2014 AIA Convention – Highlights

2014 AIA Convention: Chicago, IL

For the first stop on the agency’s summer road tour, Kleber & Associates was back in Chicago for the 2014 American Institute of Architects (AIA) National Convention and Expo. This year’s theme was “purpose” — a challenge to industry professionals in attendance to exercise leadership and engage the public for designing a more sustainable world.

With over 450 convention programs and nearly 800 exhibitors, the AIA Convention and Expo featured various eight specialty pavilions with a focus on concrete, stone & tile, composites, lighting, metals, software & technology, wood and sustainable energy.  At the center of the Convention and Expo was continuing education- a chance for architects to earn as many CEU credits as possible throughout the three day event.

Companies such as Feeney Architectural Products, Residential Elevators, ClimateMaster, Cardinal Shower Enclosures, Dri-Design, Old Castle Architecture and Earthcore were among the exhibitors displaying stand-out products for unique design and sustainable living.

Feeney, Inc.

Feeney, Inc, a leading manufacturer of high quality stainless steel and aluminum architectural products and railing systems, was featuring Lightline® Canopy/Awning products. Lightline canopies combine stainless steel, aluminum and acrylic components into modern, striking designs— both visually and functionally attractive. Sold in easy-to-order, fast-to-assemble kits, Lightline canopies are the ideal addition to a new or existing space.

Residential Elevators

Elevating the standard of living, Residential Elevators, Inc. (REI) highlighted various options for in-home elevator systems, including the Luxury Lift LLT 950- Variable speed traction residential elevator. Quiet, smooth and reliable, the advanced system provides dependable vertical transportation in the home. The benefit of the Luxury Lift Traction Elevation is that REI has developed a technology without the need for a spate machine room, saving square footage in the home.

ClimateMaster

For more than 50 years, ClimateMaster has serviced the needs of the commercial and residential construction industry worldwide with a comprehensive line of water source and geothermal heat pumps. A geothermal heat pump is an electrically powered device that uses the natural heat storage ability of the earth and/or the earth’s groundwater to heat and cool and occupied space. Like a refrigerator, a geothermal heat pump simply transfers heat from one place to another.

Cardinal Shower Enclosures

Cardinal Shower Enclosures was featuring a wide-array of both sliding door and swing door enclosures, for both residential and commercial applications. The Skyline Series sliding door enclosure was sure to make a bold impression, with large exposed wheels holding the sliding door. Available in both 3/8” and ½” glass, and with three or four wheels. Much like the increasing trend of interior “barn-style” doors, the Skyline Series is sure to fit the bill for design elegance in the home, as well as luxury commercial spaces, such as hotel resorts.

Dri-Design

Dri-Design’s meticulous engineering has developed a 100 percent recyclable, pressure equalized rain-screen and architectural metal wall panel system that attaches to nearly any substrate without the use of clips or extrusions. A one-of-a-kind standout at the show was Dri-Design’s architectural panels with imaging technology. Using a variety of custom perforations to create images, Dri-Design imaging can be used to make a statement.

 

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Oldcastle Architect

Brand new from Oldcastle® is InsulTech™, an insulated concrete masonry system. InsulTech ICMS is a complete thermally broken insulated masonry process which includes a full complement of masonry units. The new product offers high thermal efficiency in an innovative design, combining a pre-assembled structural masonry unit, molded EPS insulation insert and thin veneer face.

 

 

 

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Isokern

Isokern is always an eye-catcher and stand-out in the industry. Developing products to contribute to a cleaner environment, the Isokern GreenTech Solution from Earthcore reduces particulate emissions by up to 80 percent and is the first modular masonry fireplace to qualify under the EPA Voluntary Wood-Burning Fireplace Program. The GreenTech Solution can be easily installed in a matter of minutes by adding their exclusive Catalytic Combustor to any Isokern Magnum or Standard Series fireplace.

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2014 Dwell on Design – Highlights

dwell001Feeling nostalgic for the bygone Goldrush days, the K&A team headed west to Dwell on Design (Dwell) in Los Angeles, California.  The Dwell show featured thousands of products and hundreds of programs on three separate soundstages, focusing on innovative, marketable designs in urban construction, modern design and green living.

 

K&A hosted several client Industrial Design representatives at this annual “incubation lab” event, where we conducted extensive research on popular trends and emerging themes. From small desk accessories to full size cargo containers reclaimed as new age living spaces… the opportunities at the show were rich for exploring dramatic new fabrications and innovative solutions. The forum provided our client brands with a detailed environment from which to “blue-sky” product development ideas amid break-through introductions from around the globe. One theme in a particular semblance-of-harmony we’re titling: “Surface Solutions,” representing significant new approaches to outward facing layers and facades that interact most intimately with our human audiences.

