When it comes to specifying performance textiles, it’s all simply a matter of preference—right? As long as a fabric is durable, stain resistant, flame retardant, and doesn’t fade easily, designers are essentially comparing apples-to-apples and ultimately making decisions based on pricing or patterns—right?

Not necessarily. As environmental and human health concerns have taken on greater importance in the built environment—with transparency in materials and chemicals of concern at the forefront of the trend—it is becoming clearer that not all performance textiles are created equal. And, in fact, a number of claims have been made in the industry about the superior nature of solution-dyed acrylic over other performance textiles, which designers need to examine carefully to make more informed specifying decisions.

So, what exactly do interior design professionals need to know about the differences between solution-dyed acrylic and other performance fabrics? Let’s start with construction.

Acrylic is a synthetic fiber made from polymers with a wool-like feel that is inherently colorfast and stain resistant. According to the International Standards Organization (ISO), fibers which contain a minimum of 85% acrylonitrile in their chemical structure are defined as “Acrylic Fibers.” Acrylic fiber is composed of acrylonitrile and a comonomer. The comonomer is added to improve dyeability and processing of the acrylic fiber into textiles.

The solution-dyeing process involves an intensive process in which the color permanently adheres to the fiber while it is still in a viscous form. UV stabilizers and stain-resistant finishes are often added during the process to enhance the product’s performance.

So far, so good—right? Not necessarily. According to one apparel blog:

“Acrylic is made of fibers that are made from the polymer, polyacrylonitrile. Polyacrolonitrile is a flammable, colorless liquid that is created from polypropylene. The EPA found that inhaling polyacrylonitrile yields similar symptoms to cyanide poisoning. In fact, when exposed to polyacrylonitrile, our bodies metabolize the chemical into cyanide. This metabolization can take place after exposure to the chemical through skin contact, ingestion, or inhalation. Polyacrylonitrile is also cited as a potential cancer hazard.”

Indeed, the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR) confirms the risk of acrylonitrile exposure to humans, which in all fairness is unlikely unless you live near a factory where it’s made. However, as designers and specifiers are demanding more transparency in the materials they specify and paying close attention to Red List chemicals of concern, it’s important for them to look beyond marketing claims to better understand the composition of performance textiles.

At Crypton, we take human and environmental health seriously, and as such, our products are third-party-certified as containing ultra-low or no VOCs. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) can be emitted from products over time into the air, adversely affecting indoor air quality. Crypton technology also does not add formaldehyde to fabrics and contains no plasticizers. Additionally, because PFOS and PFOA are considered persistent organic pollutants (POPs), Crypton has developed an environmentally preferable C6 chemistry for all of its fabrics that avoids the use of these POPs.

As an added benefit, Crypton’s performance technology does not affect its ability to be recycled. A common outlet for recycled fabric is shoddy, which is used in making carpet padding and rear parcel shelves in cars.

None of this comes at the expense of performance, however. Approved fibers are permanently transformed with stain and odor protection through an immersion process, plus an impenetrable moisture barrier that protects the fabric from spills. Additionally, Crypton fabrics are engineered with an integrated backing that will never separate, permanently enhancing the performance of the fabric. In fact, Crypton’s technology is so stable, it has been deemed a solid surface by the EPA. In fact, Crypton is the only fabric that meets or exceeds all of the following heavy-duty requirements:

  • Stain resistance
  • Water resistance
  • Abrasion
  • Tearing strength
  • Breaking strength
  • Seam slippage
  • Flammability, and
  • Resistance to fungal and bacterial growth

So the next time you specify a performance textile, be sure to look carefully at manufacturers’ claims and ensure you’re making the best decision based on facts, not fiction.


