A key concern for Daltile was to make things as efficient as possible for the people using the studio, so the space truly ended up being created by designers for designers. From section labeling and accessibility to samples located in small cubbyholes throughout the studio, designers are provided easy access to the tools and assistance they require.
“What better way to find out what the users want than to ask them directly?” Kirk-Rolley said. “We conducted research both qualitative and quantitative, reaching out to designers in the Dallas market and asking them what they liked.”
The studio immediately impresses with its own unique personality. Once in the showroom, visitors cannot help but notice a striking mural of a sunflower covering one wall. Created entirely out of glass by a team of designers, the mural sets the tone for what designers should expect.
“This is our couture dress hanging in the window; it’s supposed to grab people’s attention,” said Christopher Goggin, Design Director & Lead Designer for Gensler. “We’ve got many tile installations on the floor, but we tried to pull products that were more monochromatic, simpler, larger things. Things we thought would be equally appealing in commercial space as well as residential space.”
The studio also embraces the latest technology, featuring five 42” LCD touch flat screens to give designers the ability to use Daltile’s Electronic Product Catalog. The screens are preprogrammed with an extensive variety of room designs.
“As you’d expect, it takes us awhile to get panels built for all the galleries and get them installed,” David Warren, Digital Marketing Manager for Daltile said. “One of the many advantages of this approach is that we can update our product gallery immediately.”
The EPC allows designers to show clients what a product would look like in a room similar to theirs by selecting the corresponding layout in the program. For residential clients, the gallery offers a wide selection of room scene images to choose from, so as to allow design selections that resemble the final installation as closely as possible.
The studio also offers a workstation that replicates how a product will look in different lighting environments. The lighting can be adjusted to accommodate different spaces, eliminating the confusion that often arises after installation.
Designed and developed as an extension of a designer’s own studio, by combining the ease of product accessibility and selection with the latest research and technology, the Daltile studio opens new doors for the design community.