Natural stone harbors humanity’s journey within its infiniteness. It has become one of the most basic building materials of architecture due to its durability and sustainability. There isn’t an aspect of our lives that it hasn’t touched thanks to advances in technology. Designers can’t live without it either.
We are curious about what 2021 has got in store for the design world. Covid-19 has made all of us more conscious of hygiene. We’ve turned the mike over to architects, interior designers and industrial designers. We want to know what they think: What will be trending this year in natural stone? Where are we going to see it used more? What colors, textures and types of stone might people go for?
Ali Derya Dostoğlu, Architect
Studio Per Se
Natural stone as a very
important trait: When you make thick enough walls out of it, it makes a
fabulous thermal insulator. Whatever heat it traps throughout the day can warm
a building at night. Likewise, whatever frigidity it absorbs at night can
soothe the heat of the day. Turkey’s Northern Aegean is a prime example of
this: Sweltering days, freezing nights. You can see tones of natural stone
homes everywhere you look there. Why? Because the climate is ideal for what the
material has to offer, I think. I therefore feel that we’re likely to see more
people opting for stone as a filler or liner on exterior walls this year, which
is anything but new.
If you have the ability to choose local materials, then you should do so. That is, choosing stone that be it from a nearby quarry or an old lot suits the local climate, local geography and local architecture. Of course, you also have to be mindful of quarry rehabilitation. All things considered, lots of people are keen on building themselves a home out in the country. You’re therefore likely to see more stone walls and stone façades. Since 2000, architecture impacted by the ever-depending climate crisis has focused on going green and sustainability. Architects feel the pressure of this. The Covid-19 pandemic has added to that, if not pushed people even faster to go green. Couple that with the fact that many of us are now working from home…I think that this situation, which coincides with the introduction of remote working into our lives, will increase the demand for nature, natural materials and natural stone.
Hakan Habif, Architect
I think the subject of
natural stone is a very large and endless world in itself. Since the
development of humanity, it has always been at the forefront of our lives both
as a building element and as household appliances. With the advancement of
technology, it left its place to much more up-to-date materials and continued
to take place in our lives in different ways, and it will continue from now on.
In this period when technology is advancing at a dizzying speed, I think that
the stone materials used as decoration elements will be used increasingly, on
the contrary, with processes that are as natural as possible, that have not
been processed, and that do not spoil their natural appearance. In my opinion,
we will come across natural stone materials more often as accessories. For example,
natural stone products, which were frequently encountered in the past as
mortars, bowls, and candlesticks, left their place to samples made of more
industrial materials in the process, but I believe that they will enter our
lives intensely in the coming years.
The pandemic process we all go through has caused us to question many issues over and over again. For this reason, I think that it will enable us to head towards simpler lives and that the products we use will simplify in this process. In summary, natural stone will be increasingly used in the new year in its most natural and least touched form.
Zeynep Akten, Architect
Tuba Şehitoğlu, Architect
The pandemic has been
difficult on all of us. It has radically altered how we look at spaces and
especially our own homes, which for many of us have also become our offices. On
that note, many of us are seeking a corner where we can shut the door and work
in peace. We also need spaces beyond that where we can simply live and that
calm us down make us feel at ease. This is where our need to feel close to
nature enters the picture. Nature offers us that sense of calm. It is the
backbone of our evolution. We are right now in the middle of a period where we
want to bring biophillia into the home. In the light of these thoughts, we
believe that natural stone will be used more frequently in both living spaces and
social and commercial spaces in 2021, as it is a part of nature and
Likewise, we believe that extraordinary stones that can provide new breaths to old spaces will attract more attention, along with calm stones in natural shades that provide hygiene conditions to the maximum and physically harmonize with other objects and colors in the houses. The period to come is going to see people become more conscious of need to strike a balance between our private, social and work lives. We therefore sense that natural stone is going to evolve as a more decorative and tactile, everyday element, e.g. as fireplaces, wall lining. We’re not talking about that massive marble dinner table for guests only either. We mean imagining everyday items: Work desks, small personal items, you name it.
The realization of the damage we have given to nature in recent years has paved the way for us to turn our face to nature. As we all experience from time to time, nature itself provides motivation in favor of the human will to hold on to life and to produce with it. According to the definition of Edward O. Wilson, the concept of biophile, which we mentioned above, is “the rich and natural pleasure of being surrounded by living organisms”. Earlier, the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle used the term “love of nature” to mean “cooperation”. It is time to evaluate nature and what nature provides us with a double-sided benefit mentality. Sustainability will and should occupy our agenda now. In our opinion, natural stone; with all its accessibility in the new year, it will be one of the indispensable parts of the environment that a person needs for both body and mental health.
Büşra Koçak, Architect
These days that we live
with the pandemic made us re-evaluate virtually everything. It has also offered
us the opportunity to re-discover all that we’ve underappreciated, overlooked,
and forgotten. One such a re-discovery is natural stone, which – ironically-
has been with us since the dawn of time.
