5 examples of English material design

This year, the graduate work by the Royal College of Art’s School of Design places emphasis on tackling real-world issues in a responsible and ethical way. Below, we have listed a few of the best examples of material design.

Insiya Jafferjee’s developed a series of tools to support the creation of materials made from living organisms such as fungi and bacteria. These materials have the potential to provide a sustainable alternative to traditional materials. The Living Microfactories project provides control of light, heat, air flow, nutrients, and sterility to enable rapid prototyping of living materials.

The themes of the Textiles programme include a consideration of sustainability. In line with this, Rui Xu developed a material pH sensitive ink to monitor food freshness. The so-called FreshTag offers an alternative to the not very accurate ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ system, which causes perfectly edible food to be thrown away. The new tag offers real-time information about the food and can detect and indicate food freshness through colour change.

Mira Nameth developed Biophilic, a composite material made of local urban waste streams and a natural binder. The material is designed to be biodegradable, non-toxic, and recyclable, using predominantly local resources.

To improve indoor air-quality, Taiho Shin developed a mixture of substances, consisting of a photocatalyst, graphene dioxide, and polymer, to create a material that breaks down pollutants such as NOx (nitrogen oxide), CO (carbon dioxide), VOCs (volatile organic compounds), etc., in reaction to light.

Valentina Dipietro’s Mychrome project explores the possibility of mycelium and its surface applications. The project experiments with various substrates and fungi species, as well as adding colour at growing level. The materials could be applicable to a wide range of purposes from interiors to products to architecture.

For all projects, click here.

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