HIGH FOUR on materials: See it with your own eyes

Goggles made of fish scales - by Erik de Laurens
Glasses are basically made for vision correction or eye protection. But there is just much more to it. Glasses are no longer just glasses – and materials and technology play a huge role in this.

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The energy-fingerprints of products

Product families have a characteristic energy and carbon “footprint” – the consumption and emission over life. They also have a characteristic “fingerprint” – the way this energy and carbon is distributed between the material, the manufacture, the use and the disposal phases of product life. Understanding this fingerprint helps you understand how best to redesign the product or to change its use-pattern to reduce its energy consumption and emissions.

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RIGHT NOW on materials: ‘Materials Café’ at Hannover Messe 2012

Materials Cafe 2010 - Hannover Messe
These days at Hannover Messe an interesting material event is taking place:
Materials Café 2012 – A Materials and Design Exhibition Focused On Sustainability.

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Cross-pollinating your way to success

Wave Spring washers
There is a great untapped potential in already existing materials and technologies, but we need to improve at finding inspiration and solutions in the things that surround us.

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RIGHT NOW on materials: “In the end all design and architecture boils down to materials”

FORM Magazine - Material World

The Swedish ‘Form Magazine‘ has made a spring issue all about materials. They call it MATERIAL WORLD.

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Interview: Chris Lefteri on ‘What’s the fuss about materials’?

“The impact materials are going to have in the future will be the way that we interact with surfaces or environments. It’s the combination of technology with materials that will be driving us…”

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There are no environmentally friendly materials…

Selected plastics

… and to ad to this negative approach: product development can never be friendly to our planet either.

As a designer you might ask yourself: What if I just stop, sit down and do absolutely nothing for the rest of my life? That has to be environmentally safe. The sad answer is “no”.

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These obscure materials of Desire

© Lucio Fontana
“Is not the most erotic place of the body where the clothing yawns?”
Roland Barthes

I choose this evocation of desire, the interstitial space between things, as a starting point to reflect on our surrounding spaces and their materiality. What motivates us to develop, produce and use (new?) materials to build and evolve our world.

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Materials for the Carbohydrate Economy

Detail of the wheat straw tile facade of the Vanke 2049 Pavilion, Shanghai

One of the most significant future transformations in the material sphere will be the development of a carbohydrate economy. This will be a global economy based primarily on renewable material feedstocks—as opposed to our current economy, which is founded largely on the consumption of nonrenewable feedstocks like fossil fuels.

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What’s the fuss about materials?

Why have materials become such a fascination for designers and why should there be an exhibition like the Hello Materials exhibition that looks into this area? It’s a good question to ask because with all the material libraries, databases that have sprung up over the world over the last 12 years we should take a moment to consider why in order to understand the future.

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Bio-adaptation of fungi to grow materials

Ecovative product - Fungi for wines

By harnessing the evolved efficiency of nature, Ecovative is literally growing some remarkable materials and products using  fungi and agricultural waste. This post dives in on the thinking behind these radical ecological innovations.

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The Age of Designed Materials

Age of Designed MaterialsThrough time the ages of civilization have typically been named after the materials we have used. Today we are in the age of designed materials. This paper is tuning in on the fascinating world of intelligent materials and nano scaled materials.

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