In September 2023, a group of Vilnius Technology and Design College students visited Gforma solid surface production headquarters in Kaunas. Students were accompanied by their teacher, interior designer Jaroslav Daveiko. Being one of Lithuania's leading solid surface fabricators, Gforma has two offices located in Kaunas and Vilnius apart from the main workshop area in Kaunas. Just before setting down to prepare for their final diploma projects, 23 future interior designers decided to give a closer look at solid surface materials.
Gforma's experts introduced the students to the properties and applications of solid surface materials. They shared their experience about the most challenging projects, and some interesting projects that were in the nearest plans. The vast colour palette and variety of patterns make acrylic solid surface increasingly popular in decoration of modern spaces. The sleek and minimalistic look of acrylic stone details makes it fit perfectly into almost any interior design concept. Students observed the work of Gforma's professionals and learnt how acrylic solid surface is processed. They asked any question they came up with and got detailed answers from the experts.
Acrylic solid surface items are very practical in such spaces as kitchens or bathrooms as they are easy to clean and maintain. Long solid surface washbasins with a drainer over one edge are often installed in public hotel or restaurant bathrooms. When looking at such a washbasin, no water outlet is visible, just a narrow strip along the edge. The seamless, one-piece form of the final product helps to reveal the chosen solid surface pattern and texture.
Many were surprised at the seamless look of acrylic stone products made from several constituent parts. For example, solid surface worktops are seamlessly glued to splashbacks of the same material, leaving no sign of gluing, and even the slightest gap at the joint. Moreover, the joining angle is normally slightly rounded (in fractions of a millimetre) to avoid sharp corners. As a result, the final product looks one-piece, as if it were molded from a solid mass. Such worktops are easy to clean as no gaps remain for water or dirt to accumulate. The designers checked the invisible gluing seams with their fingers trying to feel the joint, but with no success.
The most exciting part of the visit for the students was the production workshop. Anyone could try to bend, fold or give a desired form to hot acrylic solid surface piece. Students learned to glue separate solid surface parts together into one single item using special glue, and to polish the final product. Before the workshop, many had no idea how acrylic stone sinks are seamlessly molded into the countertops, and how a thin solid surface slab acquires different, sophisticated shapes. During the workshop, the students watched the solid surface fabrication process performed by Gforma professionals.
Instead of spending two academic hours at the Gforma headquarters as agreed, the students stayed longer than three hours. They left in good spirits, heads full of new ideas, and hands full of solid surface samples. The future designers noticed that solid surface material is quite heavy, but it gives a visual impression of lightness. This is the reason why architectural pieces made from solid surface do not visually load the space.