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Architectural Record’s annual competition presents the best new materials of the year.


Tectum DesignArt

Best in Category medal. Tectum DesignArt Panels.

A portfolio of interchangeable acoustic ceiling and wall panels from Armstrong, Tectum DesignArt includes 30 panels, in shapes ranging from triangles to trapezoids, and eight precision-routed patterns. The panels are made from sustainably harvested Wisconsin Aspen and feature 98% USDA certified bio-based content.

Ron Radziner “The large selection of designs and colors available make Tectum DesignArt a fun product to work with to achieve something beyond the expected. The product succeeds in making acoustical ceiling and wall panels exciting.”
Ron Radziner, design partner, Marmol Radziner

Beguiled by the Wild Walls

Designtex Wallcoverings.

Designtex has transcribed its Charley Harper upholstery collection into wallcoverings, through digital printing. A modern montage of bugs, animals, and foliage, the low-VOC line comes in 10 colorways and meets standards such as the Healthier Hospitals Initiative.

Equilibrium Collection

Equilibrium Wallcoverings.

This wallcovering series from Carnegie Fabrics is an alternative to vinyl, yet it performs much like a type II material. Made of an olefin composite, 20% of which is post-industrial, the collection designs evoke natural textures and are PVC-free, low-VOC, bleach-cleanable, and resistant to pen and ink stains.


Mora Ceiling System.

Focal Point’s new combined acoustic ceiling and lighting system adds movement and texture to overhead surfaces while optimizing light and sound levels within interior environments. The PET felt baffles contain up to 50% post-consumer recycled content. Three levels of customization are offered.


Rockfon Ceiling Tiles.

Rockfon partnered with a color sensory expert to develop this line of vibrant stone-wool acoustic ceiling tiles. Color-all comprises 34 nature-informed tones intended to promote wellness, comfort, and productivity. Available in 2'-square and 2' x 4' formats, the tiles are specifiable for lay-in, tegular, and concealed-edge ceiling systems.

Air Baffle

Kirei Air Baffle.

Created in collaboration with Nike, this Kirei acoustic ceiling baffle has a sleek beamlike form with an oblong cutout that exposes its fill material—recycled shoe-textile fluff sourced from the sneaker brand. The exterior hull, available in 33 colors, is made from recycled PET felt. The baffle is offered in four lengths from 40" to 96".


Paternine Surfacing.

Architect Craig Woehrle and Durasein have developed a series of algorithm-driven parametric designs that are CNC-machined into the latter’s solid-surfacing material. The patterns can be scaled for many interior commercial or residential applications, such as backlit wall panels and furnishings. Patternine comes in sheets up to 144" wide.

New Leaf Matte Grain Finish

New Leaf Matte Grain Finish.

The Wilsonart brand New Leaf has expanded its portfolio of high-performance veneers with a matte finish for 30 of its existing wood-grain patterns. This natural-looking surface has an energy-cured performance coating that is said to provide superior resistance to fading and color change, as well as scratches and wear.


Editors' Choice medal. Hashtag Suspension System.

Providing optimal acoustic performance, this suspension system by Fräsch comprises 4'-square Hashtag units in a wide range of corner and connection modules, as well as hues, for expansion and customization. The system is fabricated from lightweight 9mm PET that contains 55% post-consumer recycled content.