 

dwell002Stikwood is a midrange price “peel and stick” wood planking overlay for surfaces such as walls, ceilings and countertops which is finished with AirPure: a non-toxic, formaldehyde free natural plant oil. One of the main promotional draws of Stikwood is its ease of application, particularly impressive in an industry dominated by high costs and complicated installation methods. The result is a highly textured surface rendered with an old world craftsmanship appearance in a cost-effective solution. In addition to the unique attributes of the product itself, we were naturally impressed with the brand’s go-to-market strategy, led by robust social media engagement.

 

dwell003Finium’s Friendlywall follows a similar path of simplified installation in wood-planked-skin walls. The pieces of Friendlywall fit together, much akin to a room-sized jigsaw puzzle. Interlocking pieces can be chained together across a wall or even an entire room.  The Canada based company stresses eco-friendly products and consumer accessibility as its major selling points.

 

dwell004Giving new meaning to a bun-warmer? Galanter & Jones is a California based design and fabrication studio that is family run and operated, specializing in heated outdoor seating. Their newest product pictured here is the Helios Lounge, featuring a plug-in bench with a heated surface and adjustable temperature controls. We recognize that the heart of the home is now the backyard and as such, homeowners desire to enjoy their outdoor living rooms throughout the changing seasons. This innovative product complements this trend while featuring an ergonomic design that radiates heat outwards, designed to warm one’s entire body. Unexpected, is how incredibly energy efficient these “hot” seats really are.

 

 

dwell005Like accessories for the “little black dress” in the fashion world, so too can cabinetry be updated with entire new looks. Who would have thought that cost-conscious Ikea cabinets could be improved?  Semihandmade cabinet doors – which ships its doors across the country and plans to set up shop soon in Ikea — offers an affordable solution to dress up Ikea cabinets to  look like fine crafted, high quality custom cabinetry at a fraction of the cost. The best of both worlds… cost effective boxes and frames with doors designed to express your own design priorities. I wonder if Swatch Watches ever thought about introducing a cabinet line with mood compatible, swap-able doors?

 

The importance of innovations like these at Dwell on Design is that they not only represent emerging aesthetic trends in the market; but perhaps as important, environmentalism and affordability. Each highlight here represents a major shift towards eco-friendly and sustainability-orientated crafting methods –with an emphasis on the surface and its relationship to dwellers. I’m convinced we’ll continue to see momentum in this arena for home and building products for the foreseeable future. Stay tuned!

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2014 Neocon Highlights

Kleber and Associates summer road tour rolled into the Windy City last month for NeoCon® 2014- North America’s largest design show and conference for commercial interiors. The show draws more than 40,000 attendees each year from the architecture and design industry eager to see the latest trends.

 

As we waited in lines for elevators and weaved in and out of the over 700 showrooms and exhibits, we came across a variety of innovative products and resources for corporate hospitality, healthcare, retail, and various other commercial applications. We couldn’t list them all, so here is a collection of K&A’s favorite standout products from NeoCon 2014.

 

neocon001Forbo

Forbo, a global market leader in linoleum floor coverings, showcased one of their newest product introductions, Marmoleum. Marmoleum Modular is currently the only floor tile that is USDA Bio-Preferred Certified 100 percent biobased. Made from natural, renewable ingredients, Marmoleum Modular features inherent antimicrobial and antistatic properties that improve indoor air quality and resist bacteria growth. Marmoleum Modular tile collection is comprised of 44 beautiful colors and 3 coordinated sizes designed to mix and match.

 

LG Hausys

LG Hausys unveiled a first-to-market surface product called TechTop. This innovative surface-embedded wireless charging technology offers true convenience and mobility-  helping consumers stay connected. Consumers can charge their mobile phone by simply placing it on top of a TechTop Embedded HI-MACS Surface. The rate of charge automatically reduces once the battery is full to prevent damage and to extend battery life. With a single connection hidden beneath the surface, you can keep the area clean and clutter-free, eliminating all those tangled wires or preoccupied power outlets. HI-MACS TechTop has the makings of an ingenious solution for those wanting to stay connected – good riddance wires!