New from the Arc-Com Design Studio, the award-winning Foundation Collection featuring INCASE Crypton Technology is an example of the kinds of thoughtful, conceptual performance textiles we’re seeing for 2018. We’re calling the trend “full circle architecture,” where concepts from historical architecture are transformed into fabric that in turn get installed inside new architecture. Imaginative design minds take fascinating and timeless ideas from antiquity and re-scale, recolor, reconfigure and re-imagine them in new ways. These patterns draw from the tools, techniques, methodology and geometry that were used to craft and build Europe’s magnificent cathedrals. Beyond the forms, the new Arc-Com collection is also inspired by the human spirit that went into these structures. Amanda Eaton, VP of Design at Arc-Com, sat down with us to offer our readers the inside scoop on how the Arc-Com design team created this bold, textural new contract fabric option.

Certainly people were meant to be awed by these immense and elaborate structures. Upon entering into these vast spaces, one can’t help but wonder how on earth people were able to build these immense, towering structures when mechanization was so limited. Ms. Eaton, upon first seeing Notre Dame as a teenager, wondered, “How were they able to construct these incredible buildings at a time when there was no electricity or automated power source or even running water?” Her fascination with these inspiring structures stayed with her, and now she has deftly explored it with her team in a collection that delves into both process and craft. In researching the methods and techniques used, the Arc-Com design studio found these to be not only technically fascinating but also visually inspiring. The Foundation Collection is the beautifully edited, gracefully interpreted expression of their findings.

Windlass pattern
Windlass inspiration

A windlass was a cathedral builder’s tool that was used to lift heavy stones and building materials. It was powered by a worker positioned inside a giant wooden wheel. That person’s job was to tread the wheel around, so ropes that wound around the axle on one end and were attached to heavy items on the other moved the heavy things up to the desired position. Graphic and modern, the Windlass fabric pattern shows the parallel planking of the wheel punctuated with fine lines of light in various configurations.

Vault pattern
Vault inspiration

Who among us hasn’t stared up in wide-eyed wonder at the ancient vaulted ceiling of a great cathedral? How can it not inspire something? The Vault patterns sleek interpretation of the arched forms or rib-vaulting used in cathedral ceilings also has an intricate background pattern, which returns on its own as a direct coordinate in Oculus.

Oculus pattern
Oculus inspiration

Inspired by classical rose windows, Oculus is the direct coordinate fabric to the Vault pattern. Its lace-like framework is is a finely scaled repeat of rose window layouts. It gets its name from the oculus, or round opening, in a wall inside which the familiar rose fretwork is found.

Lunette pattern
Lunette inspiration

Lunette, from the French, meaning “little moon,” celebrates the many crescent-shaped spaces and forms found in cathedrals. The textile pattern exuberantly tosses these smiley crescents across a solid field in an all-over pattern with just enough randomness to move the eye, but configured so that each one touches the tip of a neighboring crescent at both ends. Nothing is left hanging in this charming, modern-feeling design.

Centring pattern
Centring inspiration

A centring was a wooden structure used in construction to hold an arch in place, supporting the stones as the build progressed. The fabric pattern Centring Stripe offers a truly unique stripe option for designers. Its strings of elongated diamond shapes re-tell the story of these humble wooden scaffolds, unsung heroes of architecture like the men who made them. They were split from virgin timber and painstakingly sawn into slender spans that were set at angles with hand-forged nails, only to be cast aside once a perfect stone arch was achieved.

Mason Stripe pattern
Mason Stripe inspiration

Mason Stripe is a versatile, small-scale stripe with a hand-drawn quality, thanks to its nod to the precise yet granular masonry of stone cathedrals. Along with Windlass and Lunette, Mason Stripe is woven in a beautiful, textural bouclé, so not only does the pattern offer a virtual texture, but also the fabric itself has a touchable, soft dimensionality that adds an inviting richness to the upholstery.

The Arc-Com Foundation Collection was recently honored with the prestigious the Best of the Year Award (BoY) from Interior Design Magazine. BoY is a global design award dedicated to the year’s best products and projects. Arc-Com’s Foundation Collection was recognized as the winner in the Healthcare Textile space for its design innovation and inspiration. The award was announced in December, 2017.

