CDK Stone engaged Jorgen Hansen from Interspace Design Australia to help design and create a modern, interactive display at Sydney Indesign for Neolith, a 100 percent natural mineral sintered compact surface. Neolith’s durability and larger format (the large sheets sizes are 3200 x 1500 x 12mm) reduces the amount of wastage and joint lines, and the scratch, heat and stain resistance allows benchtops to stand the test of time.
CDK Stone sales manager and Neolith’s Australian supplier, Nathan Karpenko, says that seeing Neolith in the flesh is a crucial aspect of understanding the design possibilities and qualities of the material. “With both natural stone and Neolith it is crucial for the customers to view the slabs in full before making a selection,” explains Nathan. “We are often asked to send out samples of our material, however these can only be used as an indication of the overall material as the samples will not show the full colour variation and movement of each colour.”
At Sydney Indesign, Neolith showcased an impressive scratch resistance and durability test that was well received by visitors. “Durability is a key feature of Neolith so demonstrating this to the visitors was essential. Many visitors were quite sceptical until we showed them these properties on the testing area we had set up,” says Nathan. “As we used the Iron Grey as a test piece that has a metallic element to its design, we were able to create sparks while demonstrating the scratch resistance. It had a great effect of being both entertaining and reinforcing the durability of Neolith’s surface.”
Neolith launched a range of new colours in large format sizes, and showcased some alternative ideas such as the planter boxes and signage for visitors looking to expand Neolith’s design aspects into other areas of the home. “The durability of Neolith is always a main attraction, however the Iron range (in particular, Iron Corten) that was on display as a large panel and the planter boxes was hugely popular,” he explains. “I feel this gave the visitors another aspect to consider for their future designs.”
Nathan believes that the great level of interest and feedback for Neolith during Sydney Indesign shows why CDK Stone, a leading Australian supplier of natural stone for over 32 years, is so excited to be the Australian distributor, especially after seeing how well it was received and used throughout Europe and the rest of the world when it was launched only three years ago.
Alvaro Palencia from TheSize, the Spanish owner of Neolith, attended Sydney Indesign and was impressed with the great interest in Neolith from the Australian architect and design market, says Nathan. “We found designers coming over and viewing our material along with quite a large number of interior design students or recent graduates looking to get a feel for the market and future possibilities,” says Nathan. “Our main community segment would definitely be the interior designers planning renovations or new builds, who are looking for a little bit of difference within their projects. I enjoyed being able to see the different reactions and hear the visitors thoughts on Neolith.”
Visitors were able to see firsthand how Neolith can be used and adapted into a large range of projects, from bench tops to building cladding. Nathan says that meeting visitors face-to-face provided a great level of feedback. “The opportunity to hear their opinions on the current range and what they would like to see in the future was invaluable,” he adds. “It has given us a much better view on what we can do to further improve the options we present to them.”
“Being involved in Sydney Indesign not only helps the companies attending, but gives the visitors an excellent chance to walk around and combine the different ideas they have on the day and then go back and review them at the various stands,” explains Nathan. “Sydney Indesign is also the perfect opportunity to meet the new companies that are emerging into the market and discuss ways to work together to create new elements for those looking to renovate or build.”
Continuing its engagement with the design community, Neolith is running a design competition that allows architects, interior designers and construction companies to enter their completed Neolith project into the running to win a trip to next year’s KBIS (Kitchen and Bath Industry Show) in Las Vegas.