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.
The Cloud on Auckland's Queens Wharf in New Zealand was a central showcase of creativity and innovation at the Rugby World Cup 2011.
A city carport in Munich—and a prototype for efficiency and sustainability.
Nic Goldsmith uses his architectural vision to design innovative fabric structures.
New digitally-driven technology explores what it means to build buildings.
Participatory art installation challenged audience members to see urban space differently.
Building energy research in Germany finds inspiration from polar bears.
Multifunctional coated fabric has recyclable, self-cleaning effect.
Ag operations are reaping the benefits of innovative structural solutions for crops, grain and livestock.
NASA balloon mission in Antarctica sets record by staying aloft for more than 55 days.
Inflatable mobile acoustic performance shells bring concert-hall sound to the great outdoors.
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.