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The World of Materials (2.0)

NeoCon attendees looking for one-stop shopping for the newest materials and finishes, take note: The Interiors & Sources Materials Pavilion is the place to get your hands on a variety of decorative products from the industry's leading suppliers.


NeoCon attendees looking for one-stop shopping for the newest materials and finishes, take note: The Interiors & Sources Materials Pavilion is the place to get your hands on a variety of decorative products from the industry's leading suppliers.

Anyone who has tried to navigate the Merchandise Mart during the NeoCon World’s Trade Fair in Chicago knows just how daunting a task it can be. With more than 700 showrooms and exhibitors anticipated this year, and roughly 40,000 other attendees wandering the halls (and elevators!), it’s nearly impossible to see it all.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was one area where you could find a wide variety of the newest materials and finishes available for furniture and interiors without having to fight your way through the crowds? Or a place to grab a much-needed break while being able to touch and feel decorative products you may have never seen before, all at your own pace?

Look no further than the Interiors & Sources Materials Pavilion, which will be returning to NeoCon for the second year, thanks to a successful launch in 2011. Located on the 8th floor of the Merchandise Mart (#8-3130), and organized with the help of Material Intelligence and designer and materials historian Grace Jeffers, the I&S Materials Pavilion presents a curated selection of innovative materials from a wide variety of suppliers.

The Pavilion’s emphasis is on experience and education. Each sample is accompanied by details on the material’s makeup, environmental properties and recommended applications. We’ll also show you how to specify exact design matches across several different types of materials, allowing you to select the performance and durability required for every application in a project without having to compromise on the aesthetic you want.

Our goal with the Pavilion is to bring professional designers into synchronicity with materials suppliers and vice versa, improving the flow of knowledge and ideas in both directions. While you’re there, don’t forget to scan your favorite products’ QR codes with your smartphone to cast your vote for our People’s Choice Award, and register for a chance to win an Apple iPad 2!

Also be sure to stop by on Tuesday afternoon to meet the Interiors & Sources 2012 I Like Design student internship contest winner, Cassie Welch.

The following is just a sampling of the products that you’ll find at this year’s Pavilion. We hope to see you there!

