June 1, 2011

Materialista® has moved!

Dear Materialista® readers and followers,

We have incorporated our blog into our “parent” site, www.archsystems.com, for easier, one-stop navigation, and www.materialistanyc.com will now be tracking the trends on what's fashionable in materials at a new address - so please make sure to change your bookmark!


If you have any suggestions for future blog posts, Materialista® would love to hear from you! 
Just e-mail us at materialista@archsystems.com

Thank you for reading Materialista®!

May 27, 2011

What's Now - Choice + Innovation Available with 3M Architectural Market launch at International Contemporary Furniture Fair

3M booth by Mansour Design 
3M products are everywhere, and now that we have a strategic alliance with their Architectural Markets, they can be everywhere in your design! The International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) was a perfect NY trade show to introduce 3M™ DI-NOC™ Architectural Finishes and Fasara™ Glass Finishes. 

3M™ Fasara™ Glass Finishes and DI-NOC™ Architectural Finishes
When working the show, it was great to see so many familiar faces from the design community. Everyone knows Architectural Systems for their distinctive materials and everyone knows 3M for their technology, and the excitement around the collaboration was contagious! The booth sparked a lot of interest. It was not only fantastically designed by Mansour Design, who we introduced 3M to, but attendees immediately started thinking of ways they could incorporate the films and our products into their projects. It was wonderful to watch their creative wheels spin!

Metallic films were applied to two patterns of ASI Sculptured™ panels in the eye-catching display and everyone was fascinated by the innovative ways the panels can be used, either as a new concept or to repurpose an existing surface. Ornamental Surfaces were also part of the exhibit, including new mirrored patterns that attracted a lot of attention!

Left: Sculptured™ Collection WPMAS205; Middle: Ornamental Surfaces DSBUS208;
Right: Sculptured™ Collection WPMAS204

How do you see 3M™ DI-NOC™ or Fasara™ enhancing your current projects?
Let me know!

Click on these links for press we found on the booth from Contract Magazine and Nirmada interior design blog!

May 13, 2011

What's Now - Materialista® reports on Aeropostale presentation at IIDA NY Retail Forum

Rachel Salomon, Larissa Nahari, Architectural Systems
 Materialista® is on vacation (lucky her!) so I am filling in as guest blogger. I am Larissa Nahari, Marketing Director for Architectural Systems. ASI was an event sponsor of the IIDA NY Retail Forum Event on Tuesday night. A group of us attended the accredited presentation, held at the very cool Herman Miller showroom, followed by a visit to the store. Two people won a $50 raffle, which would have come in handy when I was shopping for gifts for my nieces and nephews!

Ron Jackson, CEO and Nancy Jackson, President, Architectural Systems, Tim Anderson, VP Construction, Aeropostale
Nancy Jackson, President of Architectural Systems, is on the IIDA NY board and suggested the topic of the Retail Forum be about the new Aéropostale Times Square flagship. Nancy introduced the Retail Forum chairs to our longtime customer, Tim Anderson, Aeropostale’s VP of Construction and Store Design to be the presenter.

A typical Aeropostale store (Monmouth Mall, NJ) -- see the contrast below!
What a fantastic story we heard, the history of the brand (did you know Aeropostale means “air mail”?), the 885 stores they’ve opened, and the philanthropic efforts they’re involved with, like distributing over 1 million pairs of jeans to homeless teens!

I had intimate knowledge of this project, since Architectural Systems did a Featured Project e-blast, highlighting the materials supplied by ASI throughout the space. But what was most compelling about the presentation was to see how the final concept was achieved and the back story of how the design had to stay true to the brand, while still capturing the energy and iconic images of NYC.

With their out-of-the-box thinking, GHA Design Studios from Montreal was appointed as the design firm, based on a competition Aéropostale held, looking for who was most able to incorporate all of the NY-centric elements in the design.

