Today’s materials for tomorrow’s products!

3D printed composite material, film that filters light from screens… During MaterialDistrict Rotterdam 2019 (12-14 March in Rotterdam Ahoy, the Netherlands) the industrial designer will fancy themselves in the future! Click here for a free ticket.

With an extensive lecture programme, put together along with ambassador Anouk Groen (RNA Design), a large collection of materials from the independent MaterialDistrict collection and fascinating exhibition pieces, MaterialDistrict Rotterdam is once again a source of inspiration!

Which trends do we see in the sector Products?
From alarm clock to electric kettle, from iPad to bicycle and from car to television: there is no sector in which the progress of innovation is so massive and so visible as in the products we use every day. Products are replaced by newer versions with tremendous speed, which creates a surplus of waste. This means we need to reconsider the design process, material application and the use of new raw materials and processes.

The relationship between human, product, and material has never before been so important. With the theme FOR ME: Eat Me, Fold Me Love/Like Me, Anouk Groen has summarised the current material trends. What if you could eat your product after use? How convenient would it be in our full space if you could fold a product in and out when you need it? And how important are colour, look and tactility of a product if they take over our role and activities? Using international product examples, this exhibition offers a fresh look on the products and materials of the future. Of course, there is also attention paid to the circular economy, in which products and materials are kept in circulation as long as possible through upcycling and recycling, on product level or material level. This leads to furniture made of recognisable packaging material, materials from recycled PET bottles, and reused wood, glass, metal, and plastics. The innovation in bioplastics is huge, made of waste streams of cheese, milk, grease, weeds, manure, and other unexpected sources. Nanotechnology, smart materials, interactive materials that use sensors, material reduction, digital production processes and user friendliness are also topical themes; the products and materials of the future are becoming increasingly smarter.

For an interview with ambassador Anouk Groen, click here.

Materials from the independent MaterialDistrict collection
During this three-day event, MaterialDistrict will show the newest materials from its independent collection, which were scouted during the past year. A small selection of materials:

Casper Cloaking Technology (PLA1165) is an architectural film for glass walls that obscures light transmitted by digital screens. Ecopixel (PLA1151) is made from waste plastic. As the initial pigments don’t mix, the material results in a distinctive pixelated appearance. Merdacotta (CER230) is made from cow dung and clay. Ceramic foam filters (CER229) are designed for mould-casting metal. Vibers (ONA744) is a 100% biodegradable starch-based biopolymer made from locally produced materials and reinforced with sustainably cultivated Miscanthus. 

Large exhibition pieces
MaterialDistrict Rotterdam is for 140 exhibitors the annual platform to present their material innovations with their own presentation at the trade fair floor. Aside from the presentations by exhibitors and the independent material exhibition, several large exhibition pieces – often never shown to the public before – will be exhibited during the trade fair, showing the visitor a glimpse of the future. What can you expect?

Industrial Craft
For this project, Charlotte Kidger used plastic waste from CNC fabrication. The Styrofoam dust that is produced in large quantities with this process is processed to a composite material, which can be cast in 3D moulds.

3D printed steel lattice
Wire + Arc additive manufacturing allows for bespoke, geometrically complex objects to be realised. This object, produced by the Technical University of Darmstadt, is a small representation of what the future of architecture could consist of. By selectively depositing weld material, a free-form lattice structure was 3D printed using the robotic control of standard welding systems.

Recycled ski boot filament
Creamelt TPU-R is an elastic filament for 3D printers, 100% made from recycled ski boots. The material is based on thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), which is used for the main cover of ski boots. To reuse the material, old ski boots are collected and disassembled by persons with a disability at ARGO workshop in Davos. After chemical analysis and color sorting, the collected plastic is shredded, remelted and extruded to new 3D filaments.

Lecture programme Products
MaterialDistrict Rotterdam is known for its high-profile lecture programme, which includes renowned (inter)national architects, scientists, designers and other experts. After last year’s success, there will be once more two simultaneous theatre programmes this year, providing a line-up of 60 speakers who will share their knowledge and experience with the audience.

Tuesday morning 14 March the lecture programme ‘Products’ takes place in the MaterialDistrict theatre. Speakers are ambassador Anouk Groen (RNA Design), jewellery designer Eva van Kempen, Satyendra Pakhalé (Design), and Filip Roscam (Merck). (For the full lecture programme, click here.)

Visit us
MaterialDistrict Rotterdam 2019 takes place from Tuesday 12 March until Thursday 14 March, in Rotterdam Ahoy, the Netherlands. For more information and a free ticket, click here.