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


Live from Las Vegas: Showcasing What's Next in Retail Finishes at GlobalShop 2014!


GlobalShop is the place to see the latest for retail store design. The energy was electric with the majority of global retailers and designers in attendance. Our exhibition booth and lounge was an amazing meeting point to see familiar faces and build new relationships. I had many great conversations with top designers from around the world about incorporating ASI materials into their store design and resolve their challenges.

Architectural Systems launched 6 new products at GlobalShop including Carved Porcelain, Cast Stone Dimensional Panels, Envision® Quartz Tile, Lido Hardwood, Metropolitan Hardwood Collection and Ornamental Magnetic Cubes. View the video below to get a first look at some of these innovative materials! You can see all of the products we featured at the show in our virtual booth.

While in Las Vegas I was able to also stop by some of my favorite stores. One of my personal role models is designer, international business titan and philanthropist, Diane von Furstenberg. I have always admired her quote, "Women inspire me and I design to inspire women." DVF's highly sophisticated and chic global luxury lifestyle brand, embodies this modern femininity. Very elegant and fashion forward, the Vegas store represents a gallery-like concept and a great place to spend an afternoon! It's an honor to be a strategic material partner to this iconic brand.

Diane von Furstenberg, Las Vegas, NV
Kramer Design Group
Crystalized Glass Stone Collection

Another classic retailer I enjoyed is Vacheron Constantin, the legendary luxe Swiss watchmaker who has been in business for over 250 years! More than just prestige watches, their brand is timeless (no pun intended!) and the Vegas boutique has clean lines and natural materials reflecting their tradition for technical and aesthetic excellence. Their watches are true works of art!

VC-LVVacheron Constantin Boutique, The Palazzo Resort, Hotel, & Casino, Las Vegas, NV
ASI Hardwood Flooring

Architectural Systems has exhibited at GlobalShop for over 10 years! 2014 was another successful show for ASI, in fact one of our best yet. I love being able to engage with retail designers creatively about their national account programs. If you'd like to discuss your current or upcoming projects, visit ASI in New York or send me an email and let's talk!

Posted at 3/27/2014 11:20 AM

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We Love Materials!

Party inspiration! Recycled Glass Tile from ASI Speciality Products cut into a heart shape with an Ornamental Surfaces arrow.

ASI recently hosted a Valentine's Day inspired event in the showroom called "We Love Materials". We celebrated our passion for curating innovative products and collaborating with our industry friends (and of course my family!). It was the first time many of the partygoers have seen our our newly re-imagined showroom. The feedback on the beautiful space was overwhelmingly positive and the energy was electric!

More than 200 people mixed, mingled and showed their love for materials in the ASI Showroom.

ASI President Nancy Jackson sharing the party's signature chocolate martini with Adam Carmichael of Saks and my Uncles, Curtis and Sid.

Marco Baldassari and Noelia Ibanez of Handel Architects with ASI Account Executive Laura Alvarez.

ASI Senior Vice President of National Accounts, Andrew Cooper with Andrew Brezina of Hudson’s Bay/Lord & Taylor, Nancy Jackson, ASI President and Ron Jackson, ASI CEO.

DJ Bee spun our favorite love songs all night amongst the ASI materials, ending the night with a dance party!

ASI Senior Account Executive Sarah McGrath with Emily Kangas, Kate Balfour and Emily Owen, all of Stephen B. Jacobs.

The ASI Showroom is an excellent place for ideas and inspiration for current and upcoming projects. Everyone was able to enjoy the delicious food and drinks, while exploring the power of materials! Get a sense of the vibe of the evening, view the video of the fun night below! 

We even had a photo booth and of course everyone loved it! Enjoy some of our favorite photos!

Thanks to everyone who attended the party! If you missed it, make sure you are on our mailing list. Don't wait until the next Valentine's Day to come visit the showroom and unleash your creativity! I encourage you to schedule an appointment to meet and collaborate with me (Materialista) or your ASI Sales Executive to view What's Next® in materials.

I am loving our Recycled Glass Tiles and Ornamental Surfaces (the heart at the top) right now. Which materials are you in love with?

Posted at 2/11/2014 10:30 AM

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2014: The Year of Creativity and Collaboration

Every New Year, we aspire for more. The holiday rush has begun to wind down and I have started to think about the bright and beautiful year of collaboration ahead. My new year has started with a bang!

ASI was a proud sponsor of the recent Retail Design Institute’s International Store Design Awards. It is a celebration of the world’s best retail designs and brand experiences coupled with 300+ of the most influential global brands, retail designers and industry suppliers. Architectural Systems has been apart of them for as long as I can remember.

During the ceremony when the time came to announce the sponsors, Andrew McQuilkin, International President at RDI and Retail Market Leader at BHDP, gave our recently refreshed ASI Showroom a big shout out and encouraged all attendees to come visit the space. As you all should! Our showroom is gorgeous and I’m very excited about our fresh and compelling new look. We just finished getting our showroom digitized with a Google Virtual Tour. Although I highly recommend visiting our showroom in person, this can be the next best thing!

