“My Darling Materials” Experts sharing their secrets! (part one)

LOGOOf all the exciting new materials developed and introduced today, which are the leading experts’ favorites? The Danish Design Center has asked its extensive network of materials experts from all over the world to contribute to a collection of their favorite materials.
Every second month, three experts will each choose three materials, and all nine will be displayed under the headline “My Darling Materials” in Danish Design Centres building Design Society in the heart of Copenhagen. Subsequently, and after two months the three materials will be replaced by three new materials chosen by three other experts.
My Materials Dansk Design Center
Today, on September 9th the “My Darling Materials” opened and unveiled the first nine materials carefully chosen by the first three material experts in My Darling Materials; Blaine Brownell, Chris Lefteri and Liliana Becerra.
Below you can see all their darlings and read about their chosen ones…

Blaine Brownell’s darling materials

Blaine_Brownell-Credit_Gudmundur_ BrynjarssonBlaine Brownell (Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota, US) is an architect, author, educator, and former Fulbright scholar with a research focus on emergent materials. He is a principal of the design and research practice Transstudio and an assistant professor and co-director of the Master of Science program in Sustainable Design at the University of Minnesota School of Architecture. Brownell authored the Transmaterial series as well as the books ‘Matter in the Floating World’ and ‘Material Strategies’ with Princeton Architectural Press. He has been published in over 40 design, business, and science journals, and has lectured widely in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. www.transstudio.com


Intelligent Composite Seismic Wallpaper

Intelligent Composite Seismic Wallpaper

Blaine’s darling material no1
Intelligent Composite Seismic Wallpaper.

What is it?
A wallpaper that resists earthquakes

Why is this my darling?
As seismologists often like to say, “Earthquakes don’t kill people. Buildings do.” The fact that most earthquake-related deaths are due to collapsing structures suggests there’s still much work to do in seismic-proof design. The reason I chose this material is that it is significant that wallpaper—a product of minimal substance when considering an entire building—can make a huge difference in preventing building collapse.

This is used for:
Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology developed the earthquake-resistant wallpaper to give occupants more time to escape buildings when an earthquake hits. The material, called Intelligent Composite Seismic Wallpaper, is actually a textile that consists of glass fibers embedded in different orientations within a layer of mortar. The scientists produced the textile according to the framework of the POLYTECT (Polyfunctional Technical Textiles against Natural Hazards) EU project to reinforce the masonry walls of buildings in seismically active regions.

Read more here


Ombrae System

Ombrae System

Blaine’s darling material no2:
Ombrae System

What is it?
Sculptural imaging with optical tile

Why is this my darling?
Ombrae System is a patent-pending computer-based image-processing system that allows for any digital image to be embedded directly into any material substrate. I chose this material because it illustrates how an image can be created without actually transferring any graphic content—like a hologram, it is made from physical three-dimensional pixels or “optical tiles.” The optical-tile pixel creates the necessary amount of light and shadow on the surface of the material to render an image. The material conveys graphic content without lenses, laminate layers, printed dyes, or inks.

This is used for:
Architecture and interior design, product design, packaging, signage and advertising

Read more here


Ribbon Glass

Ribbon Glass

Blaine’s darling material no3
Ribbon Glass

What is it?
Surfacing made from fused glass strips

Why is this my darling?
Ribbon Glass surfacing is made from new and postindustrial recycled glass. Glass strips are fused together, creating undulating color streams. The uniqueness of each collection of glazed strips makes every glass slab one-of-a-kind. I chose this product because it demonstrates the versatility and visual richness of glass, which should not always be designed as a perfectly flat, clear, and aberration-free material.

This is used for:
Countertops, vanities, furniture, wall partitions, flooring

Read more here

Chris Lefteri’s darling materials

Chris Lefteri
Recognized throughout the world as a leading authority on materials and their application in design, Chris Lefteri is one of the most important materials experts working in his field. For over a decade his studio work and publications have been pivotal in changing the way designers and the materials industry consider materials. Chris has published eight books on materials and their application in design, which have been translated into six languages. Subsequently his studio, Chris Lefteri Design, has worked with bluechip corporations and major design studios across Europe, the US and Asia implementing a broad range of strategies for effective materials integration in the design process. www.chrislefteri.com


UPM Formi5

UPM Formi5

Chris’s darling material no1
UPM ForMi

What is it?
Cellulose filled Polypropylene (PP)

Why is this my darling?
There are many wood plastic composites but what I love about this one is that it doesn’t look like an eco material and doesn’t suffer from the ‘crunchy’ look of all the others. It exhibits a unique tactile quality with a natural, silky smooth surface finish that provides a friendly and approachable feel to products without the need for secondary finishing processes. UPM can also trace exactly which part of which forest in Finland the wood fiber comes from.

This is used for:
UPM ForMi has been specially designed for injection moulding applications and also has the benefit of being used for acoustic properties in loud-speaker.

Read more here


Ecovative

Ecovative

Chris’s darling material no2
Ecovative

What is it?
Ecovative is a foam grown from agricultural bi-products and mycelium (thread-like branches grown from a fungus spore from which new mushrooms can spring up).

