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“Prize-winning“ product and design quality

At the trade fair MATERIALVISION (16.-18.6.2009/Frankfurt on the Main), a wide spectrum of modern materials and latest techniques were presented. The professed goal of this trade fair is the opening up of new potentials for innovative products. In 2009 for the first time, the MATERIALVISION took place parallel to the TECHTEXTIL (international trade fair of technical textiles). Both fairs see themselves as forum and platform for material suppliers and users.

Following this idea, the DESIGN PLUS prize was established in conjunction with these two fairs. The competition was organized and carried out by the experienced experts of the German Design Council. The manufacturers of trend-setting materials or products were addressed in order to provide interested circles with valuable indications for above-average product and design quality in this way. One condition for participation was, among other things, that the respective materials and products were to be available in the market for a period not longer than two years. The submitted candidates were judged by a qualified jury:

Frank Brammer, Managing Partner of Franken Architekten GmbH, Frankfurt
Frederik Flötotto, Managing Director of Flötotto Systemmöbel GmbH, Rietberg
Tom Schönherr, Partner of Phoenix Design, Stuttgart
Christoph Struhk, Managing Partner of Modulor-Material Total, Berlin

The AGROB BUCHTAL series REFLEX was introduced to this jury with the following explanatory text:
“This series is characterized by rhythmic structures resembling coarse-woven organic fabric. Another characteristic are matt-gloss impressions which, depending on the incidence of light, give rise to alternating reflections. Filigree interplays and nuances seem like traces of manual processing, and the irregularly shimmering surface is reminiscent of the charming patina of very old stone floors. The effects mentioned are based on a finishing method (“lappato“) which originally comes from the field of process engineering. In the case of ceramic tiles, it means a particularly soft form of slightly polishing with special grinding pads. This technique is intelligently made use of with the new creation REFLEX, which combines visual charm with the technical qualities of porcelain stoneware. The result are not only spectacular aesthetic but also convincing functional advantages. The material is extremely hard-wearing and meets the requirements of slip-resistance valuation group R9 (with honeycomb structure even R10) despite the representative degree of gloss. REFLEX is equally suitable for the wall and the floor. Thanks to the dialogue between hand-made character and glamorous look, an attractive mixture of unconventional poetry and severe elegance is created.

The jury endorsed this judgement, because REFLEX was one of the *36 prize winners from Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France, Korea, Switzerland and the USA. The criteria were, for example, design quality, material selection and manufacturing method, functionality, ecological quality and sustainability as well as the overall concept. The prize-winning products were presented to the fair and conference audience in a special exhibition. During this special exhibition, the ceremonial handing over of the certificates took place on June 17, 2009. Christiane von der Laake, head of the in-house department “Central Design Development” and creator of this excellent prize-winning creation, received the prize for AGROB BUCHTAL.

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