City officials are choosing fabric structures as part of revitalization programs.
Fabric shade structures that collect rainwater and provide an attractive aesthetic.
An auditorium to accommodate lectures while not discouraging passers-by.
Newport Beach recently completed a LEED silver-certified civic center complex.
High-altitude balloons will provide high-speed wireless internet access everywhere.
Outdoor rooms allow life to flow seamlessly between the home and the garden.
Exhibitions showcase pioneering developments in fabrics for a sustainable future.
Atrium sculpture brings indigenous creatures from Dakota prairie into a floating garden.
Issey Miyake named his new collection after its organic combination of light and shade.
Designers studied Picasso sketches to gain inspiration for a sales center’s exterior façade.
Tension fabric sculptures and colorful orbs created a one-of-a-kind Quinceañera.
Recycleable row houses harvest solar power and conserve energy.
Lightweight permanent structure to provide entertaining space for fans at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament.
Fabric technology has taken designers from tents and art installations to a mainstream commercial business in hospitality and retail spaces.
AirDD's new LuMinies are internally lit objects made from sturdy polyethylene and remote-controlled LED lights.
Fabric suppliers see continued economic pressure for the remainder of 2009. Until the economy rebounds, the architectural building market segment will be sluggish. Growth will continue in selected areas of the world experiencing commercial building booms, such as China and Dubai. The industry will continue to consolidate and will emphasize higher quality fabrics where there tends to be a more steady, reliable demand (and better profit margins).
Manufacturers see slow growth for the U.S. lightweight structures market in 2009, which will be aided by the growth of ‘green' projects and the trend toward using fabric in building projects in place of traditional (and often more expensive and less efficient) materials such as steel and concrete. They feel that the industry will continue to suffer from a shortage of skilled labor.
Coupled with the increasing cost of raw materials and a slowdown in both commercial and residential construction, these factors will likely continue to drive up the cost of doing business and inhibit business growth. Yet there are opportunities to grow and stay profitable for companies that manage their businesses closely, monitor all costs, and make smart, long-term decisions that focus on optimizing value (emphasizing quality and innovative products) for their customers.
From the 2009 State of the Industry Report. Purchase a complete report at the IFAI Bookstore.