Innovative ideas inspired by nature. Guided by the theme “Earth Attraction,” KURZ presented sustainable and effective product solutions at the world’s largest technology trade fair, CES 2021. The KURZ Visionary Design Team is known for exciting concepts with jaw-dropping elements. Not surprising then that the designers once again caused a stir at the trade fair. For starters, the team had huge whales fly over the Las Vegas night sky—at least in their impressive product clip “Whale in Vegas.” The professional audience was amazed at how seamlessly wildlife, concept idea, and reality merged together. The whale’s soaring flight represented a breathtaking combination of innovative printing techniques and exceptional surface design.
“Visionary Design redefines the term 'design'. It’s more provocative; more sustainable. And the very blend of art and engineering that drives us here.”
Michael Ucke, Head of KURZ Visionary Design
Translating natural effects into surprising surface designs is the main objective of the KURZ Visionary Design Team. In the search for new ideas, their focus finally settled on the whale. Product designers and engineers across the board have long been inspired by the mechanism of action of whale fins—for example, when developing fans and rotor blades. But just how did the whale become a model for a new surface? “What makes this whole concept so special and exciting is how we combined our two in-house technologies of gravure printing and silk-screen printing,” explains Karin Salzmann from the KURZ Visionary Design Team. Thanks to its metallized surface, the gravure film exudes that special something and boasts a very high-quality, elegant touch. Silk-screen effects look quite rough in comparison. The blend of the two technologies brought about the decisive eureka moment. Karin Salzmann explains: “Suddenly, the image of a whale popped into my mind: how it glides majestically and elegantly through the sparkling seas, yet when viewed close up, also has a certain roughness to its skin.”
In fact, the whale design combines several innovative ideas and production technologies on one surface. This results in an incredible depth effect. The glossy lines of the chrome-colored surface look like deep cervices. In combination with the grid structure, this design lends an exceptional dynamic quality to components or automotive interior elements.
This innovative whale design is the first time here at KURZ that real metallized films have been deformed three-dimensionally and backlit at the same time. Here, gravure and silk-screen printing combine to create an impressive imitation of real whale skin; right down to an extraordinary feel which, incidentally, can be combined with backlighting and touch controls à la Shy Tech Design—an exclusive design that unobtrusively hides away state-of-the-art elements under surfaces for an elegant overall look.
The soft color streams of the designs, in particular, give the surface a distinctive, individual appearance with varying degrees of matt. The undefined basic structure, together with the glossy lines, create an unexpected, visual depth—an effect that can be amplified many times with backlighting. This creates a special dynamic—a visual flow that breathes life into the component and makes it appear as if it is constantly in motion. It is unexpected elements and concepts like “Whale in Vegas“ that give surfaces and interior designs a unique character.
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