The turn-around for the store was extremely fast, (we know how quickly yet successfully we got all the ASI materials there!). Metro Tile is installed throughout the 2-level space, following the subway concept and replicas of the NY Public Library’s lion statues sit above grey porcelain flooring.

The Soho T-shirt shop is Tim Anderson’s favorite, where our Tin Ceilings and Reclaimed Timber Flooring duplicated the bygone factory architecture of one of NYC’s oldest neighborhoods (and one I like to shop in too!).

Though we already had the inside scoop, Anderson announced plans for a Dubai store opening, where they will reproduce the flagship design with the more recognizable New York components – and maybe they can even copy the amazing view of the “crossroads of the world” seen from the Times Square store’s balcony!

George Reddick, Architectural Systems, on the 2nd floor balcony @ Aeropostale Times Square

Have you been to the Aeropostale NY flagship yet? Tell us which is your favorite “room!”

April 25, 2011

What's New - Guest Interview on Salone del Mobile, Milan

I can barely keep track of my mom’s travel schedule, as she’s always heading off to the industry tradeshows, whether as an exhibitor or a trend tracker (like mother, like daughter!).

As president of Architectural Systems, Nancy Jackson has been an innovator of material trends, sourcing the latest and greatest products from around the world for over 20 years. Dedicated to partnering with the design community, ASI is attuned to what designers are looking for and is always staying ahead of the curve. This month, Nancy attended Salone Internazionale del Mobile, which is the center of creativity and innovation, and I interviewed her to find out first hand what's happening from Milan!

What makes Salone del Mobile so special? 

Well, Milan’s Design Week is the largest international showcase for contemporary furniture & architectural materials. The show allows people to see the best and newest products in the world of domestic furnishings. This year, the show celebrated “50 years young”, and Salone energized the entire city! There were events and exhibits going on everywhere!

An amazing interactive outdoor exhibit in the famous Duomo di Milano piazza (behind the hotel where I stayed). “Principia - Rooms and Substances of the Next Arts”, was really an experience to walk through.

 Wasn’t this the first time you went to Salone? Why this year?

Yes, and my incentive was to represent Architectural Systems (ASI) at the international launch of 3M’s Architectural Markets division, with which ASI has just announced a strategic alliance. At the Triennale Design Museum, 3M featured their DI-NOC™ and Fasara™ finishes and introduced their lighting products, showcased in a fantastic architectural space. The theme, ‘Infinite Innovation’, pairs nicely with our concept of ‘Choice + Innovation’ as these are new collections to the ASI product offering.

 The VIP reception at the booth was very exciting! It was a fantastic international turnout with many of the Gensler team from all of their US studios, and it was great to see Keith Rosen and EJ Lee from the NY office there.

I also got to attend the Karim Rashid party, also at Triennale, exhibiting 15 years of his prolific product designs. Who knew that Prada’s cosmetics packaging was his work too?

What were the highlights of the show? Any emerging designers?

I didn’t get to see as much as I would have liked at the fairgrounds, but two booths I loved were Edra and Kartell (highlighted in the NY Times!).

As you know, I am a passionate supporter of young design talent so the ‘Designing the Future’ exhibit at SaloneSatellite by A&D students from 20 universities was a must see for me. Digital animation which was presented as a new form of communication, housed in an acoustical igloo, was unbelievable. We won’t only be interacting with people through words on Facebook, instant message and text, but soon, through virtual images of each other.

One example of students on the cutting edge of design was the combination of  technology and materials being used together in the WAFFT furniture collection. This was a hybrid of aluminum and wood and I hope a manufacturer picked up this promising design! 

Hybrid WAFFT table
What were some of the trends you saw?

Digital imaging was definitely everywhere. It was really hard to tell what was real and what was virtual! The images of a park landscape as a backdrop in a booth with actual park benches and musicians playing was really impactful!

The leather manufacturers also used digital images of bookcases as focal elements for their displays and you couldn't tell the classics on the shelves weren't real!