QISO™ from A&P Technology is quasi-isotropic and balanced in a single layer of braid, making it thinner and lighter than most laminates while allowing for decreased lay-up time. BIMAX™, A&P Technology’s biaxial fabric, offers a +/- 45 degree fiber orientation without cutting, stitching or manipulation. This construction is highly drapable and conformable, reducing time and cost. Sharx™ braided sleevings easily and repeatedly conform to the shape of products with changing geometries, improving overall performance.
Ariaprene™ from Tiong Liong Corp. is a foam that can replicate the stretch and feel of the highest quality synthetic rubbers, while successfully improving on the performance, environmental qualities and versatility of the material. Ariaprene is the first easily decomposable, readily recyclable and completely non-toxic alternative to synthetic rubber. It offers better performance and flexibility with improved insulation and less weight.
With Cambridge Architectural’s variety of flexible and rigid architectural mesh patterns and attachment hardware, there are endless possibilities for interior design applications. From wall cladding to space sculpting to ceilings and unique artistic touches, Cambridge provides a material worthy of the highest-profile interiors.
Colbond, Inc. manufactures technical fabrics and mats used in extremely diverse industrial-use markets. These products fall into two groups. Colback is a durable non-woven fabric often seen in the backings of automotive carpet and carpet floor tiles, as well as in filtration applications. Colbond’s “Enka-Engineered” family of industrial, civil and building products are used in foundations, golf courses and green roofs, as well as composites such as windmills and yachts.
KML22 is a seamless polycarbonate mesh from Kaynemaile that takes a 2,000-year-old design flaw and solves it. KML22 disposes with links and joins to make a seamless, 100 percent recyclable mesh. This development is an important technological breakthrough in performance materials manufacturing, and the potential applications of the technology are still being discovered.
CELL by Lama Concept is made of an innovative side-pressed strip concept made of wool felt. True to Lama’s style and design ethic, it is the interference in the material that creates the pattern. Side-pressed strips of 100 percent industrial wool felt are joined to create a random, cell-like structure which can repeat infinitely.
Móz Metals are decorative metal surfaces characterized by their unique, hand-etched patterns and colors on solid-core metals. Over the years, the company’s collection has grown to over 500 pattern and color combinations, all available in gloss or matte finishes.  Sold by the sheet or featured on architectural products, these surfaces can help you create visually inspiring environments. 
NighTec® specializes in the development and manufacture of optimized photoluminescent raw materials and semi-finished products for industrial users and customers. The developed and manufactured noctilucent, glow-in-the-dark products are optimized for the maximum effect and simplest integration into the production process at customers’ facilities.
Designers and architects regularly ask Pyrolave to make products with its glazed lava stone, including reception desks, catering counter tops, bar tops, table tops, bathroom vanity tops, claddings, spa equipment and swimming pools. The product is highly durable—high temperatures, acids and corrosive products are unable to alter glazed lava stone—and is offered in a variety of original shapes and intense colors, providing the perfect styling to every interior design.
Supracor is the originator of fusion-bonded honeycomb technology, a flexible form of aerospace honeycomb utilized in products that promote the health and safety of people and animals. Supracor’s Stimulite® honeycomb is the basis of a revolutionary line of wheelchair cushions and mattresses for the prevention and healing of pressure sores. A versatile, engineered material, Supracor’s shock-absorbing honeycomb can be found in high-performance applications such as bulletproof vests and sports protective equipment.
Kraftplex and Wellboard from Well consist of 100 percent cellulose fibers, which are completely biodegradable and emissions-free. They are light, stable, flexible and easy-to-transform (through laser, perforations, bounding, printing, 3D printing or deep-drawing), aiding in sustainable design. They are also able to meet the economic and ecological needs of architecture and furniture production processes.
Yemm & Hart is a manufacturer of materials with recycled content for the built environment.  Origins polyethylene panels are made from milk jugs and detergent bottles, and are available in 53 colors and patterns. Tire Veneer is made from lead-free auto and truck tire buffings with over 50 color and/or cork granule additive options. Wine Cork Tiles (shown) acknowledge their origins as a natural, robust floor or veneer material.
New advanced MPX® veneer core hardwood plywood panels from Columbia Forest Products are manufactured with special poplar crossbands under the decorative face and back. These crossbands are produced with state-of-the-art lathes and transfer an advanced level of surface smoothness to the panel faces, making them ideal for fabricating and finishing. These domestically-produced, panels use PureBond® formaldehyde-free technology, are CARB Phase 2-compliant, and may contribute to LEED credits.
ALKEMI is a recycled surface material composed of post-industrial scrap waste (34 percent by weight as certified, or 60 percent by volume). Made from fine flake aluminum milling scrap, which commonly burns up as a heavy smoke pollutant when exposed to conventional aluminum recycling, ALKEMI leaves no hazardous footprint. Available in a variety of colors and surface treatments, it offers a brilliant, sustainable alternative to existing commercial options, such as solid surface, plastic laminate and glass.
Starshine, an internationally recognized producer of glass surfaces, offers innovative products in a timeless aesthetic for a range of interior and exterior applications. Made of granulates consisting of predominantly recycled glass, Starshine products help create strikingly individual spaces where the direct and indirect interaction with light elements produces fascinating effects. The company’s granulates come in 32 basic colors and four different grain sizes, allowing each product to be adapted to the requirements of the project.
LUCEM combines high-performance concrete with translucent fibers that are durable and resistant to weather, UV light and impacts. The line’s translucent aesthetic, coupled with the density and solid form of concrete, instantly catches the eye, making it suitable for surfacing, floor panels or wall cladding. LUCEM panels are available in untrimmed sizes, allowing them to be randomly arranged, similar to natural stone; a variety of polished, glossy and matte surfaces are also available.