Materia live from the Milan Design Week!

Materia is present at the Milan Design Week, and of course, we’re first and foremost looking for material innovation. So what are the trends we’re seeing? Mostly meaning and awareness. Themes such as Too much Homework, not enough play?, Human made or organic materials?, Human Nature, designing the equilibrium, show the growing awareness of our actions and the changing culture in which we live.

Circular thought and actions are becoming increasingly important, and this is reflected in the materials we use.

At Ventura Future, the exhibition Microbes I focuses on biomineralisation. This means that organisms are able to create minerals. As opposed to geological and technical mineralisation, biomineralisation needs neither high temperature nor pressure. In addition, biominerals grow in well-defined structures and composites with extreme properties. Living organisms provide new challenges, which are explored in this exhibition, using the bacterium Bacillus pasteurii that produces calcium carbonate. One example of this is Tom Bade’s Porifera Mollusca, which combined the most significant characteristics of shellfish and sponges and creates synthetic nacre. The nacre covers fibre and porous sponge structures, resulting in lightweight and strong minerals that are resilient yet compostable.

In addition to biominerals, biobased materials are also more and more explored. The exhibition Microbes II (also at Ventura Future) explores how we can make use of algae as a raw material for new applications. Jules Levasseur’s Folie Végétale explores the use of hemp composites in architectural use.

Recycled plastic projects such as Trashplast’s Ecopixel aim to turn waste into a new raw materials form many applications.

Students from KH Berlin did experiments with ceramics, giving an old material a new twist. Unter Bäumen by Nils Jünke & Rachel Jacob creates ceramic façade panels with relief inspired by the bark of trees. The Maximiliana project by Cindy Valdez combines clay with biomaterial to create a plastic-like material that can be 3D printed. The project Zirkuläre Prozesse und Rückkopplungen in additive Fertigungsverfahren by Babette Wiezorek also explores the possibilities of using ceramics for 3D printing.

Sustainability and circular thought are more and more integrated in our society, which is why there is more room for beautiful and fun things, which also goes for materials. Anna Davies’ A Pilot of Joy is a collection of textile constructions for fashion that cheers you up and gives you the opportunity to wear that joy and comfort with you, while inspiring the people around you to cheer up. Ghisliane Ortmans’ Scaled project was inspired by animal skins. Transformations of transparency, colour and shape are shown when the material moves.

Want more material inspiration? Hop on a plane and join Materia in Milan! Below you’ll find the addresses with the most materials. Have fun!

Material Futures, University, Viale Abruzzi 42,
Construction materials in design, FutureDome, Via Paisiello 6,
Sozai material editions, Rossini Art&Design Hub Via Gioacchino Rossini 3,
moonshine materals 2018 collection at Via B. Zenale 3,
Minimal48 at Spazio Montenero, Viale Monte Nero 48,
Human Nature, Hotel Nhow, Via Tortona 35.

Credits: See photos