For as long as we have been around, we have exploited stone for all sorts of purposes. It has proven how mature it is, no doubt. No material that we have invented since the industrial revolution can ever stand up to the air of prestige, individuality and agelessness that it can offer a space. Now, in the quest for quality, people are incorporating it into buildings more than ever. You see it in industrial design products like furniture, house décor, personal accessories. You see people choosing it, because it is versatile, durable, hygienic, scalable and because it comes in a wide range of surfaces and local varieties. You see more people interacting with it, to the point it has become an essential part of our lives.
We are now spending more time at home than perhaps we ever have. You’re thus going to find designers want to deepen their relationship with all things natural and to come up with superior spaces using wood and of course stone. The year ahead will see people turn to stone to line their floors with, to design industrial products with, and to create sculpture-esque accessories out of. They will want local stone, both because it has an organic feel about it, and because it comes in array of surfaces, patterns, and colors.
Nihal Akarsu, Interior Designer
Canan Tulca, Art Director
Climate change and the pandemic
have made us more conscious of our bond with nature. We feel that people are
going to take refuge in it whenever they make a choice. We live in an era where
technology and we are joined at the hip. The desire to move way from
artificiality and embrace the warmth of the organic is going to play a huge
factor in our decision-making. In short, you’re going to see natural stone,
especially the unprocessed kind, take center stage over the coming year.
We only use materials in our projects that add to the story and concept of that project in some way. Natural stone happens to be one such a material. We use it underscore, if you will, an idea or notion that we’re trying to get across. For example, we recently made use of stone in a project we were involved in, in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan). It suited the project’s story. We were commissioned to design an oriental restaurant for the top floor of the city’s tallest building. From it, you can gaze at a stunning view of Tian Shan. The location is magical. It mesmerizes you. We designed the restaurant such that, you feel as though you’re in a shrine atop cliff over looking the city. We took animism (the attribution of a soul to inanimate objects and natural phenomena), a notion key to Japanese Shintoism, as our point of reference. Everything has a soul: Mountains, rocks, the wind, rain…
We wanted to attribute a soul to the restaurant. To do that, we exploited natural materials, namely natural stone. When you enter the building, you immediately confront a boulder suspended mid air and a stone reception desk, behind which are a series of tall columns again lined in stone- that crawl their way towards a glass roof. Every detail features stone in some aspect to establish an ethereal ambiance. To illustrate, the restaurant’s center table is supported by piece of stone chiseled into the shape of a boulder. It brings out the best in the material. We predict that you’re going to see natural stone more in wet areas and in the form of furniture and accessories over the coming year. Technical innovations are allowing us to do more with natural products, all the while preserving their essence and improving absorbency. Hence, you are likely to the demand for natural stone to go up rather than drop.
Arda Işık, Architect
You’re going to see more people
choose natural stone for its texture and because it’s role as a building’s soul
bearer. People want stone tiles and plates that reflect the traits of its point
of origin. They like the variety it offers in terms of surface, finish, and
color. Technology will accelerate that. I feel that people might also lean
towards black marble with red, blue and even green undertones for stone plates
This year is going to see people line low-rise building façades with (namely cross-cut) marble plaques. For flooring, they might go for travertine tiles (of different cuts) in analog colors. The pandemic has caused nearly all of us to be more conscious about hygiene, and about what we use to sanitize/disinfect things. Unfortunately, the vast majority of commercial cleaning products out there regardless of what you use them for aren’t meant for natural stone at all. I thus feel that we’re going to not only find new functions for stone, but also find better ways of taking care of it.
Melis Varkal Deligöz, Architect
Gökhan Çelikağ, Architect
Natural stone is a rare material
due to its formation. Each different formation on its surface makes sense of
time, and at the same time, all these layers assume the representation of a
whole. When we examine Heidegger’s approaches to making sense of space, we can
infer that space is a place that can be experienced and felt with emotions. We
think that this multi-timeless / timeless material is a feature that expects to
be experienced with our senses in its textures, expressing its own quality with
the user’s approach and dominating the spirit of the space.
For this reason, we believe that in 2021, the features of natural stone in making sense of space will come to the forefront. We can say that stones such as marble, granite and quartz that offer different textures in each part, that can easily integrate with the space and dominate the poetics of the space will be at the forefront. Although related to the context, the use of natural stone in the new year will increase in the details of the space rather than being the main element in the project. These details can be included in furniture, as well as using interior walls or floors with different surface designs will add subjectivity to the space.
With the Covid-19 pandemic, the quality and quantity of the time we spend in our homes has changed. As a result, we think that our expectations from the housing space have also changed. Especially in such projects, we foresee that the use of natural stone in the interior will increase due to the subjectivity it adds and the sense of peace and tranquility it contains.
