Here we bring you a selection of news from Australia and around the world. Read on for China International Kitchen and Bathroom Expo 2015; SICAM: new markets at the Pordenone fair; leading designer Kim Duffin applauded; SCM Group chooses Xylexpo 2016; researchers host young South Pacific Islanders; Environmental Product Declarations; the latest ABS housing figures; Grass launches dedicated microsite.

Trade show display area wins national design award

The talents of the country’s leading designer, Kim Duffin, were applauded once again at the national Kitchen Bathroom Design Institute’s (KBDi) annual awards evening held in Cairns in late August.

Winner of numerous design awards on the night, Kim’s skill in designing Lincoln Sentry’s 2014 AWISA display area was announced as the winner of the prestigious 2015 Australia Design Space of the Year Award.

A cabinet maker by trade, Kim has been designing kitchens and bathrooms for more than 25 years and said he was constantly inspired to ensure the very latest design and product concepts are integrated into each one of his designs.

“When designing Lincoln Sentry’s display area for last year’s AWISA trade show I was motivated by the saying, ‘the heart of the home’. So I set out to make the kitchen, laundry and scullery the spine of the display, making it the backdrop for all other spaces within the stand,” he said.

“Flow was really important, as was allowing enough space for the visitor to be able to linger, look, touch and experience all the different Lincoln Sentry elements incorporated into the display at their own pace.

“The colour palette I used needed to enhance the functionality of the hardware on display. Neutral tones were selected, which worked in unison with the different materials used to create a point of difference between zones and gave the visitor a more defined visual impression to remember the functional elements of what was on show.

“Another highlight of the display area was the concealed wash up zone in the kitchen. So much energy went into engineering this zone and it perfectly demonstrates to cabinet makers and designers how they can think outside the square when offering solutions to end users,” Kim said.

According to Kim, design and functionality of a bathroom or kitchen is no longer a luxury, but rather a necessity.

“Designers and cabinet makers need to be encouraged to think about each and every cabinet, drawer cupboard and how they can make it more functional for their clients. I used this philosophy to showcase the multiple ways many of Lincoln Sentry’s products could be used.

“How we use our kitchens today is very different, they are true multi-purpose use areas where space is a premium. Therefore, adding components that allow the end user to store, prepare and entertain in the same spot is what is required of our kitchens today.

“Technology is another element that while still in its infancy is gaining plenty of interest. Lighting, lift systems and components that are movement controlled by electronics are only going to increase in the future. This technology will also improve the ergonomics and functionality of the kitchen space,” said Kim.

Pictured: Lincoln Sentry’s 2014 AWISA display area – the winner of the 2015 Australia Design Space of the Year Award.

Australian researchers host young South Pacific Islanders for hands-on training

Australian researchers in Brisbane are hosting two young South Pacific islanders for six-weeks of hands-on training in veneer production at Australia’s leading timber product research facility.

“This is a really exciting opportunity for these two young people,” said University of Tasmania’s Associate Professor Gregory Nolan.

Greg is project leader of an Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) funded project focusing on uses for the senile coconut stems in Pacific Island nations. The CocoVeneer project aims to enhance livelihoods in South Pacific communities through producing a sustainable veneer product from coconut palm stems and utilising any residue material for agricultural and similar by-products.

After their return to Fiji, Ilikimi Carati-Bokadi and Moana Bergmaier-Masau will help support adoption in the Pacific of a quickly developing processing technology: the use of spindle-less lathes to process small diameter logs into veneer for engineered wood products.

“The training of Moana and Ilikimi will improve the understanding and future research in the area of veneer production at SPC in the South Pacific. They will be able to use the skills they have learned over their visit to train and guide other members of the CocoVeneer production team in Fiji,” Nolan said.

Grass launches dedicated microsite

In order to guarantee optimal service and advice worldwide for its cubist drawer system, Vionaro, with precision moves, Grass has launched an international interactive microsite focusing on this product.

The centrepiece of the site is an image film, which effectively sets the scene for the system, along with powerful images highlighting specific product features.
The idea behind this dedicated web presence was to give a special product its own special presentation space. Its minimalist design, perfect workmanship and precision movement turn heads in the real world.

