Tomorrow's Project by HunterDouglas Contract
Tomorrow's Project is a discussion platform for prominent architects and designers to voice their predictions on the future of design. Every other week, we speak to design leaders who are developing ideas for smarter ways to live and work that challenge the norms in their sectors: healthcare, education, corporate, retail, and hospitality design.
Rich Ries
The Future of Window Coverings

Rich Ries

Unit Manager, Contract Window Coverings,
Hunter Douglas

Question: How will changes in technology affect window coverings?

Rich: Advances in technology have cultivated a renaissance of product development within the Hunter Douglas Contract product lines. Technological advances relating to fabric construction and content, quiet and integrated motorization systems, and major advances in product operating systems will provide dynamic solutions for 21st century projects. Recent introductions of our GreenScreen and GlacierScreen solar shading fabrics, Whisper Motors, and innovative control systems have captivated the interests of the A&D community.

Question: Which sectors have or will change?

Rich: The current major growth areas are in education, healthcare, and government sectors. Historically, these areas have been more mainstream in providing functional, cost effective solutions for their projects. However, we are now experiencing significant growth opportunities in each of these sectors, and they are requesting more design-oriented and energy efficient products that provide aesthetic value, longer life-span and a lower maintenance cost.

Question: Talk to us about customizable product solutions.

Rich: Many of our window covering products are customizable, including specialty shapes, printed fabrics, logo shades, motorized shades, and applications to cover significant expanses. Retrofitting existing buildings creates numerous challenges, but with the advent of a number of creative product solutions, the degree of difficulty has been greatly reduced and the number of products that can be utilized for these types of projects largely increased. Many projects currently being designed have numerous areas that can be covered by conventional applications, but they also possess a few areas that require customization of similar products to fulfill specific requirements. These are the elements that require incorporating the functionality of window coverings that will maintain the integrity of the building design.

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Innovation Poll
What do you think is the most important design element in education?
  1. Functionality
  2. Brand Identity
  3. Sustainability
  4. Technologically Savvy Design