The Suite Concept project aims to create completely new products in the interior design sector, aimed at a demanding public interested in unique, handcrafted creations. The project is part of the Creative Industries specialisation area, furniture sector, and uses the enabling technology of advanced materials (such as: metallic materials, optical fibre, carbon fibre, titanium dioxide, silver nano-particles) which will be used in collaboration with a research organisation in the field of chemical sciences. The drivers of the project will be design and creativity, ensured by the involvement of leading professionals in the interior design sector. The project aims to combine different traditional and non-traditional materials to create new, creative products that are scientifically validated in terms of their assembly methods, compatibility, durability and resistance. The project intends to follow the trajectory of the development of innovative materials for the creative industry, since the combination of the companies’ technical expertise in the processing of traditional materials and the chemical knowledge on the properties of materials (including advanced materials) provided by the research organisation may allow the development of new (multi-component) materials for creative productions.
The project intends to carry out both industrial research activities, focused in particular on nanoparticle-based antibacterial materials, and experimental development, in order to define a new scientifically validated design product and make prototypes with considerable potential for future marketability. At the basis of the project idea, there are the limits represented by the current knowledge of the companies concerning the most effective assembly methods and the awareness of an innovation opportunity to be exploited, in order to make the companies involved more competitive and to convey a new approach to traditional materials for interior furniture.
The project partnership is composed of several companies specialised in the processing of different materials or products, namely: plaster, marble, wood, metal, furniture and lighting. The combination of these different competences and the in-depth knowledge of the individual raw materials, combined with the nanometric study of material interfaces and their properties, will make it possible to develop new and better solutions for the creation of integrated objects in so-called “Suite” living spaces (consisting of an entrance hall, living room, kitchenette, bedroom and bathroom), in line with current trends in the furniture sector. The development of the project will start with the identification of specific (traditional) materials to be processed, followed by an in-depth study in the laboratory to identify possible problems related to their combination. Alongside the problems, possible solutions will be offered, such as the use of new generation materials (e.g. innovative glues, engineered foams, etc.) to be used in combination with traditional raw materials in order to create innovative (multi-component) materials. Specific industrial research on antibacterial treatments based on functionalised silver nanoparticles will be carried out with the research body involved and will result in an effective anti-ageing technique for manufactured products. Following this, drawings of the objects to be made will be produced based on the traditional raw materials identified. After the study and research phase, the production phase will take place, consisting of product engineering, physical prototyping of the product, laboratory testing and validation/verification. The final phase of the project concerns external validation, transferability of the results and marketability of the products.