• This article is part of the following channel(s)

Obvious is important

What are the most important qualities of a particular material? This is the question we constantly ask ourselves at Materia. In the exploration, it can help to show the most obvious qualities.

Designer Matthias Borowski investigates the most obvious aspects of materials in a playful manner. His project ‘The Importance of the Obvious’ deals with exactly that: those material characteristics we take most for granted.

Starting with food, the designer worked with materials that express their colours, translucency, shape and texture. Food is an interesting analogy as the food-making process is as complex as it is common. Cooking completely transforms foods. Shape, colour and texture all vary.

With his food-like designs, Matthias takes a fresh approach to materials. If you thought concrete was simply grey, think again. Or that foams look unnatural. Through modeling into giant pieces of confectionary, the materials become humorous and sometimes very difficult to  recognize. Looking at the wood cast in concrete, you can almost taste the sweetness of nougat.

From his design research, Matthias generated a list of important aspects for consideration. Anyone using materials in design should take a look at these:

– Every material stimulates the senses

– The material is identifiable in the object by sense

– There is always a more suitable material

– Any material can be combined with another

– Natural or artificial are really the same

– Think what a material ‘wants’ to be

– There is no right and wrong: action is demanded

– Production transforms the material’s character

– Material is the start of an object

– The material cost is not a reflection of the material value

The last one in particular is a little material philosophy that is well worth thinking about, certainly in our age of on-going material consumption.