Rembrandt versus Dutch Design
What can designers learn from Rembrandt?
Genius is often found in the most unexpected places; and it can make history. There is, for example, the true tale of the son of a small-town miller in rural Holland, who became one of the most revered painters of all times. So goes the story of Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, who was born in Leiden in 1606 and while coming from humble beginnings, went off to transform Dutch painting forever. The well-known and respected artist has defined Dutch culture – as well as his own time, which is widely hailed as the Dutch Golden Age in art. Creating a home-grown counterpoint to the mainstream European Baroque styles of his time, he led a revolution in his field. He has touched the work of professionals, way beyond his discipline.
Dutch Design versus Made in Italy: What can we learn from each other in Milano
Modern design fairs are an international stage. They are a chance to see and be seen, where professionals can show off their work, challenge themselves and, why not, spy a little on friendly competition. The earliest examples of such gatherings date back to Paris’ trade exhibitions in the 1700s, or the World Expo tradition, the very first of which took place in London during the Victorian times. Since then, the concept of showcasing achievements and trying out new things in order to “wow” a global audience proved to have a powerful pull. This resulted in a huge success for the genre, which flourished in the years to come; and by the 20th century, professional gatherings had expanded into many forms to suit specific industries. In this article, we explore Dutch Design and what it represents during Milan Design Week.
What can Dutch heritage teach us about modern design?
Every masterpiece, be it by the most established professionals or the newest, freshest minds, draws in one way or another on what already exists in one’s field. Our global heritage is a constant source of inspiration in most designers’ creative process. After all, continuously tweaking, transforming and redefining what we often take for granted can be the best route to true innovation. In this article, we explore how Dutch history and culture can influence contemporary design today.
The role of manufacturers in digital modelling
The success of BIM depends not only on technical issues, but also on the willingness of every stakeholder to support the process. In this context, manufacturers play a crucial role. It is their responsibility to grant access to product information on a very detailed level and to support the digital workflow.
Communication of BIM data – key success factor
Architects, contractors, and building owners can profit from integrating Building Information Modelling (BIM) into their building process. However, they can only do so if they are able to successfully communicate BIM data. What is required for this success? This article looks into the needs of stakeholders and the possibilities for communication.
Benefits of BIM in construction — for architects and contractors
Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a process for all stakeholders in the construction industry. Depending on the role of the individual stakeholder, BIM offers different benefits. What are these benefits? How does BIM support contributors in a building process, like architects and contractors? This article provides more insight into the topic.
CAD vs. BIM: what’s the difference (and overlap) between them?
Nowadays, CAD and BIM are often used interchangeably and alongside each other, depending on the phase of the building process and the need of the users at that moment. Therefore, it is important to distinguish CAD and BIM by their definitions, overlap, and differences. This article does just that.
Building Information Modelling (BIM): From paper to digital
Showing a client what his building will look like has always been an important part of an architect’s work. In this context, Building Information Modelling (BIM) is the logical conclusion of a long-lasting history of visualization. It is also an important factor for standardization, which developed over time and sprang from the original idea of creating safer buildings.
Digitization of the construction industry: Building Information Modelling (BIM)
Digitization is without doubt one of the megatrends today. It has made its way into every aspect of our lives. But how far has digitization come in the construction industry? What is the impact that Building Information Modelling (BIM) will provide? In this blog, we explain exactly that.
Pure cosmetics meet pure ceramics
Over the years Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics has grown as a global brand, not only through its exceptional products but also its attitude and processes towards environmentally conscious design. It's no surprise that Lush chose to use Mosa ceramic tiles in over 40 of its stores worldwide - we share the same goal in getting closer to nature and feeling responsible for the products we make.
Frankfurt School of Finance & Management: unique architecture with tradition and dynamics
In its search for a new location and building, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management successfully created a bridge between a traditional building and a dynamic look into the future. The close cooperation between client, architect, and the team at Mosa led to a unique solution.
Built Positive: the future of sustainable building and architectural design
Sustainable construction is no longer nice to have. The rapidly growing global population, resulting in an estimated 3 billion new middle-class consumers by 2030 , inflates manufacturing volumes to the point that they put an undesirable burden on the environment — an issue that we need to address urgently. To tackle the problem today rather than tomorrow, the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute (C2CPII) has initiated the Built Positive Movement. In this article, we explain what Built Positive is, how it relates to sustainable building, and why it’s crucial for architects.