Congratulations to Portland based firm Huen, for their Umpqua Bank project in San Francisco winning Store of the Year 2013 and to all of the winners. ASI is proud to be a strategic materials partner to many of the winning firms.

Congratulations to RDI Store Design Winner, Huen for their work on Umpqua Bank in San Francisco.

I also recently attended the RDI monthly NY chapter event (Magic in the Making - Macy's) at the Creative Realities Studio with ASI Senior Vice Presidents Andrew and Rachel Cooper (my brother-in-law and my sister), who also are past RDI board members.

ASI hosted a fabulous dinner afterward at SD26 (one of my favorite restaurants in NYC) with a great group of industry leaders! We highly cherish our close relationships and celebrate how fortunate we are to collaborate with such creative people. 

Attendees:Rachel Cooper, ASI – SVP of Sales, Laura Harsch, Macy’s - Director Of Shop Design, Andrew McQuilkin, BDHP - Retail Market Leader, Andrew Cooper, ASI – SVP of National Accounts, Gabrielle Jackson, ASI – "Materialista®", Tom Herndon, Macy’s - SVP Store Design & Planning, Sarah McGrath, ASI – Senior Account Executive and Michael Hineman, 711 Stores - Development Project Manager

Tom Herndon (pictured next to me!) was the featured speaker and specifically called out how much he valued the ASI relationship, especially while working with Senior Vice President Andrew Cooper on the Macy’s Herald Square project. The project showcased 60,000 square feet of a custom stained, herringbone pattern hardwood flooring in the largest shoe department in the world! Macy’s was able to maintain the traditional character and heritage of their flagship store while implementing a contemporary feel. By the way, Andrew manages all National Accounts for Architectural Systems and enjoys the successful projects we have worked on with Macy’s for many, many years!

New Year, New Products!

2014 is off to a fantastic start! I am looking forward to a new year full of dynamic projects and innovative products. I am appreciative to be part of this family owned and run business that has curated materials from around the world and is so well acknowledged by the industry.

Also, we have started a new series on YouTube, Creativity and Collaboration, where architects and designers share design vision and the experience of collaborating with ASI. Send us your projects and what inspires you! Talk about ideas and inspiration, let's collaborate in 2014!

Posted at 1/23/2014 8:51 AM

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Re-imagined showroom Rings in the Holiday Season for Retail Design Collective (RDC)

In the retail design world, the Christmas holiday season in NYC is the most wonderful time of the year! Drawing in global attendees, Retail Design Collective (RDC) is a unique showroom tradeshow that gathers visual merchandisers and store planners to the Big Apple to be captivated and inspired by holiday store windows and exciting new retail stores. Architectural Systems was delighted to host another Market during RDC in our newly re-imagined showroom. ASI was a main stop for WHATS NEXT® in materials, grab a bite, and to join us for our signature drink, the “Architini”, which was a big hit!


As the trend spotters of materials with a wide range of award-winning products, Architectural Systems had a busy week meeting with industry innovators about how to translate their brand with the latest materials. Experience is the new expectation, and ASI’s display of interior finishes sparked many creative collaborations which will certainly enhance retail environments with impactful designs that keep customers returning again and again.


LEFT: Andrew Cooper, ASI VP National Accounts, with designers of GUESS, Anna Ruiz and Vember St. Lily, and Nancy Jackson, ASI President. RIGHT: Allison Medina, DDI Executive Editor with Rachel Cooper,ASI VP Sales

Hundreds of people passed through ASI last week and it was thrilling to receive so much positive feedback and excitement surrounding the re-freshed showroom! With vignettes showcasing the best products to transform any retail store, conceptualizing the power of materials has been simplified. The updated showroom welcomed many complements for how well curated it is and easy to work in!

rdc vig

Also attention-worthy were the sample board bins repurposed with Ornamental Surfaces from the Retro group and highlighting fresh collection additions.­­­ ASI’s showroom generated lots of buzz and we invite you to visit all year round!


Channeling holiday spirit, this Materialista was happy to see Ornamental Surfaces adorn the Christmas trees at Boston's Prudential Center shopping center in one of our recent projects.

xmas tee

Thank you to all who attended RDC — we are looking forward to creating new strategic material partnerships and to introduce you to our new product collections launching in 2014! 

Happy New Year!

Posted at 12/22/2013 11:22 AM

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BDNY 2013 With Gabrielle Jackson (aka Materialista)

It was another successful year at BDNY – held at the Jacob Javits Center, this is always one of the most innovative industry tradeshows hosted in New York City. The booth featured the latest and greatest materials from Architectural Systems. 

