Stain resistant Crypton fabric

Try designing an office without accounting for coffee spills. Whatever commercial space you’re designing, cleaning coffee is no worry.

Architects and designers tell us that in their contract projects, one of the most frequent questions from the client side involves not aesthetics, not even facility planning or engineering, but rather maintenance schedules. Specifiers who want to generate repeat business make it their job to build in as many high-performing, low-maintenance design choices as possible. And from high-tech tile to washable paint and stain-resistant fabrics, they are getting better, more beautiful and even greener all the time.

Some people think that of all the finishes in a commercial project, fabrics are the most perishable. This is far from true. In fact, we’ve seen many cases where our fabric has outlasted the furniture itself. The first thing we recommend you tell your clients about Crypton for their peace of mind is to remember the performance attributes of Crypton stay in place for the life of the fabric. They can’t wear off, wash off or rub off, so Crypton never stops performing.

Giving your clients the scoop on keeping their Crypton fabrics performing spotlessly is simple. Most liquids will simply roll off and can easily be blotted with a clean cloth. For spots and stains that linger longer than a second or two, your clients just need to know the simple steps for spot cleaning.

SPOT CLEANING INSTRUCTIONS

The spot cleaning method of stain removal can be used for most light to medium stains:

  1. Before spot-cleaning, blot up liquids on the surface with a clean, soft towel and brush off any loose dirt.
  2. Prepare a cleaning solution of 1/4 tsp mild enzyme detergent, such as Tide®, Woolite® or Dawn® dishwashing liquid, per 1 cup of lukewarm water.
  3. Apply the cleaning solution to the affected area using a spray bottle.
  4. Work the solution into the affected area by lightly scrubbing the area with a sponge or soft-bristle brush. Make sure to work from the outside of the stain inward so as not to spread the stain, and rinse your sponge or brush frequently.
  5. Allow cleaning solution to soak into the fabric.
  6. Rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residue, as residue will attract dirt. Blot excess moisture with a clean, soft towel or sponge.
  7. Repeat steps 3-6 if needed.
  8. Allow fabric to air-dry.

If you still have questions, or should your clients come to you with a really tough cleaning question, we’re always at the ready. The Crypton Care department is available to provide advice, tips, Crypton cleaning products and complete contract specification support services. Call 800.CRYPTON (2797866) or email cryptoncare@crypton.com for help between 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. ET. Chances are we can solve your tough cleaning problem on the spot, as it were.


Hospitality photograph courtesy of Rick Lew

Photo courtesy of Rick Lew.

It’s 2017 and as a designer, no matter how amazing your projects are, you’re nothing without images. You need them more than ever, and in a steady stream. For your website, for social media and for publications looking to cover your work, you continually need great images that reflect your talent and passion for design. We asked our marketing and brand strategy team as well as top design-centric public relations and advertising agencies for tips on amassing a portfolio that shows you and your firm in the best light.

Tip #1: Find a photographer that fits your style

Seek out photographers whose images compel you. Think of your portfolio as the book or magazine of your brand, and you are the art director and editor. As you flip through your apps – Instagram, Flipboard – take a look at the nuances of lighting, mood and perspective that define the look you seek. Check the feeds of influencers you admire, be they editorial entities such as design publications or leading design firms. Consider this when seeking out your own photographers for major projects:

  • Do you want to work with someone who prefers to use as much natural light as possible?
  • Someone whose style is bulbs off or bulbs on?
  • Windows blown out or showing the view, etc.

Fair warning, though, once you start noticing these things it is hard to stop, even in your leisure time.

Tip #2: Apply other disciplines to bring out the best

Consider that sometimes a residential photographer might be best for a hospitality project where the design is meant to feel luxurious. Similarly, an industrial project might benefit from the work of a fine art or archival photographer. Look at the annual reports of some top industrial firms to see great examples of this. Photographers can put an exotic spin on hospitality, theater, stadium or even office projects.

Award-winning travel photographer, Rick Lew, who has shot the most exotic and far-flung global destinations for Condé Nast Traveler, has in recent years become one of the most sought-after architectural and hotel/hospitality photographers.

Currently, one of the most popular Instagram images under #architecturalphotography is by travel photographer, Parisey. Check out his feed: @theworldisbigandiwantotseeit.

Architectural photography

Travel and architectural images from Paris and Bucharest. Photos courtesy of @theworldisbigandiwantotseeit.

Tip #3: Fortune favors the prepared

Try to have more than one photographer with whom you establish a creative rapport. That way, when your project is ready, you can tap into the talent that’s available within that often short window during which your client is willing to suspend business in order to capture your genius.

Architectural photography

Go hunting for styles you like on Instagram: #architecturalphotography.