Tile Color as Behavioral Cue: Design Inspiration
In built environments, as in art, advertising and other experiential venues, color can engender certain emotions and elicit particular behaviors. We know that cool colors keep people calm, while warm colors can spark joy and playfulness, enhance appetite and so forth. Tile manufacturer Mosa has observed and documented how architects and designers are using their tile colors for even more straightforward behavioral cues. Here are a few of the ways smart designers are leveraging color to evoke human behavior and make spaces more user-friendly:
The direct and indirect impact of certified green building materials
As we’ve detailed in an earlier blog, the use of green building materials significantly contributes to sustainable construction. It’s with reason that building material manufacturers are continuing to invest in the acquisition of material certifications — like Cradle to Cradle — for their products. But how a certified material contributes to green construction differs: its impact may be direct, or indirect. In this blog, we aim to explain this difference.
Designed spaces as blank canvases
“We focus on a sense of space instead of individual taste. Given that we come from architectural backgrounds, this influences our methodology and provides us with the technical ability to realize our design. This is how you get coherent designs that stand the test of time,” says Vesna Aksentijevic of London-based interior design firm FLINT, who worked on the entryway and apartments at Alto in Wembley Park.
Swaying birch trees inspire people to connect
When designing the Väven cultural centre in Umeå, Sweden, the architects of Snöhetta and White Arkitekter were inspired by the birch tree, the city's symbol. With its white bark and characteristic black stripes, the birch tree provided the inspiration for Väven's abstract appearance. Väven is Swedish for ‘weave’. In the evenings and darker seasons, the building's white exterior radiates the warm interior light to the outside world. During the day, you can see how the white façade and irregular black windows form the tree's bark with its intriguing graphic pattern.
3 reasons why green building labels are set to become the norm
The main driver of sustainable construction used to be energy preservation. Nowadays, however, energy saving properties are hardly an innovative way to differentiate a building anymore. While energy preservation is still a primary component within sustainable construction, other factors have come into play as well. In this blog, we detail 3 additional factors that fuel sustainable design in building projects.
The definition and philosophy of Cradle to Cradle design explained
Building materials manufacturers are increasingly investing in the acquisition of material certifications for their products, such as Cradle to Cradle certifications. They are doing so because the use of sustainable materials — by architects and contractors — significantly contributes to the acquisition of green building labels for building projects. But what actually is the definition of Cradle to Cradle? In this blog, we explain the Cradle to Cradle philosophy, and look at examples of Cradle to Cradle certified products.
How do building materials affect green building certification?
Not so long ago, energy efficiency was the main component for green buildings. Since energy preservation has become a standard within sustainable construction, it is hardly a way to differentiate a building anymore. The focus has shifted to other factors, such as the use of sustainable building materials. Why sustainable materials are crucial for the obtainment of green building labels — and how you can implement them effectively — is what we explain in this article.
How architects can generate support from contractors and material specialists
In a previous blog, we described how architects can defend their design successfully by generating support from clients. As mentioned in that article, convincing a contractor or material specialist to implement a design is equally important. Contractors and material specialists, however, have slightly different motives when it comes to implementing an architect’s design: in general, the aesthetic aspect is less important to them.
Specifying in Color: The Contract Forecast
Color is an essential part of how people experience the world both biologically and culturally. Designers count it among the top three aesthetic considerations in any space along with scale and light. However, of the three, color is the one that is most subject to changing tastes and trends.
How architects can defend their design successfully
Architects create unique designs that help buildings stand out and function properly, but sometimes it is difficult for architects and designers to defend the initial design throughout the several phases a building project goes through. In this blog, we describe several ways architects can defend their design so that it will be applied within a project.
Why sustainability is a great way to backup design and product choices
Architects, first and foremost, face the challenge of designing a building that appeals to clients and investors. Another challenge is convincing contractors to adopt the selected products and materials. As it turns out, the topic of sustainability is a great way to encourage contractors to do just that. In this blog, we further elaborate on the matter.
