Scientists & Designers Unite to Shape Tomorrow’s Materials
How do we design products for a growing population when material resources are depleting? This timely question was addressed at the What Matter_s exhibition at Dutch Design Week, by showing how collaborations between designers and scientists can unlock new material applications.
The focus for selecting materials is typically different for scientists and designers. Scientists search for connections between properties and performance, while designers seek beautiful and useful applications for these features.
What Matter_s curator Nina Warnolf connected some of Sweden’s finest talent from the fields of science and design to demystify complex technologies and draw visitors in with aesthetics. We select four inspiring partnerships.
- Design duo Wang & Söderström and material scientists Magnus Borgström and Vilgailė Dagytė investigated nanowire. The nanoscale component is important in controlling energy transfer in technologies like solar cells and electronic devices. When scaled up, the team found nanowire can be used to efficiently regulate the temperature in a room.
- Designer Petra Lilja and bioscientist Ramune Kuktaite developed Gleather Glubber – a wheat-derived bioplastic with properties akin to leather and rubber, depending on how it’s processed.
- Designer Kasja Willner and material engineer Dmytro Orlov embedded plastic packaging film and a disposable fruit bag into clear resin. When lit, it emits a moiré pattern of warped rainbows.
- Graphenogram by Andréason & Leibel and PhD student Virgínia Boix applies the method used to make the first ever photographs to modern materials. Sheets of acrylic coated with graphite oxide are exposed to light. Where the light falls, silvery graphene patterns are made.
Check out our full coverage of Dutch Design Week 2018 for more innovative trends and inspiration.