Sustainability, industry trends, and rooftop revels

December 1, 2018

“It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment.”  ~Ansel Adams Just in case you missed the recent announcement: IFAI’s offices in Roseville, Minn., have just installed solar energy panels on the (flat) roof to reduce energy usage, and possibly even sell some of it back to the grid. …

Heat-conducting graphene jacket

Part jacket. Part science experiment. That’s how the makers of a new graphene-coated jacket describe their garment. Only a single atom thick, graphene is invisible to the naked eye. It’s lightweight, highly conductive, and is the strongest material known to humankind. But graphene also comes with challenges. It’s hard to work with and very expensive …

A dazzling duo: indoor fabrics and lighting

Fabrics have always been an essential component in commercial interior spaces. But, historically, their inclusion has been limited to more conventional roles, such as draperies and curtains, or flexible room dividers. With some exceptions, fabrics were not intended to serve as a focus in and of themselves. That has changed—decidedly. Fabrics are now looked to …

Going the distance: Rob Kotowski rebuilds the family business

“We don’t anticipate that the completion of a project is the last time we talk with our clients,” says Rob Kotowski, owner and president of Lake Shore Boat Top Co., St. Clair Shores, Mich. “We typically follow up with them a couple of weeks after they’ve taken delivery of their projects to make sure they’re …

Parachute system ensures safe landings for astronauts

What does it take to get astronauts home safely from a deep-space mission as their crew module hits the earth’s atmosphere and slows from 20,000 mph to a mere 325 mph? A strong, agile parachute system. NASA has been testing such a system for the Orion spacecraft. It consists of 11 parachutes, including three main …

2018 OFPANZ Awards for Excellence winners

Twelve projects were recognized as winners of the 2018 Awards for Excellence competition hosted by The Outdoor Fabric Products Association of New Zealand (OFPANZ). The Awards for Excellence offers OFPANZ members a chance to showcase design excellence, technical skills and innovation to other members and the industry. Entries are judged by appearance/workmanship, complexity, design/innovation, and …