DAMADEI – “Design and Advanced Materials As a Driver of European Innovation”

Thermally activated 3D textile with shape memoryIn recent years advanced materials have emerged and are having a major impact on the products around us. Coming from science and technology advanced materials can outperform traditional materials as they for instance can be tougher, can withstand higher temperatures, and can be tailored into new shapes. When combining these materials with design the door to future products and solutions opens.However, there are still some barriers obstructing the full development of such potential.

At the DAMADEI Symposium in the Roca Gallery on March 1st.: Mark Miodownik, materials scientist and Director of The institute of making & Chris Lefteri, materials expert ©SusanSmartPhotography

At the DAMADEI Symposium in the Roca Gallery, London on March 1st.: Mark Miodownik, Materials Scientist and Director of The institute of making & Chris Lefteri, materials expert ©SusanSmartPhotography

One of the main remaining barriers is the lack of knowledge of the potential use of advanced materials in designing new products.
Danish Design Centre has partnered up with FAD in Barcelona and Happy Materials in Prague on the EU-project DAMADEI – “Design and Advanced Materials As a Driver of European Innovation”. The project that runs till Ultimo October 2013 seeks to put focus on European competitiveness and raise awareness among designers and to provide them with the appropriate experience on how to take advantage of the huge opportunities regarding these advanced materials.


Besides consolidating a long-term collaborative European infrastructure to enhance the current network of partners through the involvement of the main European design sector and advanced materials stakeholders DAMADEI also aims to identify the needs, barriers and common areas of applications of both sectors as well as developing the potential interaction of Design and Advanced Materials as drivers of European innovation.
As a part of this 4 workshops (London 1st March, Copenhagen 22nd April, Prague 28nd May and Barcelona 8th July) will be hold to stimulate creative processes by exchanging European best practices in design through the application of advanced materials.

From the 1st DAMADEI Sympoium at Roca Gallery in London on March 1st.

Following these four workshops the exhibition ‘MATERIALSM EUROPEAN TOUR’ has been created. The exhibition that is curated by the partners of DAMADEI, aims to educate and to inspire the creative industries with 40+ advanced materials chosen from the material families that are driving today´s innovations:
Active materials, Nano materials, Advanced manufacturing, High performance polymers, Light alloys, Gels & Foams, Coatings, Advanced composites, Advanced textiles and Fibres.
From the exhibition MATERIALSM EUROPEAN TOUR when it visited London Roca Gallery in connection to the DAMADEI symposium held there on March 1st ©SusanSmartPhotography

At last but not least – and based on the DAMADEI’s mapping of the European Design and Advanced Materials sectors – a collaborative platform with an online database and meeting point for Design and Advanced Materials is being created.
DAMADEI Platform
The DAMADEI platform

This platform will give any user the possibility to search European actors of advanced materials within suppliers, designers, technology centres and connecting centres in nine different material categories: Active materials,
Advanced composites, Advanced manufacturing, Advanced textiles and fibers, Coatings, Gels and foams, High Performance Polymers, Light Alloys and Nanotecnology.
The platform is for now in a beta version, and will be growing throughout the project period: http://www.damadei.eu

Where are you?

As a big part of the project is to map the European sector of advanced materials and design for the online platform we are looking for European actors working with advanced materials and/or design. If you are one of those please don’t hesitate to contact us. (DAMADEI contact person at Danish Design Centre: Maria Hørmann, mho@ddc.dk)

Definition on advanced materials

An advanced material is any material that, through the precise control of its composition and internal structure, features a series of exceptional properties (mechanical, electrical, optical, magnetic properties, etc) or functionalities (self-repairing, shape change, decontamination, transformation of energy, etc) that differentiate it from the rest of the universe of materials; or any that, when transformed through advanced manufacturing techniques, features such properties or functionalities.


barna_logos_FAD_MATERFADFAD in Barcelona is a private, independent and not-forprofit association that has the objective of promoting design and architecture in the country’s cultural, economic and social spheres. It is articulated through different associations that represent the various disciplines of design: ADI-FAD industrial design – ADG-FAD graphic design and visual communication – ARQUIN-FAD architecture and interior design – A-FAD art, handicrafts – MODA-FAD image and fashion. Founded in 1903, it has become the first centre of reference for design and architecture in Spain thanks to its constant work in promoting creative culture through exhibitions, professional talks, prizes and events. The FAD creates incentives to encourage the world of enterprise to incorporate design through numerous activities and projects. Materfad is one of them. The Barcelona Materials Centre, linked to the European network of matériO materials centres, results from the increasing role played by materials in the development of our society. Materfad’s objective is to give visibility to the agents producing innovative or singular materials and to efficiently guide designers in order to thus foster the transfer of knowledge.

DAMADEI contact person at FAD: Valerie Bergeron, vbergeron@fad.cat

HM_MAT squareHM was established in 2004 in Prague and its main aim is to explore and bring information about new materials
to the Czech market. HM provides information about innovative materials through seminars, exhibitions and publishing vocational articles and books.
HM has organized seminars for professionals and beginners/students from the creative industry. Seminars give them the knowledge of the development in this
area and increase their competitiveness on the labour market. It also provides the connection between producers of the materials and artists. HM owns a materials library (more than 1200 physical samples of materials), that has been transferred from matériO Paris in 2010, an independent information centre on materials and innovative products. This cooperation enables HM to have the latest information on new materials and to use the knowledge in educating.

DAMADEI contact person at Happy Materials: Lucie Havlová, lucie.havlova@happymaterials.com

Danish Design CentreThe Danish Design Centre is an independent, government-funded organization established in 1978. DDC’s focus in relation to the design community and
business sector is on collecting, communicating and testing knowledge about the main factors that influence design and how design can continue to be a driver
for innovation and growth in the future. The DDC is working with these topics in close cooperation with designers, partners, sponsors, businesses and audiences
both nationally and internationally. The aim is to strengthen society’s capacity through design and – in a contemporary way – to carry on, enhance and renew
the Danish design tradition. The DDC’s mantra is “design that makes sense”, and its key knowledge areas are new materials, new technology, and big data.

DAMADEI contact person at Danish Design Centre: Maria Hørmann, mho@ddc.dk

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Maria HørmannAbout Maria Hørmann
Maria is creator and editor of ‘Hello Materials Blog’, creator of “My Darling Materials” and Project Manager of the Danish Design Centre’s Design & Innovation team. She follows closely the development within the environmental area, and has a broad, professional knowledge of materials.
> More about Maria Hørmann

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