For Corian's first appearance at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in New York, the manufacturer turned, surprisingly, to us for the design. Surprisingly, because we had never used Corian in any project at that point. Corian was then an imitation material, doing its best to look like marble or granite or anything but itself.
After a tour of the factory we discovered a few things that Corian was aware of, but had never thought to promote:
Corian could be made in any color
Corian was translucent when sliced thinly
Corian could be machined, carved, bent, cut, sanded, polished, routed, glued, filled, sandblasted and worked in virtually any way a material could be. To take advantage of those properties we created a new color palette for Corian which became the first time Corian had marketed the material in a solid color range.
We created a backlighted wall to show off the material's translucent qualities. Instead of blocks of color the letters were defined by all the machining techniques we could dream up, and this wall was curved to show off its post-forming properties.
Finally, as a gesture to the design community we took a series of iconic furniture designs and rendered them in Corian. The point was not to create new designs at that point (that was the job of the designers and architects who would, we hoped, begin to specify and exploit Corian) but to acknowledge design history and raise a question of "what if?". What if Corian had been around when these designers created their signature pieces? Well, it was the next generation of designers time to do just that.
In the years since we created this design Corian has become a much vaunted material. Furniture is regularly made from Corian as well as a range of decorative items. And we have, I am happy to say, used the material as well, both in color and in the remarkable white that is not their signature product.