With Foundation, Ms. Eaton and her team at the Arc-Com design studio have delivered a collection firmly rooted in architectural and human history. It speaks to the enduring nature of design and the triumph of the human spirit. Simultaneously it delivers a universal design message with a modern appeal that will surely be at home inside the great buildings of tomorrow. Plus, thanks to its INCASE Crypton Technology, it will last long into that future and help keep the furniture it adorns in good shape, too. How will you use it? Please let us know. We’d love to feature your installations in this space.


In the groundbreaking book, Textile Technology and Design: From Interior Space to Outer Space, contributing essayist Alexa Griffith Winton explores the evolving role of textiles as “an interstitial interface” in the context of contemporary design practice “in which advanced computational and fabrication technologies combine to create textiles capable of both reacting to their surrounding environs and responding to their inhabitants.”

Winton argues this evolution is literally changing the way textiles, objects, and buildings are designed, “facilitating new ways of addressing the human body at every scale, from nano-objects to large-scale buildings. Designers and artists are making use of this technology in provocative ways and consequently envisioning new means of connecting humans to our built environment.”

She’s right.

While technological innovation and textiles may appear to be distinct disciplines, in reality, they share more in common than many realize. Advances in textile technology have enabled designers to do more with fabric than they previously thought possible—and Crypton is excited to be on the leading edge of these advancements.

As most specifiers know by now, Crypton begins with the formulation of patented chemistry that imparts permanent resistance to spills, odors, and stains. What may not be as obvious is the fact that these formulas are developed by combining a variety of active ingredients that are screened for environmental and human health concerns (no plasticizers, PVC, flame retardants (FR), or harmful chemicals) before being processed through a series of baths and ovens that encapsulate each and every fiber and integrate a moisture barrier. Breathability isn’t sacrificed in the process, however; the pores in Crypton fabric are large enough to allow the passage of individualized water molecules (e.g., vapor) but are impermeable to droplets, enabling it to meet ASTM’s E-96 standard for breathability.

Our fabrics are also treated to prohibit the growth of molds like Aspergillus niger (“black mold”) and the spread bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus (“staph infection”). Additionally, they can be completely disinfected thanks to our proprietary, EPA-registered quaternary hospital-grade disinfectant that kills E. coli, hepatitis A and B, herpes simplex 1 and 2, HIV, influenza, staphylococcus, streptococcus (“strep throat”), salmonella, and more.

Other innovations we’ve pioneered include:

  • Crypton Outdoor: the first, 100% bleach-cleanable and UV-retardant Crypton fabric.
  • Crypton Green: a collection of SCS Indoor Advantage-certified fabrics that use environmentally preferable fibers and chemistry that can contribute to LEED-CI and Green Guide for Health Care credits.
  • Leather Powered by Crypton: a cleaning and restoring system for use on leather in heavy usage areas available through Conneaut Leather.
  • C-Zero Plus: our newest finish technology specially formulated for those looking for a fluorine-free solution for stain resistance on fabrics.

The beauty of it all is that none of the performance characteristics come at the expense of aesthetics or hand. Just like any other beautiful fabric or textile, Crypton Fabrics are offered innumerous textures and weaves, such as chenille, boucle, and suede.

As technology continues to transform the practice of design, so will the role that textiles play not only in making spaces more attractive, but also how well they perform. And at Crypton, we wouldn’t have it any other way—because at the heart of it, we’re inventors. We saw a need for a fabric that looks and feels beautiful, but could stand up to the demands of high-use, heavy traffic environments—and so we created one. What the future holds is unclear, but what’s certain is that Crypton will continue to take the best that technology has to offer to elevate textiles well beyond the surface.


One of the most exciting trends in contract fabric is a move toward intense, distinctive colors and exciting patterns. This new trend breaks through all of the myths about design limitations with contract performance fabrics. These looks could fall into the realm of any luxury interior textile, yet they offer the extraordinary performance required for more demanding spaces.

Brentano’s Cityscape Collection is one example of this design revolution. It captures the urban landscape in textile form. Design Director, Iris Wang, and the Brentano design studio were inspired by all senses stimulated within the metropolitan environment. They cite among their references towering skyscrapers, perpetual movement and the energetic sounds that pulse through any city.

