Which materials will feature in the field of interior design in the future and what should they be like? These questions and a host of others were addressed at ARCHITECT@WORK on December 7 and 8, 2022. This was the first time the event series was held in Frankfurt, attracting planners, architects and designers to Frankfurt’s Exhibition Center not only to discover the latest product innovations, but also to find out about current challenges, opportunities and trends through an exciting lecture program.
Among the 190 exhibitors was Continental. The surface specialist took the opportunity to present the latest products in its skai® range. In line with the overarching “Healthy Materials” motto of the trade show, the company focused primarily on materials that are particularly notable for their sustainability. This explains Continental’s decision to bring along skai® VyP Coffee and skai® Evida.
skai® VyP Coffee is a breathable upholstery fabric with a classic leather grain. What makes the material special? Continental has succeeded in using coffee grounds as a raw material for this product, as well as other sustainable ingredients, such as a textile carrier with recycled PET and cotton fibers. This means that the artificial leather consists of 65% recycled, natural raw materials. However, skai® VyP Coffee is about more than excellent inner values such as durability and ease of care. The breathable upholstery fabric also scores highly for its great seating comfort and elegant appearance.
The innovative material caused quite a stir at the booth, reports Elmar Zschau, Manager Architect Relations at Continental: “In skai® VyP Coffee we have come up with a product that immediately aroused emotions and thus immediately opened up a wide range of conversations. Everything about the product simply works: the internal and external values, as well as the language of words and images we use to promote it. Everything just comes together perfectly.”
The company’s second product shown, skai® Evida, also proved universally popular with trade show visitors. This organic artificial leather was presented in the form of a large plant with leaves covered with the upholstery fabric. This enabled visitors to experience the tactile qualities of the material directly; after all, they could simply touch the fabric and feel it under their fingers. “Our exhibits were presented really well, so that they acted as genuine eye-catchers,” says Mr. Zschau. The impressive appearance provided the ideal opening for discussions regarding the inner values of the material, which are equally impressive: More than 80 percent of the components used in the organic synthetic product are made from natural and renewable raw materials. The carrier is made of organic cotton. Conventional plasticizers have been replaced with a new type of plasticizer based on renewable raw materials, which is why the material is also certified to Ökotex Standard 100.
“In keeping with the show’s motto, we focused entirely on sustainability in our exhibits,” says Mr. Zschau. Sustainability is currently a key driver for the industry, which is why this focus came naturally to Continental. The Manager for Architect Relations at Continental is pleased with the results: “The ARCHITECT@WORK show is always extremely well organized and brings together a colorful mix of different people.”
Continental will next be seen at ARCHTECT@WORK in Hamburg on September 13 and 14, 2023.