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A new metallic pattern (samples coming soon!) in the Fusión Wood Panel collection was a favorite amongst hospitality designers. Also a big hit was Glam, a new grouping in Ornamental Surfaces. Glitzy and versatile, these finishes are ideal for any hotel bar, lobby feature wall or furniture application. 

asi team 4

ASI sales executives Gabrielle Jackson (aka Materialista) Stephen Appel, Rachel Cooper, and Sarah McGrath were there to meet face-to-face with attendees about incorporating ASI materials for their current and upcoming projects. Engaging with designers at tradeshows is rewarding and is what enables us to cultivate these long-lasting relationships which make collaborations successful and fun. Keeping with the theme that ‘experience is the new expectation’, the multi-dimensional ASI booth provides a tactile and interactive way to view the materials in their actual application. With a wide project photo portfolio to showcase the vast range of products, ASI’s latest are readily available to realize the visions of future hospitality spaces.

nancy panel

This Materialista’s BDNY favorite was the Power Players: Women Leaders in Hospitality Panel which featured Architectural System’s President, Nancy Jackson (aka Mom), along with a prestigious group of women who are true thought leaders in the hospitality industry.The fascinating dialogue was moderated by Executive Editor of Boutique Design, Mary Scoviac, who poised interesting questions to the women at the forefront of the international hospitality design community. 

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The spirited conversation ranged from the new definitions of luxury in branded environments to best hiring practices in a demanding industry. The innovative ways that renowned brands have begun to partner with luxury hospitality design around the world was a big and an impactful topic. An award-winning project discussed was the Bentley Suite, in the St. Regis NY Property, where Architectural Systems proudly supplied the flooring throughout, a great example of prestigious companies synergizing successfully.

bdny showroom 2

Next place to visit is the refreshed ASI Showroom previewing during Retail Design Collective, Dec. 4-6 to collaborate with our material experts and discuss translating materials into branded environments. The Architectural Systems showroom is located at 150 W. 25th St., Eighth Floor. Hope to see you then!

Posted at 11/14/2013 11:43 AM

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WHAT'S NEXT® Building with Sustainable Materials for a Green Future


Environtl week

A special thank you to Dale Greenwald, for recognizing Architectural Systems as a thought leader on sustainable materials. Held at Cannon Design headquarters in NYC, Environmental Awareness Week is an annual celebration of smart ideas and innovative technologies that guide design towards a regenerative process. As designers and architects came together for an in-house environmental tradeshow, Architectural Systems was proud to be a selected exhibitor and we are looking forward to next year!


Senior Account Executive, Sarah McGrath, and Kiel Wuellner represented ASI to highlight and showcase some of our on-trend green materials. Interwoven Eco-PanelsTechno™ Recycled Glass Surfaces, and Eco-Tech® Resilient Floating Floor were just some of the favorites among the attendees.

canon design blog

“We are looking forward to collaborating with the Cannon Design team on their ecologically-focused projects, where the use of sustainable materials can create a positive impact on any design!” states Sarah McGrath.

ABX logo 2

Among the uber chic ASI Materials selection of sustainable materials, Eco Dimensional Bamboo Wall Panels was a juried product chosen for the Innovation Pavilion to be displayed at Architecture Boston Expo (ABX). Held in Boston from November 19 - 21st, the largest regional conference and tradeshow will feature the beautiful shapes offered from the wall panels collection in a range of finishes - slate blue, acid green, matte black and silver. Make sure to visit the splash of color in ASI materials at the Boston Convention Center to get inspired! 

Send us your favorite sustainable projects incorporating ASI materials! 

Wyandotte County Health Center in Kansas City, KS featuring Interwoven Eco-Panels - WPVEP017

Posted at 10/23/2013 11:59 AM

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Good times were had out West at the DDI and IRDC Retail Conferences

I was so excited to hear back from the ASI crew after their return from this year’s International Retail Design Conference (IRDC) and DDI Forum events! As a proud sponsor of both conferences, Architectural Systems joined the interesting conversation along with our favorite leaders in the retail design world.


The IRDC forum kicked off in beautiful Vancouver where the future of the retail store was a pervading theme.


Widely discussed were all the innovative ways that brands are upping their game: Pop-up shops built with touch and feel materials, in-store technologies like iPads that “ship” you products within hours to where you are standing, and other artistic creative strategies to engage consumers’ senses in ways that online retailers will never be able to beat. Experience is the new expectation. 


The DDI forum sounded absolutely majestic against the Napa Valley setting where guests enjoyed California’s finest wines and keynote speaker the world-renowned graffiti artist, Erik Wahl, stole the show creating live art installations, illustrating his call for companies to break the mold and challenge themselves creatively.


The elegant dinner for Portfolio Awards dinner was hosted at the Culinary Institute of America. Winner of a well-deserved Luminary Award and dear friend Linda Lombardi, VP global brand designer, even gave ASI a nod in her acceptance speech noting that she could have never created such impactful store environments without the support of "strategic material partners." Congratulations to all the DDI Luminaries and Design Influencer winners!

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ASI's Rachel Cooper, VP of Sales and Andrew Cooper, VP of National Accounts, pictured with DDI retail luminaries

The compelling case studies presented and the impressive brand innovations featured at both conferences were truly inspiring. One thing is for sure: The brick-and-mortar store is never going away! Quite the opposite: retail stores continue to evolve into creative platforms where art, design, and product create memorable experiences for consumers who in-turn, return again and again for a seamless brand experience. 


Tag photos of your most memorable shopping experiences @archsystems on Instagram. And come check out ASI’s newly refreshed showroom for Retail Design Collective (RDC) week Wednesday, December 4 -Friday, December 6 for products that will invigorate your brand aesthetic! 

Posted at 10/2/2013 1:31 PM

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