Materials and What’s Next® e-blasts? Sign up here!

Join the Conversation: Materialista® Blog:
Let us know your initial reaction and where you envision using these materials!

Request Samples:
Contact sales@archsystems.com if you would like to request samples of  Quarto™ Stone VeneersRustik™ and Lucido™ Wood Grain Porcelain.

Posted at 1/15/2016 2:27 PM

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A Toast to 2015!

I can't believe the year is coming to an end!

This week Architectural Systems celebrated the Holiday Season with a fabulous luncheon in the ASI Showroom toasting to creativity, collaboration and success into the New Year. Everyone shared their top moments, products and projects of 2015!

So for the last blog of the year, I wanted to recap the highlights with all of you! On a personal note, my favorite part of the year was getting ENGAGED last month in the ASI Showroom!   

My top product introduction of 2015 would be Quarto™ Stone Veneers; ASI will be officially launching this innovative product in January! I am excited to see how designers will incorporate this material into their projects. Where do you see using it?

As for projects, I adored working with Synergistic Designs on Thistle and Bee, Too! This was a new retail concept for a global wholesaler and a true modern interpretation of a jewelry store design integrating Cast Stone Dimensional Panels for the exterior facade and luxe quilted leather with crystals, and metallic wood for the interior. I sure wouldn’t mind a gift from here this season! 

Rachel Cooper, SVP of Sales (and my older sister) shared that her favorite ASI moment was mixing business and pleasure when we met tennis superstar, interior design entrepreneur, and Boutique Design NY’s keynote speaker, Venus Williams! If you didn’t know, we are a big tennis family, so this was a really exciting moment for us. #ICYMI check out the full recap in last month’s blog post.

Next up, Andrew Cooper, SVP of National Accounts, shared some of his favorite moments like visiting clients on the road (see the photo below with Macy’s and BDHP at Ruby's Steakhouse ) and is looking forward to the busy year ahead presenting What's Next® in materials to key accounts across the country.

Andrew Cooper hosting #DiningandDesign in Cincinnati

Account Exec., Sarah McGrath’s favorite collaboration of the year hands down was the Marriott Marquis Atlanta. As a strategic material partner, ASI supplied a range of interior finishes throughout the hotel. We can’t wait to feature this project!

Kiel Wuellner, Creative Director at ASI, spoke about, "My favorite product introduction of 2015 was by far Crossfuse™ Wood Panels, which is the next generation of our exciting and successful Fusion Wood Panels." And best moments are putting together material boards for the client presentations.

Marketing Director, Amanda Zapp loved the success of this year's #Powerofmaterials photo contest, in which designers submitted photos of recent (and fabulous) projects incorporating ASI products. Congratulations again to Glenn Coben of Glenn and Co. for Gabriel Kreuther, whose talent and stellar use of  Aegean Eco-Porcelain was awarded with an iPhone6S PLUS.

From "family bagel breakfasts" on Fridays to sponsoring industry conferences and events, everyone at ASI shared their favorite moments of the year while looking ahead to creativity and collaboration in 2016.

Thank you for your continued business.  Happy Holidays from the ASI Family to yours!


Posted at 12/16/2015 1:7 PM

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