Corian Adds Value

Corian is one of the few surfaces that transcends all aspects of design. You can see this in traditional countertops, but a new wave of designs and patterns is starting to sweep the industry. Many designers are seeing this surface for all of its value and are taking advantage of its translucency to create ambient lighting designs. 

This can be anything from a surface to reflect light or to set a mood when making a traditional lampshade or lamp enclosure. The light illuminating from behind can be subtle yet inspiring and is something that can't be duplicated by stone or laminate surfaces.

Others admire Corian's thermoforming capabilities. The material can be bent and shaped into a variety of objects, including furniture, dishware, cabinets, wall cladding, etc. Really, the only limitation is the imagination of the designer.

A classic example of imagination and thoughtful design using Corian is the Z-Island Kitchen by Zaha Hadid. It consists of two islands, wall cabinets and thermoformed wall cladding that emphasize sound and light technology. Take a look at the photo to the left. We also encourage you to do an Internet search regarding this island to fully appreciate what has been designed.

While it's not likely that Mrs. Smith on Main Street is going to put this kitchen concept into her home this year, there are many elements here that we can incorporate into kitchen design now. Why not use an LED message board on your full backsplash? Or how about an island countertop that has a thermoformed dropped apron that reaches to the floor?

Industrial Designers have really taken hold of Corian and are always looking to leverage material capabilities. This was abundantly clear at the ICFF show (International Contemporary Furniture Fair) held in May 2007 in New York City, where DuPont's Corian booth was inundated with designers whose imaginations ran wild with what Solid Surface could become, which could be anything from watches to flooring.

We had the opportunity to interview one such designer, Demet Billici, one of the Designers commissioned by DuPont’s "40 Years - 40 Designers" event. Her design, the Managers Table, is pictured above. 

Here are a few excerpts from the interview:

As a designer, what parts of Solid Surface appeal to you? 

First of all, the material (especially Corian) has an emotional impact on the user. One cannot stand to touch a product made with Corian; it has a silky look but hard when touched and this irony excites me. Also, it's like dough to shape. You are free to give it almost any form. You can thermoform it like plastic and then chip it like stone...”

How about colors; do they have an impact when designing?

“Most materials need to be painted as a final process (for the product to be presented on the market), and there is always a chance that you might not get the true color you wish. So you make many trials... But with Corian, you know your choices from the start. Besides, the wide variety of colors and textures (be they like granite or marble, trendy or old-fashioned) provide the designer with a chance to use Solid Surface for many different purposes and areas.”

Where do you see Solid Surface heading in the design world?

“I think the designers are beginning to realize the value Corian brings to their works. At first it was seen as an expensive equivalent to plastics or granite, but slowly it has gained its real value. It has a high-class look with regards to plastic, and it is much more easily manufactured than granite or other stones... So I see Solid Surface as rising star shining in the design world of tomorrow.

The medical field also has recognized the uses of Corian as a renewable surface and a partner in the war on germs that hospitals face. Because of its non-porous nature, germs cannot survive long on Corian surfaces, making it an ideal surface to use, not just as a countertop but also for walls, sinks and cabinets. The same concept can be incorporated into the home environment, as well.”

Corian is renewable, has unlimited design potential, is nice to touch and easy to work with. We hope you have the opportunity to experience this versatile, practical, limitless surface in your home.