The new collection includes vivid colors and graphic, large-scale patterns such as Boulevard. This bold stripe is an interpretation of the grandest type of urban street. It celebrates a tradition of generously scaled avenues, the type that have become destinations in and of themselves. The color and life of the Champs-Élysées, Park Avenue, Wilshire Boulevard and so many more are set down with style on a focal-point-ready textile.

Boulevard pattern from the Cityscape Collection by Brentano

Boulevard pattern from the Cityscape Collection by Brentano

INCASE Crypton Technology protects seven of the collection’s patterns and is suitable for hospitality, retail, office, education, healthcare and residential interiors. It works for all applications where performance is a must but a moisture barrier is not required.

If The New Yorker was a contract fabric, it would be Cityscape (see featured image at top of this post). The collection’s namesake pattern is a madcap mashup of hand-illustrated skyscrapers. Cityscape (somehow) creates the overall impression of a loose geometric crossed with an animal print. It offers the intellectual energy of the urban jungle juxtaposed with just enough whimsy.

Even the small-scale coordinates such as Metropolis and Boomtown and an uber-textural, micro-chevron pattern called Disco push the limits of expected design. Built for high-performance applications, all of the Cityscape patterns offer outstanding wearability, exceeding over 75,000 double rubs (Wyzenbeek).

Boomtown (left) and Metropolis (right) patterns from the Cityscape Collection by Brentano.

Boomtown (left) and Metropolis (right) patterns from the Cityscape Collection by Brentano.

Perhaps you’ve already specified some bold beauty from the Cityscape Collection and want to share it with us? Please do! You may see your work in an upcoming post in this space.


The arena of product design is both fiercely competitive and highly demanding, requiring tremendous focus, creativity, and an innate talent for forecasting. Like the designers their products serve, these creatives need to have both a strong right and left brain to achieve success. A deep technical knowledge and expertise in contract specification is critical. Stellar product design pro, Stacy Garcia, is at the top of this game, creating an array of brilliant products that are being widely specified in every sector of contract design. She’s also one of the kindest and most fun people we know, and that good karma seems to emanate from her designs, imbuing interiors with a distinctive, lively spirit.

Stacy Garcia

Stacy Garcia

Her line of Crypton-powered textiles called Composition is just such a collection. It bears her hallmark of combining a global perspective with a sophisticated, fashion-centric edge. Super-fierce geometrics recall classic themes such as argyle in a modern way. These dovetail with patterns that have a timeless look that could as easily have been inspired by natural phenomena such as honeycomb or flame as by technology (binary code) or handcraft (brush strokes). We’re guessing her influences include all of these touch points. Her fresh twist on the familiar is what makes these designs resonate.

Ms. Garcia is a successful creative entrepreneur and founder of multiple business enterprises: LebaTex, Inc., a distinctive textile supplier and Stacy Garcia, Inc., a licensing firm and design house. With brands like Stacy Garcia Commercial, Stacy Garcia | New York, and Stay by Stacy Garcia, she has partnered with some of the world’s leading manufacturers to create products that span from floor-to-ceiling in resorts and homes all over the world. Stacy says, “LebaTex is bringing to the commercial market a unique mix of style and performance with its collection of drapery and upholstery fabrics. They produce a well-rounded offering of Stacy Garcia Textiles with high-quality performance finishes like INCASE fabric protection by Crypton.” The fabrics are offered exclusively to the trade through D.L. Couch, Eykon Design Resources and TRI-KES.

Left: Geometry, Contour, Woodcut and Airbrush patterns in the blue green family. Right: Fresco is offered in jewel tones, hot brights and cool neutrals.

Left: Geometry, Contour, Woodcut and Airbrush patterns in the blue green family. Right: Fresco is offered in jewel tones, hot brights and cool neutrals.

