Others See Floor and what do we see? Flip the tile with WDC at Architect’24มิติกับ WDC ที่สถาปนิก’67

‘Others see floor, we see MORE’ is a business motto which can be speculated as having something to do with the floor and wall decoration industry. This phrase from people in the industry ignites within us the need to search for, inquire, connect issues to see more in every dimension of this innovation.

From almost 20 years of experience in discovering, importing, developing, and distributing premium floor and wall decorative materials, WDC is the importer of floor and wall decorative materials from countries all over the world. It is therefore not difficult for us to reveal a good conversation that connects the questions and answers with Khun Benz – Boonprasert Sirirojrattana, Senior Corporate Brand and Retail Marketing, Western Decor Corporation Public Company Limited, who has impressed us with his storytelling and how he conveyed WDC’s identity so deeply that it exceeds expectations from consumers like us.

Especially the exact sentence that he said with a smile and eyes filled with passion: “Innovation is the only way to win. Innovation is what will allow people to establish oneself as someone who conquers the market. Why is innovation so important? Because it improves the quality of human life.”

Just by this opening, we would like to invite readers to “See More” of this simple yet extraordinary conversation.

20 years of experience with a standpoint in 3 dimensions ‘innovation, design, value’

“This year our company enters its 20th year of being an importer and distributor of tiles. What we give importance to is that apart from being a decorative material for floors and walls, we want tiles to be one element in improving people’s quality of life. There must be something more to it than just beauty.”

With this introduction, some readers may not be able to visualize the concept. Khun Benz then explained the vision that WDC based its business on, which is succinctly summarized in 3 words: innovation, design, value.

“These three words come from an attempt to decipher what elements are contained in a single tile and looking at tile as an architectural element, what properties does it have that serve customers? Another thing that follows is the issue of value for money.

We wish to deliver elegant tiles with a European outlook but with Asian price as our goal is for consumers to have aesthetic and practical tiles at an affordable price and easy to access.

The last dimension is innovation. We think that innovation is the only way to win. Innovation allows users to be the person who conquers the market. Why is innovation so important? Because it improves the quality of life. Innovation is life-changing. It makes life easier, more beautiful, with higher quality.”

Though these 3 words may seem short. With Khun Benz’s explanation, they turn out to be something that covers the benefits for consumers in a comprehensive way.

Tiles that improve the quality of life in an aging society

After discussing about WDC’s 3 dimensions, we still feel confused about the notion that floor and wall decoration innovations can improve the quality of life. However, after listening to Khun Benz’s story, we understood the whole picture. We did not realize that one single tile can unknowingly become a part of life in today’s aging society.

“Presently, Thailand has fully entered the aging society, therefore the segment of elderly customers is quite large. This customer group is rather concerned about safety.

The innovation has answered the need of improving the quality of life with anti-slip tiles that have a soft, comfortable surface. The mechanism is coating the surface with a special substance that makes the tiles soft when dry. Whenever the tiles are wet, the surface will become more viscous, rendering the tiles to be safe and do not hurt your feet.”

Different raw materials from different locations

As mentioned during the beginning of the interview, WDC is an importer of tiles from countries all over the world. We therefore posed a question whether tiles from different origins hold unique characteristics or differences in the production process that create the identity of each kind of tile. Khun Benz also delved deeper into geology by telling us that:

“I must say that one factor that determines the characteristics of factories in each country is the geography. Each area has different raw materials, which is soil, for making tiles. Indonesia is home to volcanoes, so there will be a lot of minerals in their soil. China has kaolin, meaning that it would be able to produce a different type of tile. Therefore, geography is one factor that determines the kind of tiles each country will produce.”

‘Tile’: the item which protects the world and environment

‘Sustainability’ Just hearing this term alone may make you feel overwhelming and would rather stop reading this very second. We would like to say that even though we may feel the same way, one thing that cannot be denied nor ignored is that sustainability is not a superficial concept; rather, it is the principle that helps save environmental crises created by the hands of human.

We see that sustainability is something that must be broadcasted for all sectors of industry, and WDC itself does not miss joining the movement of entrepreneurs to protect the world and the environment.

“Tile is a relatively environmentally-friendly material because it can be recycled. It is made from clay. Once it has exhausted its usage, we can grind the tile and turn it back into clay and produce a new one again. This process answers the question of how sustainable tiles are.

However, we wish to advance further. Doing business for profit is one thing but doing business responsibly is equally important, which I see is a matter of sustainability for ourselves and our world.”

Designers who are like the brand’s influencer

Enough of rather technical and serious questions. We are here to appeal the group of people who are passionate about design who may have to reminisce Architect’22 where WDC has collaborated with ACA Architects to communicate to consumers to view tiles as an architectural element, through the 3D model in the Thematic Pavilion.

Equally exciting is the collaboration with a well-known designer in the industry, Khun Duangrit Bunnag, in breaking design rules and challenging the potential of tile, which took 3 years to invent and design. This collection is called ‘Mediate’, tiles that resemble natural stone hidden with innovation beyond nature.

“We view designers as the brand’s influencer and as a user. Therefore, we deeply understand that design work or design service providers such as architects play an important role in explaining ideas to homeowners and users.

We see that designers understand trends and design, so we think it would be exciting if we could bring in the experience and expertise of an architect who has an understanding of space, to assist us in innovating or thinking of new design.”

At Architect’24, WDC is ready to come back in full force. For those of you who are customers of WDC or just get to know the brand through this interview, Khun Benz has revealed to us that there will be many innovations that will meet the needs in terms of practical use, design that meets the needs of today and the novelty that can be experienced at Architect’24.

Break the rule of floor and wall decorative materials

We are already in 2023, are tiles still just a decorative material for floors and walls? The previous discussion about the design of the Thematic Pavilion might well answer this question. However, we think it is not clear enough. We wish to know in detail so that readers can become familiar with tiles which can function more than just floor and wall decoration.

“Today’s innovation means tiles can be applied in several areas. In the past, it was hard to find lightweight, smudge-proof and anti-leak tiles that could be attached to building facade.

However, with technology that allows us to produce tiles which are thin, lightweight, durable, resistant to weather conditions and available in beautiful patterns, tile can be used in many ways, such as in facade cladding or decorate a basin.

Some are being used in ways we’ve never seen before, like the cantilever, which is at risk of falling over. But the lighter weight of the tiles combined with easier installation, they have become something more than just a material used to decorate floors and walls,” recalled Khun Benz.

Tiles we see in the future

Tiles have progressed a lot from the past, and what about 30 – 40 years from now on? In which direction will tiles help elevate the design industry? This issue was raised after listening to the story of WDC from its founding.

“30 – 50 years ago, the tile business was monopolized by only a few players. What happens is that consumers don’t have access to that many choices.

The arrival of imported tiles has made the market more active and dynamic, which the seller must search for the best, most appealing, and best priced products.

Ultimately, it will make the overall atmosphere of the market more interesting as there will be more options. Consumers can choose the right product for them at a reasonable price, which is exactly the definition of competition. In the end, the people who benefit are the consumers.

And we believe that tiles that are similar to natural stone will be cheaper, because each company is importing various products. Therefore, the competition will surely lead the interior design industry in a more interesting and improved direction.”

And how do readers see the tiles that are characters in the design world?

Telling the story briefly before fully experiencing at Architect’24

“WDC is about to open its 9th branch, which is the largest flagship store. We are ready to provide the perfect tile purchasing experience. The store will consist of line-up products already for sale and imported innovations, including debossed and embossed tile, which gives the surface a naturally realistic texture.

This is just the first highlight of the many innovations that we have. If I have to list them all, it would probably take us until 6 p.m. (laughs). But the main thing I wish to present at Architect’24 is that we have already opened our 9th flagship branch, which will be packed with never-before-seen innovative design products. And the important thing is value that consumers will receive from WDC.”

Stop by WDC Branch 9 and do not miss Architect’24 as we have emphasized many times that WDC will bring so much value and specialness that makes the event unmissable.

“I believe that the Architect Expo each year is like a national event for those interested in coming to update innovations and new products. With this, we will witness something new in the world of architecture. Architect Expo is another platform that helps elevate the design industry, not just architecture, but also the world of home decorators, developers, and others, so I don’t want you to miss the Architect’24.”

This comeback is very special and please remember the location of the WDC booth, No. S108 at Architect’24, the 36th ASEAN’s Largest Building Technology Exposition during 30 April – 5 May, 2024 at Challenger Hall, IMPACT Muang Thong Thani.