May 30, 201406:43 AMPoint of View

A Design Upgrade Rethinks a Material You Thought You Knew

A Design Upgrade Rethinks a Material You Thought You Knew

Corian DeepNocturne solid surface was used to create a dynamic set piece for the London Design Festival.

It’s common wisdom, among designers, that form and expression are paramount when it comes to aesthetics. But what happens when an element of that expression, color, has to be sacrificed to attain the perfect shape or finish? Conversely, what happens when rich, saturated colors become available where white or dulled colors have been the only option? 

The answer will reveal itself as designers begin to use the enhanced solid surface material of DuPont Corian made with DeepColor technology. The new collection of solid surfaces is currently available in four dark, lustrous hues—Anthracite, Nocturne, Night Sky and Black Quartz. Still under wraps at their labs, an extended palette of colors is about to be added to Corian, a brand that’s been synonymous with pristine, seamless kitchen counters for nearly half a century. 

Are functional benefits enhanced by DeepColor technology? Those who have worked to curve or otherwise manipulate standard Corian to to create complex shapes or surfaces, may have encountered “stretch marks” that, at times, betray their design intentions. DeepColor, however, eliminates these unsightly lines and other imperfections, such as scratches, a constant issue with darker surfaces. “The lines are gone, while scratching is minimized. Where there are scratches, you’ll never see them because they’re the same color as the surface,“ says Mark Woodman, lead design consultant for Corian.

The deep colors shines though any surface treatment, without a hint of stretch lines. 

The result is to give architects, designers, and fabricators the confidence to experiment with the material through all manner of volumetric or surface treatments. “The newness of this technology and the depth of these colors offers designers something to play with that they haven’t had before,” Woodman adds. 

Consider the work of Giles Miller. When the London Design Festival found itself in need of a desk, the organizers approached the designer for a solution that was the opposite of “off-the-shelf.” In response, Miller developed a system of intricately patterned, machine-cut panels that could be arranged volumetrically. The triangular panels, each uniquely grooved with a different surface treatment, were laid out in opposite directions, creating a dazzling effect of light and shadow.  

Miller, who typically works with metals and other reflective materials was new to Corian, yet he was able to achieve the same, polished metal effect using only DeepColor solid surface. “Before we made the final desk, we laid the tiles out on the floor of our studio and saw the effect of the reflection,” recalls Miller. “We were blown away by the ability to make intricate profiles and have them all reflect light."

“It’s exciting to see new life given to a familiar, high-performance material. With that new life come many new possibilities for design expression,” notes Susan S. Szenasy, Metropolis publisher/editor in chief. “Corian DeepColor technology is an important addition to the designer’s material palette.”

Interested in working with Corian DeepColor? Test your creative powers and enter the Shape the Future competition for a chance to win $10,000 and have your design realized.


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