In the late 19th century, France, a blending of natural metallic oxides, powdered marble and fine sand with portland cement was discovered as a way of making tile, which over time and depending on the locale have come to be known as cement tiles, encaustic cement tiles, hydraulic tile, incrusted tile, impost or mission tile.
The process is simple: the blend is spooned into a mold and squeezed by hydraulic presses before being water cured and aged for strength. Both the materials and process are genuinely eco-friendly. Unlike ceramic tiles, which are usually glazed and fired, very little energy goes into production. Cement tile has slight irregularities and imperfections, giving the tiles an appealing artisan quality that beats ceramic floor tile for character. Because the pattern is several millimeters deep you’ll get decades of service as they develop a natural patina.
Aqua Surf tile from Villa Laguna Tile
The custom is to design one group of 4 tiles. each single tile is rotated 90* to contribute to one motif and when groups of these are arranged over a surface an interlocking tessellation or pattern comes to view. Since cement tile can be molded in endless shapes; hexagonal, rhombus, ogee, arabesque and more and any colour, you may want to submit your own design for a project. Where have you used cement tile?
Twent Inox makes flexible metallic fabrics for architecture, interior design, industrial design and other artistic applications.
The stylishly strong metallic fabric is available in eleven patterns. visit website Would you use it in a project?
How it works
Dri-Design Imaging Technology is an exclusive method of sculpting three-dimensional pixels into Dri-Design panels that reflect light and form images. Using this exclusive computer software technology, we can reproduce any image – from a graphic design or company logo, to a photo or drawing – by calculating the optimal reflective position of each and every 3D pixel, and then sculpting multiple, uniquely oriented 3D pixels of varying lengths, breadths and heights into the Dri-Design panels. This creates a 3D, almost holographic image that presents a slightly different appearance, depending on the lighting and viewing angle.
Intended for both interior and exterior applications, the panels are especially effective in settings where designers want to create or expand on a theme, send a specific message or elicit a certain feeling. Dri-Design Imaging panels have all of the durability, ease of installation and environmental friendliness that you’ve come to expect from Dri-Design, with the added visual interest of a three dimensional image.
Instead of traditional sand-blasting, Vitrealspecchi uses acid etching techniques on lacquered or silvered glass to created a range of effects, from their madras lacquered float glass, to tempered back-splashes for the kitchen. They offer doors & partitions, flooring (yes!), furnishings and products for bathrooms and building.
Timon Singh reports in an article for Inhabitat that a team from UCLA has developed a new transparent solar cell that has the ability to generate electricity while still allowing people to see outside. In short, they’ve created a solar power-generating window! Described as “a new kind of polymer solar cell (PSC)” that produces energy by absorbing mainly infrared light instead of traditional visible light, the photoactive plastic cell is nearly 70% transparent to the human eye—so you can look through it like a traditional window. read more
Giles Miller, in an interview with Freshome talks about his designs: “Over the past few years we have been developing surface solutions… we specialise in playing around with materials… so that we can use their surface to show different shades of light. My work began with an investigation into corrugated cardboard… during my BA. It stemmed from a project in which I looked at issues surrounding homelessness, and the obvious material of choice was cardboard for its abundance as discarded packaging. However, with further investigation I saw the beauty in the material both structurally and aesthetically, and have been interested in it ever since. We have also begun working with etched metals, fabrics, and now we have just introduced a ceramic surface… .” – jump to freshome interview jump to giles miller studio