Webinar: Fabric Structures and The Architectural Community: Building Partnerships Through Awareness and Personal Relationships

December 1, 2020 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

12 – 1 pm CST

Free for Members
$39 for Non-Members

Architectural projects are notoriously complex, circuitous, and lengthy. Every project can involve hundreds of players, thousands of decisions, and millions of dollars. This makes sense considering that each building is custom designed for a specific site, climate and particular client’s needs. Generally speaking, economies of scale rarely exist. With virtually no exposure to fabric in any architectural school curriculum, how can the FSA educate the A&D community about fabric structures and provide ongoing support for their evaluation and specification as building components? The answer is by creating broad industry awareness of product capabilities and applications while developing ongoing personal relationships with individual architects and architectural librarians.


Arlene Simon’s unusual, dual career includes both textiles and architecture, creating a unique understanding of each industry and their compatibility in today’s building environment.

As a textile design graduate of Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science (currently Thomas Jefferson University), she initially worked in NYC at Burlington Industries in woven product development and at Hoechst Fibers Industries, developing large fiber programs with yarn spinners. After receiving her MBA from New York University, she moved to Boston to join the new Market Development & Product Innovation Team at The Kendall Company. Here she developed a market research program for exploring new product ideas and identifying expansion opportunities into new market segments. She also led a team that received U.S. patent “Apparatus and Method for Hydropatterning Fabric” for a unique subtractive coloring process.

During the time period when the domestic textile industry accelerated its shift to overseas production, Arlene received an unsolicited opportunity from a Boston architectural firm to market and sell architectural services throughout New England. Easily transferring her strong interpersonal skills and experience in the design and problem solving process, she developed a keen insight into the challenges of building owners as they communicated their vision to the architect, and into how the architect evaluated and selected building components for each project. Her clients included private owners, developers, institutions, cultural and government entities.

After ten years of working directly for architects in business development, Arlene put the proverbial shoe on the other foot and started calling on architectural firms as a manufacturer’s representative. With an insider’s knowledge of the A&D community, her focus on educating architectural teams about the aesthetic and performance characteristics of new building materials, and their applicability in various end-use markets was extremely effective. She has represented over a dozen interior and exterior products to her database of over 500 architectural firms ranging in size from sole proprietorships to large, multi-national companies.

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December 1, 2020 12:00 pm

December 1, 2020 1:00 pm