Looking at her work, it isn’t hard to see why Stacy was voted one of the 10 leading voices in the hospitality industry and was honored by ASID for Design Excellence. Her work has been featured in many publications designers turn to for product recommendations, including Interior Design, Boutique Design, New York Spaces, LUXE, Rue Daily and Architectural Digest. If you haven’t already, you’ll probably get an opportunity to see Stacy on a design panel one of these days soon. Internationally renowned, she is highly sought out for her forecasting expertise and is an industry tastemaker.  She’s also a sometime-journalist, spreading her infectious enthusiasm for design via her blog, videos and online magazine: Life-Styled. We at Crypton are big fans, and look forward to many future collaborations.

Five patterns from the Stacy Garcia Composition Collection in one of contract design's most in-demand colors: grey.

Five patterns from the Stacy Garcia Composition Collection in one of contract design’s most in-demand colors: grey.

Designers, if you’ve specified the Composition Collection or any Stacy Garcia textiles with INCASE fabric protection, we’d love to see a photo of your work! We might even ask if we can feature it in our blog.

Product photos in this post courtesy Stacy Garcia Textiles. Stacy Garcia portrait as seen in Life-Styled magazine, spring 2017.


It’s 2017 and as a designer, no matter how amazing your projects are, you’re nothing without images. You need them more than ever, and in a steady stream. For your website, for social media and for publications looking to cover your work, you continually need great images that reflect your talent and passion for design. We asked our marketing and brand strategy team as well as top design-centric public relations and advertising agencies for tips on amassing a portfolio that shows you and your firm in the best light.

Tip #1: Find a photographer that fits your style

Seek out photographers whose images compel you. Think of your portfolio as the book or magazine of your brand, and you are the art director and editor. As you flip through your apps – Instagram, Flipboard – take a look at the nuances of lighting, mood and perspective that define the look you seek. Check the feeds of influencers you admire, be they editorial entities such as design publications or leading design firms. Consider this when seeking out your own photographers for major projects:

  • Do you want to work with someone who prefers to use as much natural light as possible?
  • Someone whose style is bulbs off or bulbs on?
  • Windows blown out or showing the view, etc.

Fair warning, though, once you start noticing these things it is hard to stop, even in your leisure time.

Tip #2: Apply other disciplines to bring out the best

Consider that sometimes a residential photographer might be best for a hospitality project where the design is meant to feel luxurious. Similarly, an industrial project might benefit from the work of a fine art or archival photographer. Look at the annual reports of some top industrial firms to see great examples of this. Photographers can put an exotic spin on hospitality, theater, stadium or even office projects.

Award-winning travel photographer, Rick Lew, who has shot the most exotic and far-flung global destinations for Condé Nast Traveler, has in recent years become one of the most sought-after architectural and hotel/hospitality photographers.

Currently, one of the most popular Instagram images under #architecturalphotography is by travel photographer, Parisey. Check out his feed: @theworldisbigandiwantotseeit.

Architectural photography

Travel and architectural images from Paris and Bucharest. Photos courtesy of @theworldisbigandiwantotseeit.

Tip #3: Fortune favors the prepared

Try to have more than one photographer with whom you establish a creative rapport. That way, when your project is ready, you can tap into the talent that’s available within that often short window during which your client is willing to suspend business in order to capture your genius.

Architectural photography

Go hunting for styles you like on Instagram: #architecturalphotography.

Tip #4: Don’t forget styling

Often the styling is as important as the photography itself. In contract projects less styling is usually more, but none can be a disaster. This is particularly true anywhere you need soft goods styling, such as in hospitality environments where bed, table and bath linens can quickly take over within a shot and distract from your design work if not styled properly. These textiles need to be smooth and contained while still appearing soft and inviting.

Architectural photography

A random sampling from the insanely beautiful Instagram feed of Vogue Living Australia.

Tip #5: No current projects? There’s always something to share!

Often it can be months between the big shoots of entire projects, so in between, our experts recommend the following techniques for populating your social feeds:

Storyboards

Shoot your concepting process. This might be inspiration boards, drawings with swatches, renderings, scale models or some other device you use to illustrate concepts and themes. You can shoot these in a way that’s abstract so as not to reveal any proprietary information by showing a sliver or a slice along with other elements. This is also an opportunity to storyboard your own dream concepts, to design for the kind of projects you wish to get.

