Choosing sustainable products and materials

Ashby charts help to select materials considering both technical and environmental requirementsThe increasing availability of product environmental information provides an opportunity for consumers to choose more sustainable products and for designers to be rewarded for selecting more sustainable materials. Continue reading

RIGHT NOW on materials: “20 Magical Materials” – a pop-up exhibition.

Ferro FluidDanish Society for Materials Technology; DSM, Futation and the Danish Design Centre present an exhibition with 20 fascinating materials, all with ‘special features’.

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INTERVIEW: Anthony Brennan, Sharklet Technologies on shark skin surfaces


Learning from nature has become a main driver for Sharklet Technologies.
The company develops bacteria resistant surfaces based on the texture of shark skin. Danish Design Centre has interviewed the founder of the company, Anthony Brennan.

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INTERVIEW: Megan Schuknecht, Biomimicry 3.8 Institute – on the potential of Biomimicry

Drops on bambooMore and more we tend look towards Nature when designing. Not a bad idea at all as Nature’s potential is enormous. In an interview with Danish Design Centre, Megan Schuknecht from the Biomimicry 3.8 Institute gives some examples of how companies can use Biomimicry in product development.

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RIGHT NOW on materials: “Materials for New Energies”, Conference in Hessen, DE

little-wings. Felix Kraemer
Conference: “Materials for New Energies”, September 13, 2012,
Instituto Cervantes,  Frankfurt/Main, Germany
With the conference “Materials for New Energies”, the action line Hessen-Nanotech of the Hessian Ministry for Economics, Transport and Regional Development, speeds up the transfer of technology into marketable products for the energy and information technology users, product developers, designers and architects about the latest developments.
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Biomimetics as a tool for the development of new materials

Drops of water on a super-hydrophobic surface (photo by Pablo Axpe)

Biomimetics is on everyone’s lips and it is now difficult to imagine a future where it does not play a key role in the development of our society. The development of new materials is not unconcerned with this new discipline, though we must be aware of what we can obtain (and what we cannot) from imitating Nature’s strategies.

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RIGHT NOW on materials: Design by Nature – Biomimicry mini-conference, Copenhagen

Biomimicry – ‘Design inspired by Nature’ – is getting more and more attention as a tool to solve human problems by looking at natures own design, systems and processes.
On Thursday August 23rd. Danish Design Centre organises a mini-konference about the subject. The event will take place at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) from 12.00-17.30 and will have a line-up of Biomimicry experts from both Denmark and abroad.
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Mystic Vehicle of Contemporary Technology

Researchers at Rensselaer have created the darkest material ever made. Able to absorb more than 99.9 percent of lighting, the discovery could one day be used to boost the effectiveness and efficiency of solar energy conversion, infrared sensors, and other devices.If you carefully observe designed objects around you, perhaps you may find the unspoken process of their birth. Their ingredients and parts should come from somewhere in this globe, and mixed and combined together in a factory of somewhere, through hands and ideas of somebodies. In that sense, material is a vehicle fulfilled with the soul of our contemporary technology.
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Five Natural Beauties From Around The World

Aart Meeting Up With a Green Minded Local in Bali, Indonesia
Last year, materials expert Aart van Bezooyen traveled around the world on the “It’s Not Easy Being Green-tour” – in search for sustainable solutions in materials and design. Together with his partner Paula Raché, he explored twelve countries during six months and returned with lots of inspiring materials and items with great stories.

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Materials and tennis equipment

Finite element model of a tennis ball impacting a racket.
Technological innovations have had a considerable impact on the game of tennis.
This article will summarise how tennis equipment has changed and discuss the latest techniques used in the design and development of tennis equipment.

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Materials and Manufacturing Education: Three Phases of Understanding

Mosaic of materials
Materials and manufacturing processes remains an essential component of industrial design education. But for many students and young designers, they are still unsure of their comfort with these complex issues and how they affect their designs. By sharing my experience, I hope to give them a better idea how their knowledge, experience and confidence will develop over time.
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RIGHT NOW on materials: “Materials for Winners” – international conference at Danish Design Centre

Materials for Winners
Innovation in materials and technology creates sports stars. Join this international conference on materials and technology in sports equipment.
Danish Design Centre 06.21.12 / 09:00 – 16:00

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Reflections from nature

909 5th Ave. Seattle building designed by Ruffcorn Hinthorne Mott and Stine Architects. The stainless steel facade tiles have bright structured colour coatings. Courtesy from Millenneum Tiles LLC. Beetles, butterflies and birds are masters in fantastic bright colours and remarkable metallic reflections. Similar effects are now becoming possible in man-made materials.
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A Design Boost for Natural Fibre Composites

Layer Chair by Jorrit TaekemaIt is expected that the use of renewable raw materials can give a substantial impulse for a sustainable society. Natural Fiber Composites can provide an alternative for increasingly scarce raw materials.
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It’s not only the material…

Nike Flyknit. Photo: NIKENew materials that are being developed today offer an enormous potential for innovation. But the material itself is not the innovation. To develop a truly innovative product it takes more…..
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REMATERIALISE – The Sustainable Materials Library

Material Samples from Rematerialise Library: Gridcore, Resilica, Bioviron, BeLeaf, Aimouri Koubou, Atlantic Leather.Materials can be recycled, re-processed, renewed and reduced. Designers have a crucial collaborative role to play, for material development to continue to have less impact upon the environment. Up to 90% of the material that we throw away is recoverable. Someone somewhere has the imagination and the ingenuity to turn this rubbish into a resource.
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Hello Nanomaterials – Towards Cultural (R)Evolution

Also foils, textiles and membranes can be optimized with the help of nanotechnology
Nanotechnology and nanomaterials already affect all branches from aerospace to automotive over IT and medicine, to architecture and design – but by now, it’s just the very beginning of what’s coming up far beyond the horizon. Nanomaterials will change our world and approach to materials completely.

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‘Material World’ – exhibition at the Danish Architecture Centre

Material World - From materials to new architectureMaterial World – from materials to new architecture.
Our ability to constantly develop and use existing materials in new ways while continuously creating brand new ones has been essential to the way architecture has changed its form, expression and style over the centuries. Today, advanced material research and development has become a complex branch of science focusing on financial, resource-related and environmental sustainability.
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RIGHT NOW on materials: ‘Build it Green’

Build it Green - (PLA524 - Recycled plastic sheets)
On may 23rd an interesting material event takes place at the Materia Inspiration Centre in Amsterdam: Materia Xpert Series – Build it Green

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How the Spanish industry adopts new materials to face new challenges

Section of grooved contact wireIn recent years Spanish industry is experiencing a silent revolution, a veritable industrial transition: it is being transformed from a highly traditional model to a new model based on the optimization of productivity and the new economy of knowledge, with maximum respect for the environment and for our planet, preserving resources and better managing energy expenditure. Materials play a huge role in this revolution.

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