Why is this my darling?
It was invented on the premise that traditional packing foams are derived from petrochemicals that take millions of years to form and are used in a product that has a lifespan of a few months, or even days. This is why I love this material. Once grown, the material has similar properties to expanded plastics, and at a similar cost too. It is one of the few exiting material innovations that is cheaper than the plastic it is replacing. Also who cold not love a dense, weave of mushroom roots with a suede like velvety feel.

This is used for:
The material has similar properties to expanded polystyrene and it can be used in protective packaging applications and for insulating panels.

Read more here


Wasara

Wasara, Japan

Chris’s darling material no3
Paper

What is it?
Pressed wood pulp

Why is this my darling?
Following on from the theme of ‘grown’ materials I have chosen paper simply because it is so ubiquities. As one of the most ancient materials for visual expression and communication, I also value paper for the role it plays in the creative process. It has transformed culture and has been transformed (cardboard) in so many ways but so easy to forget.

This is used for:
Paper takes on a range of different forms varying from writing equipment, packaging and of course the architecture of Shigeru Ban made from cardboard. Wasara’s collection of tableware from a new type of moulded paper is another good example.

Read more about Wasara here


Liliana Becerra’s darling materials

Lilliana BecerraLiliana (Los Angeles, US) is an independent design strategy consultant, editor, curator and creative entrepreneur. She is also founder and Design Director of STUDIO LILIANA BECERRA Inc. – a company advising Fortune 500 brands on the recognition of global insights & emerging trends and their articulation into specific strategic design opportunities. Liliana is also Faculty of Product Design & CMTEL (Colors, Materials and Trends Exploration Laboratory) at Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles and formerly served as the head of Global Design Insights for Nokia where she worked for 7 years. Amongst her initiatives and brands are: SEEDS & trendsgallery


Nylon 6.6, Dupont

Nylon 6.6, Dupont

Liliana’s darling material no1
Nylon 6.6 – by Dupont

What is it?
Nylon 6.6 is a strong polyamide fiber widely used in our every day life – for instance airbags.

Why is this my darling?
I chose this because it is an incredible material, which usually goes un-noticed until it has to perform the function of saving lives.
As I was starting to curate my 3 materials selection, my parents were involved in a tragic car accident in Colombia. At the collision, both air bags opened up, creating a cushion for the impact and later, slowly released anti-flame particles inside the vehicle. Although the car was a total loss, both my parents were alive, supported by the airbags and the seat belts. Since then, I am very curious and impressed about this material that can perform so many functions – expand, contract and release a flame retardant substance – in a matter of split seconds.

This is used for:
Air bags, tires, ropes, conveyor belts, hoses.

Read more about Nylon 6.6 here


Aurora Collection

Aurora Collection

Liliana’s darling material no2
Aurora Collection – designed by Marco Susani and Defne Koz.

What is it?
A series of traditional techniques that have been revitalized by the company – Verrum – and through the Aurora collection which, has added a couple of innovations in the way they combined silvered glass, double-walled glass, and faded color treatments.

Why is this my darling?
First of all I chose this as my darling because I admire the work of Marco and Defne, it is very thoughtful and delicate. Second, because in this age and time when everything seams to have been already invented, we rely in innovation which comes from re-vitalizing traditional materials and techniques through contemporary treatments, in order to make them new and appreciated again.

This is used for:
Small table ware.

Read more here


Graphic Concrete

Graphic Concrete

Liliana’s darling material no3
graphic concrete™

What is it?
graphic concrete™ technology is the printing of a surface retarder on a special membrane. Concrete is cast on top of the membrane and the retarder slows the setting (hardening) of the concrete in the selected areas. The unset, softer concrete surface is high pressure washed, revealing the fine aggregate finish. Graphic concrete is a patented technology invented by interior architect Samuli Naamanka.

Why is this my darling?
I met Samuli a couple years ago, during a dinner in Milan and learned about graphic concrete for the first time. I was fascinated by the potential of a material that is pretty much always the same, to turn into something more, adding into contemporary urban design.

This is used for:
graphic concrete™ enables durable patterns and images to be produced on prefabricated concrete surfaces such as facades, walls and pavement slabs. It is a real industrial product for large-scale surfaces, a tool with which architects could be more visually creative.

Read about more graphic concrete™ here


Go here to see My Darling Materials part II.

The Darling Collection
Over time, the many darling materials will form a permanent collection – the Darling Collection – in the Design Society. This collection will be used by Danish design Centre in workshops and as inspiration for partners and of course also for inspirations for guests at the Design Society.

What are your darlings?

If you are a ‘Materialsts’ and want to share your darling materials, feel free to contact the editor of Hello Materials Blog, Maria Hørmann, at the Danish Design Centre: mho@ddc.dk, +45 3369 3381


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

One response to ““My Darling Materials” Experts sharing their secrets! (part one)

  1. Reblogged this on Happy Help and commented:
    I am keen to this insight – and happy to reblog!

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