How green building materials contribute to getting green building labels
With the advent of green construction, buildings will soon be fully made of sustainable materials. Because of this development, architects, contractors, and manufacturers are increasingly investing in sustainable design and construction. Manufacturers demonstrate this investment through the acquisition of material certifications for their products so that they are recognized as certified green building materials. Architects and contractors demonstrate this investment through the acquisition of green building labels for their buildings.
How to get green building certified
In a world of increasing environmental awareness, we are slowly reaching the point where all buildings will be fully constructed with sustainable building materials. Buildings like these can earn certifications — or green building labels — for their level of sustainability. Around the globe, there are many certification systems in use that serve to recognize sustainable building projects. In this blog, we describe one of the most important certification systems — and how to get certified.
Why green building labels are highly relevant for architects
In the future, buildings will be fully constructed with sustainable materials. To secure a livable future for the generations to come, this level of green construction is imperative. It is with this in mind that architects, contractors, and manufacturers are increasingly committing themselves to sustainable design and practicing sustainable business. Architects and contractors demonstrate this commitment through the acquisition of green building labels for their constructions. In this blog, we describe why green building labels are so interesting for architects and architect firms.
Top 10 Things to Consider When Specifying Tile
Tile can be one of the most complex of built-environment specs, so knowledge of current and advanced technologies and best practices in specification is a key to success in every project. In the architectural community Mosa is known for unparalleled support in the specification process of their high-tech porcelain tile. The company has now put together a handy checklist of 10 top considerations in specifying tile for contract installations:
Tiled floors as a form of traffic system
‘Floors in a foyer are like business cards. They set the tone and ensure visitors can find their way in large buildings; you know where you are so you feel more comfortable and at ease. You can notice this in the new Maastricht University Medical Centre (MUMC+) building,’ says architect Luc Nooijen, who works for Architecten aan de Maas in Maastricht.
Light and the power of change
“Light is such a strong, powerful element of our environment. It even has social implications.” For Philip Ross, it’s all about light. He is a designer of interactive lighting. His professional focus is on the interaction of light and people.
Light, a surface with its light reflective and absorbing qualities, and the perceiver determine how we perceive color. If one of those elements is missing, there is no color experience. This means that changing the way a space is lit changes people’s experience of that space. And this in turn influences the way people behave in that environment. This impact that lighting ultimately has on people is the starting point of Philip Ross’ designs. Maybe this is what brought Philip to cooperate with Mosa on the new µ [mu] series. He supported the inhouse design team to elaborate on the influence of light on the visual experience of the tiles. In the Lightlab of Eindhoven University of Technology, the team created different light situations – based on the changes in daylight from sunrise to sunset – to see the effect of light on the µ tiles. The changes in the light during the day create the vividness of the floor. For the people in the room this means that the tiles become part of this light play, which happens during the day. Light is life and life is change.
How light and color provide new ways for creative design
What do we need to experience light and color? Our perception needs three key elements: A material or surface, light and someone who perceives this. If any element is missing, there is no color experience. The interaction between the three creates our individual color experience. Architects, artists and designers integrate this knowledge into their work. The Dutch Interactive Lighting Designer Philipp Ross researches intensively on this topic. For him, design starts with the impact that the lighting has on space and people. Changing the light means changing the space and it also might change what people do in the space.
How do light and color relate to each other?
Why does the same object sometimes look different when the light changes? Does light influence the color so strongly? Yes, it does. There are several effects that decide which color an object has. First of all, when light hits an object, the object can react in three different ways: It can transmit the light, absorb it or reflect it. Which way is chosen depends on the object itself. White objects look white to us, because they reflect all colors, black objects look black because they absorb all colors. An orange looks orange to us, because it absorbs all colors except for orange. But: This is only true for white light. If you direct colored light towards an object, this is a different story. Imagine lighting a blue object with blue light. The object still reflects the blue and will look blue. But if the same blue light hits a red object, the blue will be absorbed and no light reflected. The red object will appear black now.
How do we experience color and light?