Tip #4: Don’t forget styling

Often the styling is as important as the photography itself. In contract projects less styling is usually more, but none can be a disaster. This is particularly true anywhere you need soft goods styling, such as in hospitality environments where bed, table and bath linens can quickly take over within a shot and distract from your design work if not styled properly. These textiles need to be smooth and contained while still appearing soft and inviting.

Architectural photography

A random sampling from the insanely beautiful Instagram feed of Vogue Living Australia.

Tip #5: No current projects? There’s always something to share!

Often it can be months between the big shoots of entire projects, so in between, our experts recommend the following techniques for populating your social feeds:

Storyboards

Shoot your concepting process. This might be inspiration boards, drawings with swatches, renderings, scale models or some other device you use to illustrate concepts and themes. You can shoot these in a way that’s abstract so as not to reveal any proprietary information by showing a sliver or a slice along with other elements. This is also an opportunity to storyboard your own dream concepts, to design for the kind of projects you wish to get.

Along the way, you can create mini concept shots that focus on color stories through paint palettes, fabric and finish samples. These things CAN be beautiful. Designer David Scott, crafted an entire monograph (Outside the Box) on the strength of his concept trays and themed inspirations.

Architectural photography

Caviar, calfskin and the Chrysler Building figure into a design concept by David Scott. Photo courtesy of Pointed Leaf Press.

Curation

How do you see the world and what’s in it? This is as important as the original work you create. Many design pros wonder who will care about this, but as a design pro you are an opinion leader, and your singular take on anything from iconic landmarks to street art is part of your brand persona. If you admire the work of your colleagues in the field, share that as well. An open, generous sharing of ideas is more accessible than ever. Just make sure that you don’t put any image in your feed that you don’t love. Even if it means you don’t post from a particular event, it is better than posting something that doesn’t reflect your viewpoint on design. Remember, it is your brand’s magazine.

Designer David Scott beautifully curates the natural elements that inform his design in a spread from his monograph, Outside the Box. (Pointed Leaf Press)

Designer David Scott beautifully curates the natural elements that inform his design in a spread from his stunning monograph, Outside the Box. Photo courtesy of Pointed Leaf Press.

Architectural photography

Drapery in progress. Photo courtesy Marks & Tavano Workroom.

Works in progress

Turn that showroom or workroom visit into an opportunity for content. Shoot funky angles of a half-upholstered chair or come in tight on some finish detail that’s rocking your world. People love behind-the-scenes content and building anticipation before a final outcome is one of the strongest engagement tools in social media.

Do you already have great images of your work? Send them our way, and be sure to point out where you’ve incorporated Crypton fabrics. You may just see them published in this space or we may contact you to see if our PR teams can pitch them to design publications for editorial or social media.


The theme du jour is diversity. We think it is timely and relevant, whether we’re talking about the vast scope of new design products showing up at market, or the new emphasis on diversity in renderings. We look at what industry journals are saying about the renewed commitment to inclusiveness in the design field. No time like the present.

Scalies for the Real World

First, we offer this article from Curbed. It explores why some firms are placing importance on creating more diversity in architectural renderings. You’ll also discover the lengths some shops go to get an accurate portrayal of each site’s neighborhood. They also link you to great ‘scalie’ resources for incorporating into your next drawings. Try Just Nøt the Same, Escalalatina or Skalgubbrasil.

Turner Field Neighborhoods Livable Centers Initiative Study Design Distil for Perkins+Will

Turner Field Neighborhoods Livable Centers Initiative Study Design Distil for Perkins+Will. Photo courtesy of Curbed.

New Products That Run the Gamut

We spend 10 days a year at High Point Market, since our performance fabric technology is featured in some 60 showrooms there. We interact with designers, editors, bloggers, the famous High Point Style Spotters and of course we stop in to see all of the brands that offer our technology. As a result, too often we don’t have time to explore the show in the way we’d like.

Good thing our pal, Mark McMenamin from Interior Design magazine, has curated this superb selection of standout pieces in two categories: lighting and tables. From sinuous to geometric, earthy to colorful, there’s something for every designer who’s too busy designing to make it to market.

Duna chair by André Gurgel and Felipe Bezerra for Tissot Móveis.

Duna chair by André Gurgel and Felipe Bezerra for Tissot Móveis. Photo courtesy of Interior Design.

American Institute of Architects Leads Country in Commitment to Diversity

According to Architectural Record, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) intends to redesign the profession’s commitment to diversity, and recently released its Diversity and Inclusiveness recommendations in a new report that took 14 months to complete.

The Commission’s work focused on the implications of increased equity, diversity, and inclusion in architecture. Highlights of the actionable recommendations:

  • Expose children and families to architecture through K–12 Programs, with elements that help underrepresented groups to discover architecture.
  • Develop self-assessment tools to collect data on diversity and inclusion issues in the biannual AIA Firm Survey. Use results to establish best practices.
  • Create and publish best practice guidelines for architectural practices, covering such themes as career progression, work culture, pay equity, and talent recruitment.

This follows AIA’s $1 million contribution to its Diversity Expansion Scholarship, announced late last year in Architect’s Newspaper. Both summaries describe an AIA that is still finding its footing in the area of workplace diversity and the educational programs that will make it possible.

In the end, though, it was this article from The Architects Newspaper that gave us hope and inspiration. It is about the promise of inclusiveness and integrity across the entire profession in all areas of business practice.

How does your firm approach issues of diversity and inclusiveness? If you’ve discovered or implemented your own best practices then we’d love to hear from you. We might even ask you if we may share them in this space.


Clockwise from top right: Coexist, Knowledge, Inspire, Lennon, Presence and Coalesce patterns from the Architex Believing Collection.

Fabrics clockwise from top right: Coexist, Knowledge, Inspire, Lennon, Presence and Coalesce patterns from the Architex Believing Collection.

Designers looking for some instant karma of the good variety for their next project will discover it offered up imaginatively in the latest collection of Crypton contract fabrics by renowned maker Architex. The 69-item BELIEVING collection tells a series of design stories inspired by the concept of global unity. According to Architex Marketing and Product Director Lauren Williams, “With the constant reminders of that which divides us all in the world, this collection aims to remind us to take a pause to remember at our core we are all the same. We are all humans who have hopes and dreams of love and laughter – but more importantly of freedom, of equality, of peace, of tolerance and of understanding.”

Among the things that can unite humans are architecture and design. The Architex design team took photos of key places: communities, architectural marvels and memorials with symbolic significance. From the edited photos came sketches, which were then translated into nine patterns, each in multiple color palettes. Says Ms. Williams, “Every motif represents a place where humans come together and connect face to face–creating instances where the beliefs in our similarities outshine our differences.”

L-R: Coexist, Kindred, Community and Lennon patterns from the Architex Believing Collection.

L-R: Coexist, Kindred, Community and Lennon patterns from the Architex Believing Collection.

The creative stimuli range from ancient to modern. A few highlights: The moving and poetic structure of a Santiago Calatrava bridge was the source of INSPIRE, a pattern of interconnecting arcs soaring into elongated diamonds.

Inspire pattern variations and concept art from the Architex Believing Collection

Inspire pattern variations and concept art from the Architex Believing Collection

Inspired by the recently unearthed mosaic floor of a Byzantine Monastery, CHRONICLE features a pattern of intricately intertwined concentric circles that dates back to antiquity, when stone mosaics were often employed to tell stories without using language.

Chronicle pattern variations and concept art from the Architex Believing Collection

Chronicle pattern variations and concept art from the Architex Believing Collection

Design elements from a contemporary public light rail train system create the COALESCE pattern. It eloquently represents the connection and unification of people and countries. In another pattern, PRESENCE, a collection of antique watches found at the Museum for Islamic Art loosely informs a series of small, open circles. Each tiny circle indicates a precious moment of time.

Presence pattern variations and concept art from the Architex Believing Collection

Presence pattern variations and concept art from the Architex Believing Collection

The imaginative beehive structure of a Zvi Hecker apartment complex in KINDRED makes use of 720 different non-rectangular components to form a pattern that evokes stained glass windows or puzzle parts. It also speaks of neighbors and nature and how the human community is formed.

Kindred pattern variations and concept art from the Architex Believing Collection

Kindred pattern variations and concept art from the Architex Believing Collection

LENNON is a reminder of the late musician’s devotion to political activism and his dream of a world filled with love and peace. The design is a takeoff from the famous “imagine” circle at the Strawberry Fields Memorial in New York’s Central Park.

Lennon pattern variations and concept art from the Architex Believing Collection

Lennon pattern variations and concept art from the Architex Believing Collection

Another thing humans have in common is a need for interiors that work under the particular pressures and conditions of everyday life. This is especially true in the worldwide contract applications such as hospitality, office and healthcare where designers are specifying this collection. Woven in a polyester-acrylic blend and powered by Crypton performance, Believing fabrics are durable, cleanable and beautiful for all.

Although Architex conceived it some time ago, world events since have continued to put a finer point on the meaning of the Believing fabrics line. Turns out it is even more timely now than in its nascence. Notes Ms. Williams, “Meaningful and uplifting design is important. If we can put out any good and hopeful vibes, even in our business, if we’re able, that’s the goal.” We agree. One tribe y’all.

Are you a specifier and are planning to use any of the Architex BELIEVING fabrics in an upcoming installation? We’d love to hear about it and see a photo. Perhaps we can share your instant karma right here in this space!

All images in this post courtesy of Architex.