Along the way, you can create mini concept shots that focus on color stories through paint palettes, fabric and finish samples. These things CAN be beautiful. Designer David Scott, crafted an entire monograph (Outside the Box) on the strength of his concept trays and themed inspirations.

Architectural photography

Caviar, calfskin and the Chrysler Building figure into a design concept by David Scott. Photo courtesy of Pointed Leaf Press.

Curation

How do you see the world and what’s in it? This is as important as the original work you create. Many design pros wonder who will care about this, but as a design pro you are an opinion leader, and your singular take on anything from iconic landmarks to street art is part of your brand persona. If you admire the work of your colleagues in the field, share that as well. An open, generous sharing of ideas is more accessible than ever. Just make sure that you don’t put any image in your feed that you don’t love. Even if it means you don’t post from a particular event, it is better than posting something that doesn’t reflect your viewpoint on design. Remember, it is your brand’s magazine.

Designer David Scott beautifully curates the natural elements that inform his design in a spread from his monograph, Outside the Box. (Pointed Leaf Press)

Designer David Scott beautifully curates the natural elements that inform his design in a spread from his stunning monograph, Outside the Box. Photo courtesy of Pointed Leaf Press.

Architectural photography

Drapery in progress. Photo courtesy Marks & Tavano Workroom.

Works in progress

Turn that showroom or workroom visit into an opportunity for content. Shoot funky angles of a half-upholstered chair or come in tight on some finish detail that’s rocking your world. People love behind-the-scenes content and building anticipation before a final outcome is one of the strongest engagement tools in social media.

Do you already have great images of your work? Send them our way, and be sure to point out where you’ve incorporated Crypton fabrics. You may just see them published in this space or we may contact you to see if our PR teams can pitch them to design publications for editorial or social media.


The theme du jour is diversity. We think it is timely and relevant, whether we’re talking about the vast scope of new design products showing up at market, or the new emphasis on diversity in renderings. We look at what industry journals are saying about the renewed commitment to inclusiveness in the design field. No time like the present.

Scalies for the Real World

First, we offer this article from Curbed. It explores why some firms are placing importance on creating more diversity in architectural renderings. You’ll also discover the lengths some shops go to get an accurate portrayal of each site’s neighborhood. They also link you to great ‘scalie’ resources for incorporating into your next drawings. Try Just Nøt the Same, Escalalatina or Skalgubbrasil.

Turner Field Neighborhoods Livable Centers Initiative Study Design Distil for Perkins+Will

Turner Field Neighborhoods Livable Centers Initiative Study Design Distil for Perkins+Will. Photo courtesy of Curbed.

New Products That Run the Gamut

We spend 10 days a year at High Point Market, since our performance fabric technology is featured in some 60 showrooms there. We interact with designers, editors, bloggers, the famous High Point Style Spotters and of course we stop in to see all of the brands that offer our technology. As a result, too often we don’t have time to explore the show in the way we’d like.

Good thing our pal, Mark McMenamin from Interior Design magazine, has curated this superb selection of standout pieces in two categories: lighting and tables. From sinuous to geometric, earthy to colorful, there’s something for every designer who’s too busy designing to make it to market.

Duna chair by André Gurgel and Felipe Bezerra for Tissot Móveis.

Duna chair by André Gurgel and Felipe Bezerra for Tissot Móveis. Photo courtesy of Interior Design.

American Institute of Architects Leads Country in Commitment to Diversity

According to Architectural Record, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) intends to redesign the profession’s commitment to diversity, and recently released its Diversity and Inclusiveness recommendations in a new report that took 14 months to complete.

The Commission’s work focused on the implications of increased equity, diversity, and inclusion in architecture. Highlights of the actionable recommendations:

  • Expose children and families to architecture through K–12 Programs, with elements that help underrepresented groups to discover architecture.
  • Develop self-assessment tools to collect data on diversity and inclusion issues in the biannual AIA Firm Survey. Use results to establish best practices.
  • Create and publish best practice guidelines for architectural practices, covering such themes as career progression, work culture, pay equity, and talent recruitment.