 

Richlite

Richlite Company is a manufacturer of paper-based composite panels offering a warm and natural-feeling surface. Richlite’s unique paper surfaces bring a soft and comfortable ambiance to a room that’s rarely achieved through cold, hard, strong and plastic solid surfaces. It’s made from environmentally sustainable resources and is an attractive, durable long-lasting material that complements a variety of tastes. Applications include kitchen/bath, retail and restaurant surfaces, as well as various other unique applications.

 

revlite-ling-1340-Editeos Light Panel System

The eos Light Panel System is an ultra-slim sheet of light that combines LED lighting technology and an exclusive 3D cutting process to give you a versatile light source. Its slim profile and low power draw make the eos Light Panel System usable in a large number of applications including indoor, outdoor, accent, lighting, etc. The system consumes up to 70 percent less power than a fluorescent lamp. The initial cost may be higher, but energy savings and overall durability is exceedingly better.

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The West Coast Swing – Kleber & Associates on the Streets of San Francisco for PCBC

It was an interesting blend on the streets of San Francisco June 25-26. On one end, thousands of IT developers crammed into the Moscone Center West for the annual Google I/O conference to hear “what’s next” from the web’s preeminent authority. One block over, thousands of building professionals and vendors filled the Moscone Center East to see the latest in home improvement and building materials at the 55th annual Pacific Coast Builders Conference (PCBC).

While certainly two distinct audiences, a common theme emerged from both events – how the next frontier of technology will impact our daily lives. While Google went big with wearable devices, PCBC was the stage for a variety of innovative products that meld smart technology, manufacturing and materials with functionality in today’s home.

Founded in 1959, PCBC has been a must-attend event for the industry with direct linkage into the lucrative California/western United States home building industry. The Kleber team walked the halls and visited dozens of booths, one of our work tasks actually, and collected our favorite products on display. We didn’t set any conditions on what we deemed “worthy” for this recap – just the products we found innovative given the show’s overall theme of “New Directions”.  Here were our top three -   We can’t wait to see what PCBC has in store for 2015.

Creative Mines
With a striking booth, lined with Ansel Adams-quality black and white stills of the company’s natural and crafted stone veneer products, Creative Mines made an impression on our team. The company, founded by former executives of El Dorado Stone, uses a proprietary mix- composed of 70 percent post-industrial content- that eliminates the need for smokestack-produced fly ash used by other manufacturers. A high-purity, natural pumice  high density pozzolan helps enhances compressive strength and improves durability.

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The company also sources natural stone for applications but the crafted product, available in a variety of colors and textures, was as close to natural stone as we’ve found. The company prides itself on being independent from past inventory and outdated equipment so they can work directly with architects on cutting-edge design. The mix of modern production and expertise certainly shows – we struggled telling the difference between real and manufactured.

 

 Liftmaster

Seventy percent of homes in the United States have a Liftmaster garage door opener installed. Think about that – an amazing statistic we learned while visiting the company’s booth. While certainly no stranger to American homeowners, Liftmaster is not resting on its laurels. The company was touting their latest innovation which plays into the home automation movement. MyQ is a system that links your garage door opener with a intelligent communications solution accessible through your mobile phone and other linked accessories. With a home equipped with MyQ enabled devices, you can turn on lights, open the garage door remotely or even check to make sure it’s closed.  The company is now installing MyQ directly into four new models – meaning homeowners can purchase from the box solution versus piece milling an automation system. We found MyQ particularly interesting given the recent talk of Amazon’s use of drones for home delivery.  MyQ, linked with a camera, could conceivably open the garage door for delivery – all managed from your smart phone. The possibilities are intriguing to say the least.

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Zonda

Homebuilders all need land – you can’t pull up to a vacant lot and start throwing up a dwelling either. For decades, finding available land then planning out developments best suited for a particular demographic meant countless trips to the zoning and permits office of a particular county. Even then, the mainly paper-based system was rife with calculation errors and unclear information on the availability of a particular parcel and surrounding demographics.
Enter Zonda -  a truly game changing application for the iPad which harnesses the power of Meyers Research – a leading market research and advisory service for US Homebuilders- for canvassing,

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evaluating and ultimately selecting land parcels for new home construction. Using GPS functionality, Zonda offers end-users real-time data, indices and analysis at the swipe of a finger.  The app can hone in by zip code on bustling areas and mine trends that ensure you’re buying lots in desirable selling points including schools, crime rates and job market conditions.  The searches are fully customizable with more than 270 fields and can be exported into a comprehensive report for potential investors.

 

The application offered an amazing interface with precision zoom, call out boxes and HD quality maps.  Even though we don’t focus in this particular area ourselves, we were blown away by the presentation and marveled at its future applications.