The dedicated web presence is intended to provide an emotional bridge between the customer and a modern, informative presentation of the movement system.
“As well as informing our customers about the special features of Vionaro, we want to provide them with a virtually live experience of the product,” explains marketing head Andreas Marosch. “This idea has been achieved by incorporating targeted interactions which focus the visitor’s attention on key details of the drawer system. The playful way in which the special features of the product are discovered by customers and prospects also makes these details more memorable among the target group.”
The company’s passion for design and movement is reflected in the microsite’s design, which is consistently oriented towards Vionaro’s looks and visually echoes the product’s minimalist and cubist lines. A specific insight into the world of the movement system draws every visitor into the site which can also be accessed using a smartphone or tablet.

The cubist drawer system Vionaro is a second-to-none designer solution developed on the basis of a concealed drawer slide solution. It is already used in many living room, kitchen and bathroom applications all around the world. The slender 13-millimetre drawer side in this complete system, which was recognised with the coveted Red Dot Award in 2014, is based on the concealed drawer slide Dynapro.

As well as being successfully proven millions of times over in practical use, Dynapro was itself a winner of the internationally acclaimed design prize in 2010.

New environmental product declarations

An EPD is a standardised and verified way of quantifying the environmental impacts of a product based on a consistent set of rules, which have been developed through a stakeholder consultation process. These impacts are based on the product’s consumption of raw materials and energy, waste generation, and emissions to air, soil and water over its full life cycle. An EPD includes a carbon footprint alongside other environmental indicators. New plywood, particleboard and MDF environmental product declarations (EPDs) make the full suite available to Australian designers seeking Green Star and environmental ratings.

Now five WoodSolutions environmental product declarations for softwood, hardwood, plywood, particleboard and MDF are available for free download from

New home building – Australia’s economic star

The latest ABS housing figures (14 October 2015) confirm the new home building sector as the star performer of the Australian economy according to the Housing Industry Association (HIA), the voice of Australia’s residential building industry.

“Despite a modest decline in new dwelling commencements in the June 2015 quarter, there was still a record number of 211,976 new homes started in 2014/15 – an increase of 16.9%,” said HIA Chief Economist, Dr Harley Dale. “That is a phenomenal result, which caps three consecutive years of growth for new home building – only the fifth time in the last 60 years that this feat has been achieved.”

“New dwelling commencements will fall in 2015/16, but should remain elevated at what would still be the second highest level on record. The key to the short term prospects for new home building is how much work in the pipeline is converted into actual activity – it’s not coming through as quickly now,” said Harley Dale. “An orderly decline in commencements in 2015/16 remains the most likely outcome. However, the credit rationing aimed at curbing investor activity is having a broad impact and risks generating a sharper fall.”

China International Kitchen and Bathroom Expo 2015

CIKB 2015, jointly organised by the China National Hardware Association (CNHA) and Koelnmesse, closed on 23 October to resounding success. With 156 leading exhibitors, it confirmed its position as the only specialised kitchen show in China.

CIKB 2015 witnessed significant growth with around 18,000 visitors (a nearly 30% increase) visiting the three day event, including vast numbers of agents and dealers.
The next CIKB will be held from 21-23 October 2016 in the National Exhibition & Convention Centre (Shanghai).

More new openings for SICAM

New markets and emerging countries are a constant factor at SICAM.

Held in Pordenone in October, the seventh edition of SICAM once more confirmed how the international trade fair calendar has found a stable balance. The four days of the trade event saw the attendance of buyers, designers and technicians of the global furnishing industry.

“Companies look for quality relationships at the trade fair,” commented the event organiser, Carlo Giobbi, “and we provided it this year with operators from over 6,700 companies, with 29% from abroad.

“Kitchen manufacturers and furniture-makers at SICAM are constantly looking for high-technology solutions,” Giobbi commented, “which enable their products, in addition to being innovative and constantly more aesthetically pleasing, to make the most of the space, a trait that is increasingly more strategic in new homes. Even the customisation of each component has a growing importance. The creativity and capacity to offer technologically-advanced solutions are two assets of the many artisan enterprises that use SICAM as the most effective shop window to get into contact with important players, not only in furniture but also in the international kitchen industry.”

The next fair will be held during 18 to 21 October 2016.

SCM Group choose Xylexpo 2016

SCM Group announced it will exhibit at the next Xylexpo. Their participation in the international industry exhibition fits into a strategy of strong development and innovation that the Rimini-based group is pursuing in different markets. While pursuing its expansion strategy through extensive operations on a global scale; SCM Group keeps a strong focus on the Italian market, which has been searching for the quality and reliability offered by the SCM brand for over 60 years.
The next fair will be held at at FieraMilano-Rho from Tuesday 24 to 28 May, 2016.