2 – 1 – 4 : : DesignPlan : :

: : DesignResources : :

The first one, this week, is a South African company, called EarthCote……[http://www.earthcote.co.za/]

From their web-site ::

Every home tells a story. Always different, ever surprising. Earthcote brings these stories to life,
showing how the mark left by each brush stroke is as much a product of individual creativity
as it is of our paint.

Dabbling and reinventing are as integral to our recipe as the ingredient we put into every tin of Earthcote.
We make products for creative people who, like us, love to experiment, who are open to surprise and who,
without exception, inhabit spaces that tell wonderful stories.

The results are quite beautiful…..their site is somewhat skimpy; I hope they add some more info
and examples to it. Such as the flooring –
the coatings they produce for concrete are quite lovely…..but hard to see on their site.

G R E E E N ? ECO-Friendly?
The Q Collection – New York city
Q Collection   915 Broadway, Suite 1001   New York, NY 10010   Tel – (800) 775.0994   http://www.qcollection.com/

Check out this statement – talk about a Mission……


Below is a list of harmful materials typically used in furniture & fabrics and how we have either
eliminated or replaced them . . .

No formaldehyde, only water-based adhesives

Formaldehyde is used in most furniture adhesives and considered one of the most toxic chemicals to humans.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says that it causes cancer in humans.

No polyurethane, only water-based stains & topcoats

No dacron, only natural latex foam rubber.  Polyurethane is used as a topcoat and in the
manufacturing of foam and dacronand contains toluene which is toxic and known to cause
cancer in humans. Long-term exposure may cause chronic lung problems,although evidence
is not conclusive.

100% certified and sustainably harvested wood

The source of most of the wood on the market today is unknown and, unfortunately,
can originate from some of the world’smost threatened ecosystems such as old-growth
forests in the Pacific Northwest or Amazon rain forests.
The United States is by far the largest importer of virgin timber from the Amazon River region.

No brominated flame retardants

Brominated Flame Retardants (BFRs) have been banned in Europe but are still being
used extensively in USupholstery manufacturing. BFRs have been linked to brain
disorders and birth defects.

Organic or European ecological cotton

Cotton is the world’s most polluting crop because of enormous levels of pesticides
& herbicides used in growing.

No toxic stain resistant chemicals

In addition to being a by-product of furniture production, dioxin is a contaminant
in fabrics that have been “whitened” using chlorine and is known to negatively
affect the human immune system.

Non-toxic, low-impact fabric dyes

Fabric dyes often contain toxic chemicals that are suspected to cause cancer
and/or reproductive or developmental damage.

No heavy metals

The process of tanning leather is the most harmful of all fabric production because
of the reliance on harmful heavy metals like chromium 6.

And – here are some of the high-styled pieces they’ve developed while remaining true to these standards:

In Canada, they are represented in:

Vancouver                   Anne Starr Agencies

Calgary                         DWA Interior Furnishings

Montreal                      Chintz & Collections

Toronto                        Primavera


Coyote Glass does some really interesting things in and with glass.
Flamboyant, vibrant colours – gig swirls….rivers of texture running
through, their work is unique and distictive.

Not all of it, I like – too lushly rich – but I do admire it and can see
how/where it’s applicable.

The pieces that particularly caught my are:


The only thing I do like in this, is the formed sink – it has that hammered copper look to it …….
and the colour choices are all in the same vein, same character. Lose the stand, lose the mirror….
Maybe I should offer them some remedial design direction?

Anyways, you can visit them at:


Pictures and Patterns on Concrete Surfaces: Graphic Concrete™

Posted December 30th, 2010 by Joseph Starr

What if that gorgeous expanse of polished concrete countertop could by
etched with the face of Gandhi?

How about if that 10 ft. garden partition wall could be filled with the synesthetic
scent of gargantuan red roses?
Who might rejoice if those vertical columns of silica
aggregate could be memorialized with the likeness of King Kong’s
great ascent?
The answers to these existential queries shall not be long in coming; at least, that is,

if Helsinki manufacturer Graphic Concrete remains unbound.

The unbounding to which I refer above is artistic as well as technological,
since the company, helmed by founder
and inventor Samuli Naamanka,
unearthed a method to etch concrete slabs with all the images of man’s devising—

and God’s as well, as these images no doubt attest. Naamanka’s method involves
the use of a membranous “surface retarder,”

a phrase that sounds provocative and intentionally un-pc, but in fact refers to
“a special kind of coated film at a prefabrication plant…

the film is printed on pre-defined spots with conventional printing technique,
using a surface retarder.

The designed pattern is created on the surface of the concrete slab as a result
of the contrast effect
between the fairface and the exposed, fine aggregate surface.”

The explanation of the method may be rife with technicalese, but thebottom
line is that it works in a fashion similar
to that of developing a photograph.
The printed image on the membrane overlays the slab and, voila!, with the

application of that magical surface retarder, the concrete surface transforms
into rows of verdant gardenias,
or the Cyrillic alphabet, or a scene from Aristophanes.

The potential applications of the technology are limited only by provincialism
and small-mindedness, and we know
there’s none of that out here at the fringes of A&D.
So let us all celebrate the newfound freedom of photos on concrete—

the auspicious intersection of hardscapes and graphic design—
and get to dreaming up each of our preferred patterns
for this versatile, durable,
and plentiful surface. If I had my druthers, my first would be the war room scene from

Dr. Strangelove, my second a moonlit night on the prairie, my third a swirling art
deco fresco reaching to the skies…
and these only just begin to scratch the surface.

The following images are from Graphic Concrete’s web-site (http://www.graphicconcrete.fi/index.html)

This last photograph, to me, IS the story. I have toyed with the idea for some time,
that architecture of the future, should becomemore of the story, and the book –
that images and imagery can be an intrinsic and meaningful constituent element in the form
and the force of a building……it is exciting, to me, to see such a dynamic invention
applied to the core materials of construction.

As an extension to that whole idea, the curtain walls of future buildings will likely
become massive screens. Perhaps not just as commercial advertising vehicles –
why not as a giant screen where we could all watch the Olympics, or the SuperBowl…..just as
the monster screen in the Dallas Cowboys stadium will be used today……


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