Color is a natural phenomenon. It is the product of the refraction, reflection and absorption of light. But color is even more: It is a genetic factor in the origin and diversification of life on earth. Colors are an important means of orientation for innumerable forms of life. They are a means of communication, they reflect social needs, and are even a part of our socio-cultural communication. In pre-modern times, the social order was communicated not only in the materials which were used in architecture, but also by the colors inside and outside of the buildings. For Le Corbusier, colors had the same importance as a layout plan. Today, more and more architects use color in their work. Architects, artists and designers rely on colors as an important part of their creativity, but also use them to create rooms where people can feel comfortable or work more creatively or productively – thus also fostering innovation.
Any designer worth their salt will confirm it; few elements can change the mood and feel of a space, as quickly and as dramatically, as color can. Making a statement through its shade or intensity – or even its ‘absence’ – color is a defining design feature and a valuable tool in a designer’s arsenal, with the ability to make or break an interior project. So, the use of color is a fascinating topic that has always been critical in the creation of space; as the design specialists at Mosa are well aware.
Architects’ New “Musts”: Breakthrough Performance that Exceeds Industry Standards
The increasing demand for high-performance structures means design professionals are raising their own specification standards. More and more architects require materials that perform above the ever more stringent industry standards for sustainability and resiliency. This benchmark-setting performance is a growing must-have in design across the board. Not just in tile and other built-environment products, but also in decorative elements and finishes such as performance paints (Valspar, Benjamin Moore, etc.), performance contract textile technologies (Sunbrella, Crypton etc.).
Stay Mainly in the Plane: Ensuring an Even Finish with Porcelain Tile
Are you so meticulous it’s ridiculous? You’re not alone. Architects and designers have to be precise, exacting, and detail oriented in order to achieve a fully realized final design. When it comes to tile surfaces, design professionals must count on suppliers to manufacture products that can achieve the level of aesthetic and practical excellence they want for their projects. A smooth finish with an even and uniform appearance requires that you pay careful attention to two key factors:
School of Hard Knocks: The 2 Best Tests for Minimizing Abrasion, Maximizing Hardness
A designer’s reputation may be only as enduring as their spaces. Considering the cost of renovations of any space, the materials used must be able to endure over time – often for decades. The American aesthetic, unlike that of Europe and some other global places which value a time-worn patina, prefers that finishes remain looking the same as the day they were installed. Sourcing porcelain that is wear-resistant is key to satisfying this requirement. Whether the concern is office areas with chair-drag, public high traffic areas or stair treads, using the right porcelain tile will mean a worry free installation. More important, however, is how well it will fare in terms of surface integrity. Abrasion and scratching can be gateway issues for bigger problems down the road.
Installing Large Format Tiles: What You Need to Know
Using large format tile has many advantages. Among the most common advantages are easier maintenance and room size perception. Generally speaking it is far easier to clean the face of a tile than it is to clean the grout and large tile tends to make the room in which it is installed appear larger. The use of large format patterns also creates dynamic looks; dramatically increasing the visual impact of a space.
Understanding and Mastering Slip-Resistance
Every design professional knows that slip-resistance is critical in commercial flooring applications. But when you see the numbers, you may wish there was a way to have a little extra assurance that your tile selection is the right one. The good news: there is.
Tips for Worry-Free Tile Installation
Once tiles are adhered to a wall or a floor, even if they look great, it is extremely difficult to initially judge the quality of the installation. Over time, if the system is not sound, it could fail, resulting in cracking, lippage, loss of adhesion and even water damage. Getting it right the first time merely requires communicating information to installers from a simple checklist, and knowing how to access the very latest technical information.
Jury of 3: Top Hospitality Designers Name Leading HD Products
Choosing design elements for hospitality projects requires, as Liam Neeson might say, “a particular set of skills.” Hospitality design has become a place where trends are set, and from which residential design borrows both great ideas and superb functionalities. Products destined for hotels, restaurants, spas and resorts must be beautiful and durable, must adhere to safety standards and must retain their good looks and workability under a punishing level of high traffic and an unrelenting maintenance schedule.
How to ensure tight grout lines
Grout line widths are a personal preference. There is no such thing as an ideal size for grout lines, although we must admit that small tiles do tend to look their best with narrow grout joints. If you have your heart set on tight grout joints, then you are in for a challenge! Although grouting narrow joints is basically the same process as grouting wider joints, forcing grout into those small spaces can prove quite challenging. But no one said it’s impossible! Here are a few insider tips and tricks to help you install the perfectly tight grout joint.
