Trend-Spotting at AIA National Convention with Ryan Fasan

By Lori Dolnick
July 18, 2013

Ceramica Elias, a Tile of Spain manufacturer, displays subway tile in a hot red form called Esmaltados.

As always, we are on the lookout for emerging trends and innovation leaders in all fields of the building industry. You never know where inspiration will come from next!

For this year’s AIA National Convention in Denver, we asked trend spotter Ryan Fasan, technical consultant to the Tile of Spain, what he saw as standouts at the show. 

How was AIA overall? 

The Tile of Spain booth where I was giving educational presentations was especially busy and energized. We’ve supported the AIA National Convention for many years – and it’s nice to see the industry coming back in such a positive way. In general, product and service offerings were directed toward saving design professionals time and effort as well as providing simple, logical sustainable benefits as an added value. 

What’s new for Tile of Spain?

We’ve spoken before about new technologies in tile, such as skinny tile, dimensional tiles, etc., for K+BB. What we also saw at the AIA show was this deep saturated color tile in bright colors – which is not only technically difficult, but in the past was much more expensive; another sign that designers and their customers are looking for ways to customize and differentiate their projects. They don’t want to just play it safe. 


What else is new in tile?

Of course I had to look at the tile options, and I’ve always loved NEOLITH, which is a slim, large-format slab tile from a company called The Size in Spain. The North American market is finally responding to utilizing porcelain in large formats that require very little grout and can be used for walls, floors and even counter surfaces. Porcelain is ideal for wet areas like kitchens and baths where it requires virtually no maintenance to maintain its form. 


NEOLITH, made by The Size, is a large, thin-format porcelain that can be used on counters, floors and walls.

In building products?

Living walls, for facades and interiors, are growing as an industry. In a kitchen, a living wall could hold herbs or other edible plants – creating a wonderful and functional environment in the home. Greenscreen can create these walls based on its modular product for interiors or exteriors. 


           Greenscreen modular living walls set the mood in restaurants, homes and offices.

Also Seele Glass had a natural glass display that was 49 feet x 10 feet to demonstrate its laminated structural glass panels. These high-tech wonders push the boundaries of transparency and lightness for interiors and exteriors.


Structural glass used in the Apple flagship stores in New York and the U.K. (by Seele Glass) offers a light, transparent feel inside and out.

In services?

Prescient Co. has created an amazing turnkey solution to integrate design, engineering and construction processes. The software works as a bolt on with AutoDesk Revit and immediately starts building the manufacturing plans at the first stage of design. Smart apps, GPS and QR codes work with the system to tell contractors where panels go. Very intriguing. 

To learn more about Ryan Fasan or to read his educational trend reports, webinars, CEUs, etc., visit www.tileofspainusa.com. Ryan lives on twitter @Tile_Trends.

- Lori Dolnick has nearly 30 years of experience building brands. She works primarily with manufacturers in the home design industry and writes for several blogs. 

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