I also saw lots of color everywhere, and QR Codes to scan on your smart phones in the most cutting edge exhibit booths!

What else were you able to do in Milan?

Though I was only there for a couple of days, I did get to enjoy the fabulous restaurants. The first night was a late dinner at Ristorante Da Giannino, which was fun and trendy! The “last supper” in Milan was at Dolce & Gabbana’s Ristorante Gold with my favorite Canadian designers from II by IV. The space was phenomenal – from the mirrored tables and chandeliers to the architecture, all the gold details were bellisimo!

I also happened to discover an Impressionist exhibit at the newly renovated Royal Palace Museum of Art Palazzo Reale, which was a special treat for me. It was composed of 73 paintings by French Masters from the Clark Collection.

You couldn’t have gone to Milan and not done any shopping! Did you buy me anything???

Not this time… but I have to confess, I did buy myself a pair of shoes in the galleria next to my hotel! Next time, I am staying longer, and Bar Basso and power shopping are on my list.

Check out additional photos from Nancy's visit to Milan on Facebook!

March 22, 2011

What's Now - Retail Stores that Feel Right at Home

Though you know by now that I love going shopping for clothes, it’s tempting to buy online, at home in my pj’s. There’s the internet, TV shopping channels and infomercials at the disposal of Materialista™! Today the retail store experience has to compete with all that.

Visiting retail stores is business and pleasure for me! In the trade, we call it ‘competitive shopping’. I take mental notes of the interiors, which enables me to develop and customize on-trend materials, realizing the design vision of the retailers and designers I work with. A favorite right now is the influence of residential feel in retail. The new Tod’s store on Rodeo Drive is a great example. It features living room-like areas throughout, and the warm, dark herringbone wood floors paired with modern furniture really translates the luxury comfort of the brand.

Kramer Design Group
Photo courtesy of Business Wire
This weekend I’m off to the mall to see the Talbots that just opened in Paramus, N.J., introducing their “Tradition Transformed” concept. Did you know the brand is now catering to a more design-conscious customer?

The space is divided into ‘rooms’ with decorative elements.
The store, with the Crystallized Glass Stone flooring ASI supplied throughout, compliments the polished look of the merchandise, perfect for the stylish career woman (like me!). Inspired by a fantasy closet, the spacious fitting rooms let your friends hang out while giving their ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ on how things fit (honesty please!).

Destination shopping is not only about the space or the next up-and-coming designer, but about feeling welcome when you walk in. Fred Segal knows this, and why it’s one of my favorite stops on the West Coast. They’re a family-owned company too, and have the same philosophy on hospitality as we do in our own showroom. It’s also where I always find that special item to add to my wardrobe!

The allure of stores like these makes it easy to put down my laptop and GO shopping!

February 1, 2011

What's Now - A Taste for Restaurant Design

New York City's winter Restaurant Week is well underway (it’s actually two weeks) and with a $35.00 prix fixe menu, I love being able to try all the places on my wish list. When Materialista™ goes to dinner, she’s checking out the food and the space! A truly memorable dining experience is when the interior design, ambiance and cuisine all compliment each other. The material selection in a restaurant is an integral way of defining that sense of place and evoking the mood, whether festive, relaxing or opulent.

Just last week when I was celebrating my (milestone!) birthday dinner with family and friends at Villa Pacri in the Meatpacking District, we felt instantly transported to a fabulous place. The look of luxury French chandeliers hanging above old reclaimed wood floors, barn wood panels and other distressed finishes is very au courant! This is one of the hottest new spots in the city, but the restaurant’s warm, old world feel and classic Italian menu was a much needed antidote to the cold, wet snow outside. (Next year I’ll have to visit their location in St. Bart’s…)

We continued my party at Affaire on Ave B in the East Village, and experienced another example of the “stylized industrial” design trend. The glamour of chandeliers, velvet curtains and upholstered couches met the roughness of exposed brick walls and wood plank coffee tables. The energy of the downstairs lounge created the perfect environment to have a table with bottles of vodka, Patron, and a choice of mixers, and if you know me, the night will include dancing!