How to choose the perfect tiles for your roof terrace
Does your building have little or no garden? In that case creating a roof terrace can be the answer. A roof terrace is ideal for enjoying the sunshine of early spring and sunbathing in midsummer. A few lounge chairs, a parasol, some plants, a nice cold glass of wine… Pure bliss! With the right tiles, a roof terrace adds value to a building and can even make a remarkable extension of the interior.
BIM for contractors: key benefits and challenges
Contractors play a key role in construction processes, which become more demanding every day. They are constantly under pressure to work faster, more cost-efficient, and execute the ideas of architects better than their competitors. They are subject to tight deadlines, stringent regulations and complex calculations. In a bid to continue meeting their clients’ ever-increasing expectations, contractors are increasingly turning to Building Information Modelling (BIM).
Why White Tile is Trending
It seems the most timeless color will soon be the most timely. Benjamin Moore, the paint company whose color sense is counted on by more design professionals than any other has just declared its color of the year for 2016 as “Simply White.” This is a profound absence-of-color statement coming from the 132-year-old firm whose color fan decks are as ubiquitous in design offices as floor plans and elevations. The Mosa design team agrees with Benjamin Moore’s theory that white may be both the silent hero of the design world and also its next big thing.
Ceramic Tile Surfaces that Endure
Most architects and designers have a deep desire to build a body of work - a legacy of meaningful design that endures over decades and longer. Designing spaces that last begins with specifying environmental aspects such as hard surfaces that will remain fresh and intact for years to come. Knowledge of current and advanced technologies and best practices in specification is a key to success in every project.
Tile Conundrum: Finding a Low-Maintenance Surface that Really Sticks
When designers promise clients a low-maintenance finish, delivering on that promise requires upfront due diligence. How can you ensure that a wall or flooring surface will really be low maintenance over time? Absorption rates are key for surfaces when you’re considering ease of maintenance for your client. Tiles that are denser absorb less water so they are easier to clean and dry faster. Easy cleaning means a cost-effective maintenance schedule, and tile that dries faster is less susceptible to common undesirable conditions such as mildew (think about vertical tile at the baseboard level), and is also a safer choice for public areas where a wet floor in a high traffic area can spell disaster in the form of slip-and-fall accidents. For tile surfaces, look for the ASTM C373 rating, which needs to be 0.5% for porcelain tile surfaces.
Are you a tiler? Here’s what you need to know about BIM
Imagine a world where tilers have all the information they need at their fingertips, without having to depend on other parties to contact suppliers for them. A world where tilers know exactly which tiles, adhesive, grout, etcetera to order and how tiles should be placed, all at a glance. This way of working is only a click of a button away when contractors, architects, tilers, and everyone else involved in the building process collaborate through Building Information Modelling (BIM).
Eight Healthy Reasons to Specify Ceramic Tile
There are many considerations in specifying materials and surfaces for the built environment, but perhaps none are more compelling than the health and safety of those who will inhabit the space. Sometimes an even greater challenge for design professionals can be quickly and simply communicating the benefits of their selections to clients during concept and design meetings. The trade organization Tile Council of North America (TCNA) has compiled a bulletin outlining all of the health and safety benefits that are naturally inherent to ceramic tile. In a world where many people are hearing dire media reports about “Sick Building Syndrome” and the potential toxicity and possible long-term health impacts of chemicals in modern building products, it is comforting to know that these concerns are a complete non-issue with ceramic tile.
Five places where porcelain tile is a better choice than natural stone
Natural stone is one of earth’s oldest building materials, used in stately homes and national monuments. In building tomorrow’s landmarks, architects and designers seek its timeless look. However, some of the most beautiful and desired stones such as limestone and sandstone are also the softest, most porous and problematic in the long term.
5 Ways to Minimize Risk Through Thoughtful Floor Design
The ideal in floor design is to achieve superb aesthetics in every project while also ensuring design integrity and minimizing risk. Risk within the project and risk to the designer’s reputation and bottom line can be minimized with thoughtful floor design, combined with careful and diligent specification of tiled surfaces. Here are the top 5 factors to consider before specifying tile: