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.