The Community that Unites Materials, Technology and Design
I'm working on a case study at the moment that features a homebuilder. A very popular option is laminate that looks like granite. Better Homes and Gardens just ran a little piece called "Four Ways to Get the Look of Granite Countertops," (see corresponding blog here). As an observer of the industry, from technology and materials to design, I can't help but wonder what the big deal about granite is. Yes, it is beautiful and durable, but it is also very high impact to mine, move and dispose of. While engineered materials that look like granite offer the same aesthetic with lower environmental impact (and usually cost), I can't help but wonder if the consumer is missing something in terms of design. Will new materials, that can go far beyond those found in nature in terms of fashion, change the ho-hum, keeping-up-with-the Jones' trend that is granite? Already many of the professional designers I talk to say they prefer solid surfacing when it does not try to pretend to be something it is not, and instead is created to look unique and compelling. What will it take to change Jane Consumer's sensibility enough to stop taking the design potential for engineered materials for (forgive me) granite?