Kerem Erçin, Interior Designer
İrem Başer, Interior Designer
Mahmut Kefeli, Industrial Designer
Natural stone is a timeless
material. We think that it’s going to explode in popularity this year. Whatever
its finish, it is capable of creating an entire and very characteristic
atmosphere. The pandemic, likewise, has stirred a lot of discussion around the
issue of hygiene. That, in turn, is drawing people towards natural materials.
On that note, this year, we think, is going to be all about application
techniques and combing natural stone with other materials. It also looks as
though people are going to sway away from marble designs in search of textures
and finishes that are calmer, if not homogenous.
We assume that stone is going to be used in all sorts of ways. We ourselves already incorporate it into virtually everything. Of course, the kind of stone we use depends on what we’re dealing with. Nevertheless, we give it many functions and feature it everywhere. What’s important is that we want to do something with it. The virus crisis and people’s discussions around cleanliness and organic materials might push porcelain and materials like it into the spotlight if marketed right. That said, an inorganic medium is no replacement for an organic one.
Esen Akyar, Architect
Natural stone is a timeless
material, but as in every material, innovations, technology and innovative
thinking determine the use of natural stone. Therefore, while the shapes of
this solid material continue to transform with the technology, its usage areas
are gradually increasing. In this sense, I think we will see the use of
different natural stone materials more frequently in the coming years. If we
talk about various applications and areas of use, I think that thin and
flexible stone applications are advantageous in order to obtain a monolithic
image. Moreover, its flexibility enables it to cover circular surfaces.
Self-adhesive natural stone coatings, which are sized, that is, tiled, show
similarities with thin and flexible stone application. In addition to being
light and flexible, I find it advantageous that we can apply it on our own.
Composite natural stone panels are exciting for me as they complement each other and reveal a new material with much stronger properties. In addition, backlit natural stone panels provide a very pleasant atmosphere thanks to the translucency achieved. and offers lighting.
We see that double-sided fireplaces using natural stone have been on the rise in recent years. When it is placed in the space so that it can be seen from all sides, it is not just a fireplace, it becomes an element that defines the space. Moreover, thanks to the natural stone panels, it is also possible to obtain sculptural fireplaces that have almost no joints and offer integrity from floor to ceiling. Natural stone sinks can also be given as an example for different usage areas. With the Covid-19 pandemic, we are in a period where the topic of hygiene is being talked about more than ever. In this sense, I think that natural stone sinks will be used more frequently with the development of some hygiene-oriented applications. I think that revolutionary innovations are needed to make quarry mining technology sustainable so that we can continue to use natural stone, which is a material I love very much, with peace of mind.
Renda Helin Çilaloğlu Çizer, Interior Designer
Renda Helin Design
In the new year, I think natural
stones will be preferred due to their hygienic factor. In this sense, Marmara
marble with pajamas will be on the rise with its minimum level of bacteria. I
believe that this material, which has become a trend in furniture for a period,
will be more hygienic this time.
At the same time, I think natural stones will be used frequently in furniture and countertops. Where hygiene is important, such as the table, the preference will be to natural stones. The use of marble in consoles, coffee tables and even armchairs has already begun to be preferred by some trend-setting brands abroad. We will see it becoming more and more common.
I also believe that the marble fashion that has been on the kitchen doors for a while will continue for a few more years. In terms of design trends, rather than shining marbles, natural stones with more raw and matte images will be on the rise. If I need to give an example, I love the natural appearance of Seagrass marble, which is my favorite recently and which is also available in our country, and I use it in my projects.
I think the demand for natural stone will increase with the pandemic. People began to realize that natural materials are better for human health. Natural life and natural materials trend is rising day by day and will continue to rise. Hygienic, bacteriafree natural materials will be increasingly preferred by architects and industry leaders.
Doğan Mete, Architect
Doğan Mete Mimarlık
Now with the pandemic more or
less behind us, people are placing more value on privacy in the sense of
maintaining distance. You’re starting to see people lean towards places with gardens,
fireplaces, and private terraces. With that, I think that people are going to
use natural stone in homes, on kitchen countertops, as fireplace tops, and in
the entrance and waiting rooms of offices.
This year were going to see more marble, especially if it has lots of veins. We have used it a lot in our projects as of late. Our clients really like it to, it seems. It makes whatever we are designing unique all the while giving it a chic touch. Two main reasons people are choosing natural materials in the first place are health and hygiene. This period in our lives is only going to accelerate that. Additionally, people as of late have gone for fuller, softer-toned gradient marbles in the name of visual appeal as opposed to function. This year we will see marble make an appearance as a liner on TV wall units. In other words, marble will always hold a place in our projects at times, in familiar places; other times, in ways one never would have imagined before.
The pandemic has begun to change what we need and what we expect and fast at that. We are now more aware of the value of hygiene and of what we’ve overlooked. That, in turn, has pushed us to iron out details and to go about our business much more carefully when in places that must be kept sterile. In light of that, I strongly feel that the advantages that marble offers in terms of hygiene will draw more people towards it after Covid-19.