Just before going to press, an urgent press release concerning Lithos Design Company of Italy reached us. Two of its products are being implemented for renovation of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Bahrain: a folding screen made of natural stone elements and used as a room divider to the open-air restaurant (see photo above) and marble tiles used to clad the exterior walls of a one story building (see next photo).
The fact is worth mentioning because natural stone was not used as a mere building material but rather for high end decorative purposes.
To date the stone branch has neglected to devote the necessary attention to design ideas despite the fact that the market is nearly endless. Everyone wants the material, because it is aesthetically pleasing – even more so if design ideas add extra value.
Turning attention to this market has impact on the entire branch as value-added stone products increase visibility in contrast to mere use of stone for outer walls or flooring where it functions as a wall or rug without a character of its own.
In the case of the Ritz Carlton, in contrast, the room divider and wall cladding is advertising for the product directed at all passers-by.
„Design sells“ is true not only for design itself but also for the material or product in question.
Trade organizations in the natural stone branch are well advised to support development of designer products and the marketing efforts thereof even if they are not actively involved in design themselves.
(15.07.2014, USA: 07.15.2014)