This follows AIA’s $1 million contribution to its Diversity Expansion Scholarship, announced late last year in Architect’s Newspaper. Both summaries describe an AIA that is still finding its footing in the area of workplace diversity and the educational programs that will make it possible.

In the end, though, it was this article from The Architects Newspaper that gave us hope and inspiration. It is about the promise of inclusiveness and integrity across the entire profession in all areas of business practice.

How does your firm approach issues of diversity and inclusiveness? If you’ve discovered or implemented your own best practices then we’d love to hear from you. We might even ask you if we may share them in this space.


Make that next Uber ride a treasure hunt for beauty, form and color. Enliven your wait on the coffee shop queue by finding something inspiring that may perk you up even more than that five dollar latte. Here are some fun finds to add to your feed, and maybe to feed your designing soul:

1. @labatrockwellgroup

Come for the kaleidoscope of the week, stay for the the true definition of visionary. The LAB at Rockwell Group is an interactive design firm within the Rockwell Group blending strategy, tech and architecture to create memorable spectacles that bring people together. From the Academy Awards to Broadway to killer hospitality environments worldwide, their work speaks for itself. In the LAB, they seek to answer a question: How do you experience a world that doesn’t yet exist, and design for it?

It was an exciting day down at @_hudsonyardsnyc with the unveiling of the new monument “Vessel” by Thomas Heatherwick

A post shared by The LAB at Rockwell Group (@labatrockwellgroup) on

2. @michellenussbaumer

Our friend, designer Michelle Nussbaumer, has a dreamy travelogue of an Instagram. The editors of Architectural Digest named it among their “musts” last year, and we agree. With beautiful rooms of her own design, like the one pictured below in Mexico, as well as insightful and delightful snaps from her world travels, and her latest vintage and antique furniture and accessory finds for her peerless Dallas design emporium Ceylon at Cie, Michelle never disappoints. And, if you love her feed, you might wish to procure her new book, Wanderlust (Rizzoli), which has been flying off shelves from coast to coast.

I created this outdoor sala in Mexico to feel colonial but it’s all brand new. #mexicolindo #mntrippin

A post shared by MichelleNussbaumer (@michellenussbaumer) on

3. @studiomk27

This Brazilian architecture firm has a richly varied and often very tongue-in-cheek Insta’. We can’t stop watching the strange, slightly grainy black and white video of a uniformed housekeeper, complete with starched hat and white gloves, doing a little curtsey before pulling a carved wooden screen across what appears to be a lovely modern interior. We don’t get it, and we don’t have to. Architect Marcio Kogan has something here. It makes us smile. Italian ELLE magazine’s editors loved it, too.

Casa Abre e Fecha ??? 2016

A post shared by studio mk27 (@studiomk27) on

4. @design_bitches

Architects Catherine Johnson and Rebecca Rudolph, AKA “Design, Bitches” bring their eclectic expertise to Instagram. Their playful feed gives bite sized glimpses of their own restaurant designs, global collaborations in brand identity, commercial spaces, residential and cultural buildings. Their client list includes such diverse entities as Google, Rag & Bone, Coolhaus and Whole Foods Markets. The resulting Insta’ is so fab you almost don’t mind that their genius may be one reason you have to pay $6 for that scrumptious Coolhaus ice cream sandwich. They sprinkle the feed with scenes from their travels and quickie caprices like rainbows, blinky lights and, shown below, Disney’s Space Mountain, snapped at magic hour, when the light is just perfect.

#magichour

A post shared by Design, Bitches (@design_bitches) on

5. @roomonfire

If you’re mesmerized by circular staircases, rapt at repetition as a design statement and swoon over enfilade, this is the feed for you. Both stunning in its imagery and disciplined in its editing, Room on Fire satisfies. It is curated from things around the web by interior designer and stylist Chloe McCarthy. There’s also a Room on Fire Tumblr. This Insta’ isn’t only fun to follow, it is also an object lesson in Instagram best practices. She manages to achieve continuity while always offering up something new. And she gives credits where credits are due.

