After spending 5 days in Guangzhou at the 2018 Window Door Facade expo, TILT’s Tim Phillips comes away with optimism about the opportunities the Asian market presents for both TILT and Australian designers and manufacturers.
Hosted by Dominion House, TILT exhibited one of their standardised skylights to showcase their design capability and the possible outcomes of collaboration with Australian design teams. The product highlighted their capabilities in operable architecture and for the design of custom architectural features for the high-end residential market that is growing rapidly across China and Hong Kong.
As this overview from Dominion House reports, the response to Australian design was positive. From Tim Phillips’ perspective, the experience provided many opportunities for learning, with two key takeaways:
Firstly, the Chinese market is seeing a demand for quality. The building industry in China actively pursues many imported products, particularly from European countries. They have a high regard for quality workmanship and premium brands and increasingly Australian design is being associated with quality for the premium end of the market.
The week in China highlighted that there is a want and a need for these premium design services outside of Australia.
Secondly, there is enormous scope to expand the understanding of the design offering Industrial Designers provide for their clients. Traditionally, the role of the Industrial Designer is not well understood and it is generally appreciated that industrial designers produce products to sit within a building. However in Tim and TILT’s experience, collaboration between industrial designer and architect can lead to the creation of a successful integrated product designs, just like the operable skylight.
What TILT has always been particularly passionate about is the process of realising the creative visions of architects. They want to ensure that great ideas are not abandoned simply because the architects didn’t realise that there was a suitable design resource available. TILT’s experience suggests that many architectural challenges tend to be global (solar access, ventilation, sustainability, etc.) and the skylight provides a tangible example of these challenges and a successful collaborative outcome. The product also serves as inspiration for architects to develop new ideas and partner with industrial designers to successfully deliver project outcomes.
In the case of China’s luxury villa market, the skylight enables the architect to offer a seamlessly integrated rooftop terrace on single and multi-storey dwellings. When built in a location to take advantage of city or water views, it allows a premium pricing model to maximise yield and return on investment – an attractive proposition for developers there, and in every country of the world.