I also plan on catching up with friends at an old favorite, Aquavit, known for combining authentic Scandinavian cuisine and Scandinavian design. With four series of spaces to choose from, the simple, yet careful design incorporates lots of white with red-toned wood and matches the look of the beautiful and carefully presented dishes. We’ll be sure to order one of their signature Aquavit liqueur cocktails in the bar and lounge area while I show off the timeless Walnut Hardwood flooring.

So many restaurants, so little time!
Click on nycgo.com for the 300+ participating restaurants. Bon Appetit!

December 16, 2010

What's New - Materialista™ Goes Holiday Shopping

This Materialista™ knows how to avoid the stress of gift giving and support our valued customers – by shopping where ASI materials are installed! Here’s where I’m heading for the family members (aka co-workers) on my gift list:

Mom, President – What do you get for the person who has everything? Opening Ceremony is the perfect store for the international business woman who likes to travel in style. Since my mom is constantly traveling all over the world to find the most innovative materials, I decided to get her the bright pink TUMI carry-on, after testing out the wheels on the Cork Flooring installed at the Ace Hotel location.
This gift will be a good way to get her to switch it up from basic black luggage (and avoid mix-ups at the baggage claim when forced to check her bag!).

My brother-in-law Andrew – As VP of National Accounts, Andrew works extremely hard and is always running to meet customers (like flying to Dubai and back in a day!). I took the 1 train to Times Square to find a comfy sweat shirt and sweat pants at Aeropostale. Maybe having the right outfit will help him relax on the weekends… Once I arrived at the new flagship, it was hard to keep focused on my search as I checked out all the cool applications of materials, from the Tin Ceilings above to Reclaimed Timber and Porcelain on the floors. I also got distracted at check-out by the beautiful (soon-to-be launched) Metro Tiles used for the feature wall behind the cashwrap. What a cool space!

Dad, CEO – My dad and I are going to Chelsea Manor next door to the office tonight so I can buy him a drink and marvel at the third incarnation of the bartop. Restaurants come and go in NYC, but Crystallized Glass Stone has a monolithic aesthetic and enough durability for it to be incorporated in each redesign! We’ll kick back and toast to the new year with our tequila (Patron is his favorite) straight up and chilled with a lime.

My sister Rachel, VP of Sales - I’ll be sure to head over to the main floor of Lord & Taylor to find fun new lipglosses and eyeshadows for my sister in their new cosmetics department. The “Ultimate Face-lift” was a renovation to make the area clean and inviting, with Eco-Porcelain flooring in almost-white installed throughout. The updated lighting is the closest it can come to natural light, which will be helpful when choosing the perfect make-up shades for Rachel’s new work look when she returns from maternity leave.

My niece Addison, future Account ExecutiveXSRE is a new store concept with the most fun novelty merchandise I’ve ever seen! My almost 3-yr old niece will go crazy over the purple bracelets I picked out. I couldn’t help but notice how amazing Ornamental Surfaces looked on the display tables I found the bracelets on!

Baby niece Lily, future Material Expert – I chose a new onesie for my newborn niece in the baby department at Macy’s – she’s so petite and they have a great selection there! A long time customer, Macy’s believes in ASI and consistently selects beautiful materials for all their locations; and Materialista™ believes it’s the place to find something for everyone else left on the list, even moi!

Close Friends – When I’ve finished all my shopping, I will unwind over dinner with friends at Novita and show off the beautiful ASI Hardwood Flooring. We’ll make sure to order my favorite dishes – the Melazane alla Parmigiano and Kobe beef carpaccio (delish!), which go down even better with a glass of Prosecco! Cheers!

Happy Holidays!