Would we love your Instagram? If so, please let us know using #CryptonFabric! And don’t forget to follow us @CryptonFabric!


Designers looking for some instant karma of the good variety for their next project will discover it offered up imaginatively in the latest collection of Crypton contract fabrics by renowned maker Architex. The 69-item BELIEVING collection tells a series of design stories inspired by the concept of global unity. According to Architex Marketing and Product Director Lauren Williams, “With the constant reminders of that which divides us all in the world, this collection aims to remind us to take a pause to remember at our core we are all the same. We are all humans who have hopes and dreams of love and laughter – but more importantly of freedom, of equality, of peace, of tolerance and of understanding.”

Among the things that can unite humans are architecture and design. The Architex design team took photos of key places: communities, architectural marvels and memorials with symbolic significance. From the edited photos came sketches, which were then translated into nine patterns, each in multiple color palettes. Says Ms. Williams, “Every motif represents a place where humans come together and connect face to face–creating instances where the beliefs in our similarities outshine our differences.”

L-R: Coexist, Kindred, Community and Lennon patterns from the Architex Believing Collection.

L-R: Coexist, Kindred, Community and Lennon patterns from the Architex Believing Collection.

The creative stimuli range from ancient to modern. A few highlights: The moving and poetic structure of a Santiago Calatrava bridge was the source of INSPIRE, a pattern of interconnecting arcs soaring into elongated diamonds.

Inspire pattern variations and concept art from the Architex Believing Collection

Inspire pattern variations and concept art from the Architex Believing Collection

Inspired by the recently unearthed mosaic floor of a Byzantine Monastery, CHRONICLE features a pattern of intricately intertwined concentric circles that dates back to antiquity, when stone mosaics were often employed to tell stories without using language.

Chronicle pattern variations and concept art from the Architex Believing Collection

Chronicle pattern variations and concept art from the Architex Believing Collection

Design elements from a contemporary public light rail train system create the COALESCE pattern. It eloquently represents the connection and unification of people and countries. In another pattern, PRESENCE, a collection of antique watches found at the Museum for Islamic Art loosely informs a series of small, open circles. Each tiny circle indicates a precious moment of time.

Presence pattern variations and concept art from the Architex Believing Collection

Presence pattern variations and concept art from the Architex Believing Collection

The imaginative beehive structure of a Zvi Hecker apartment complex in KINDRED makes use of 720 different non-rectangular components to form a pattern that evokes stained glass windows or puzzle parts. It also speaks of neighbors and nature and how the human community is formed.

Kindred pattern variations and concept art from the Architex Believing Collection

Kindred pattern variations and concept art from the Architex Believing Collection

LENNON is a reminder of the late musician’s devotion to political activism and his dream of a world filled with love and peace. The design is a takeoff from the famous “imagine” circle at the Strawberry Fields Memorial in New York’s Central Park.

Lennon pattern variations and concept art from the Architex Believing Collection

Lennon pattern variations and concept art from the Architex Believing Collection

Another thing humans have in common is a need for interiors that work under the particular pressures and conditions of everyday life. This is especially true in the worldwide contract applications such as hospitality, office and healthcare where designers are specifying this collection. Woven in a polyester-acrylic blend and powered by Crypton performance, Believing fabrics are durable, cleanable and beautiful for all.

Although Architex conceived it some time ago, world events since have continued to put a finer point on the meaning of the Believing fabrics line. Turns out it is even more timely now than in its nascence. Notes Ms. Williams, “Meaningful and uplifting design is important. If we can put out any good and hopeful vibes, even in our business, if we’re able, that’s the goal.” We agree. One tribe y’all.

Are you a specifier and are planning to use any of the Architex BELIEVING fabrics in an upcoming installation? We’d love to hear about it and see a photo. Perhaps we can share your instant karma right here in this space!

All images in this post courtesy of Architex.