Harold Warner and Dynamic Air Shelters develop larger and tougher inflatable structures

October 1, 2018

“I love the word resilience,” says Harold Warner, majority owner and president of Dynamic Air Shelters in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. “Whether you’re operating on a physical plane or a psychological plane, resilience enables you to deflect danger and harm. What our company has done is expand and elevate the state of inflatable resilience in response …

Fabrics bring museum exhibits to life

Visitors to the new Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, Miss., are bound to be moved by the multiplicity of impressions, sounds, lights and graphic images that could only be presented with the aid of fabric. “This Little Light of Mine,” the name of the main exhibition at the Jackson museum, aims to immerse visitors …

‘Mass to membrane’ continues to influence the future of architecture

August 1, 2018

Nicholas “Nic” Goldsmith, FAIA, has been a major player for more than 40 years in the development of fabric architecture in North America and around the globe through his leadership of the innovative architectural/engineering firm FTL Design Engineering Studio, based in New York City. I’ve known Nic for more than 20 of those years, and …

SEG graphics find more appeal with architectural clients

Ask average consumers what springs to mind when they hear the words “signs and banners,” and they’ll likely describe wayfinding placards and lengths of logo-imprinted fabric hanging from street poles. And although placards and pennants have their place in the sign and banner arena, this is a market segment with innovative and expanding applications in …

Selling shade, comfort and style

July 1, 2018

Who could have predicted, even 10 years ago, that Amazon would have driven shade and awning companies, let alone everyday retail stores, into changing their operations to meet the demand for overnight response rates? Yet today, more than we’d like to believe, sales behemoths like the online portal Amazon and similar services have taught consumers …

Recruiting the next generation of workers

Labor shortages are real and troubling, but a variety of organizations and manufactures are working on strategies to attract the next generation of workers–getting actively involved with public education and student training and recruitment. The dearth of skilled labor is an increasingly common lament heard from manufacturers of all stripes. It’s not a sudden or …

Choosing between fabric and metal awnings depends on customer needs

June 1, 2018

If you have ever had to source sustainable materials for a building design, you know about rating systems like Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), administered by the nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council, (USGBC). The LEED systems consider the amount of energy used to manufacture the building material and the carbon footprint it leaves …

Fabric structures defined by technology and sustainability

Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) is celebrating the 30th anniversary of Fabric Architecture (FA) magazine. The inaugural issue editor, Gene Rebeck, touched on a number of topics that proved to be insightful, clairvoyant and representative of how FA (originally called Fabrics & Architecture or F&A) has been able to represent trends in thinking and practice …

Manufacturers find new ways to enhance product performance with textiles

May 1, 2018

As the demands made on textiles have increased, the nature of what is defined as “textile” has greatly expanded, often including non-textiles or treating them in a textile manner. Hybrids that bring together different materials and processes can offer the benefit of conventional textiles with additional characteristics of materials such as glass, ceramic, wood or …