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Using Twitter to Reach Specific Target Audiences

In a society of innovation and constant information, Twitter has become the go-to venue for fast, real-time updates and consumer-based input. In merely 140 characters, Twitter gives everyone a voice.Untitled

Since its launch in 2006, the micro-blogging website has grown to over 200 million active users. With such a large user base, Twitter has become one of the prime social media venues for advertising.

Twitter advertising has been available since December 2011. Since then, advertising on Twitter has evolved into a system that makes advertising, and evaluating its results, easier than ever. Read more…

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YouTube Videos Enhance Digital Marketing

YouTube used to be a venue for sharing videos with family and friends or to feature crazy comedy sketches.  Today, marketers are all over YouTube using it to their advantage. In fact, YouTube is so popular and serves so many digital advertising functions, its ranked number 2 on top search engines. We still use YouTube to post comedy sketches, but YouTube has now become a competitive platform for businesses to build, brand and market their companies.Untitled

Some companies use YouTube to demonstrate tutorials, present Frequently Asked Questions, discuss reviews, juxtapose before and after home renovations or show expert interviews. YouTube also provides important metrics in how many views the video received and how much user and viewer engagement is achieved. Read more…

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Future of Instagram for Advertising and Marketing

Instagram began as an IOS-only photo sharing app in 2010. It has since evolved into a massive social network with a large Web and Android presence involving a total user base over 200 million. It’s therefore no surprise that Instagram has developed new advertising opportunities for businesses by introducing sponsored posts for brands to better reach their ever-expanding user base. Sponsored posts have been launched on a test basis a number of times, but the results are promising for the future of paid marketing on Instagram.ig-logo

The first brands to try paid marketing on Instagram saw great success in terms of engagement and awareness. One of the guinea pig brands, Ben & Jerry’s, reached 9.8 million people with its sponsored post in an eight day period. Another brand, Lexus, gained 3,862 new followers on the day of the ad campaign. Read more…

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Pinterest Promotions: New Ad Avenue for Home and Building Products

Pinterest has started offering paid ads on their site and allowing companies to pay for promotions, or upgrades to visibility, on their posts, or “Pins”. Many brands have already been allowed to test promoted pins and are heavily invested in this new way of marketing. Notwithstanding, challenges remain to be overcome, such as user response and proof of profitability.256px-Pinterest_Shiny_Icon.svg

Pinterest is a tool used to share and save bookmarks visually instead of in list format. Its primary use is as a visual discovery tool that can be employed to manage ideas, interests and projects. Users upload, sort, save and manage pictures as well as other forms of content on “pinboards”, Pinterest’s name for user created collections of content. Launched in March 2010, Pinterest has grown to have over 70 million users worldwide as of July 2013. Pinterest’s userbase consists of 83% women and 17% men and thus caters strongly to its mostly female user base in terms of features and layouts.

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Ad Tracking: Consumer Service or Breach of Privacy?

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Source: http://www.adwordsguadalajara.com/

Have you ever felt as though advertisers are following you, as if they know what you’re interested in even before you do? As technology advances, so does the ability for companies to reach their consumers. This includes the sense that advertisers are looking over our shoulders. In a way it’s because they are, using Ad Tracking or the less frightening term “Interest Based Ads”.

For example, have you ever shopped for something on Amazon, then moved on to another webpage only to find ads similar to what you had just been shopping for? Google accumulates your search history and then using keywords identifies what ad opportunities may appeal to you. In this way they can attempt to predict what ads you will be most receptive to. This, in turn, benefits both the company (in this case Amazon) as well as Google, who Amazon pays to track and acquire your web history. However, Google then shares your data with other companies, as well. If you searched on Amazon for designer kitchen faucets, you can expect to see a few Delta faucet ad in the near future, in addition to other similar Amazon listings. In order to accomplish this, Delta Faucet has identified its keywords such as sink faucet, kitchen faucet, and other competitive words, which Google monitors along with your search history to help market ad-based products more effectively to you. So when you search on Amazon for a fancy faucet, you trigger both Amazon and Delta faucets keywords. Read more…

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Kleber & Associates Wins Platinum & Gold for Best Integrated Marketing Campaign

The Kleber and Associates PR and Advertising team is full of bright, creative and innovative individuals.  With our clients as our top priority, we strive to ensure that all of our integrated marketing campaigns are one-of-a-kind anHermes 2014 jpgd reflective of each client’s unique products and services. We don’t do it for awards; we do it because we have a commitment to give our clients the best public relations and marketing experience possible.  It also doesn’t hurt that we love what we do. Read more…

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