Materia Exhibition: Fake It Till You Make It

During the second quarter of 2017, Materia will be present in Broeinest Eindhoven with the exhibition Fake It Till You Make It. The theme of this exhibition is materials that pretend to be something else. 100 materials and examples of projects show the latest developments in this area.

Whether it is about artificial grass, vinyl floors with woodprint, marble print on tiles, polyester with a silk look, or composite terrace parts: imitations give us an illusion of the original and do what is impossible to achieve with the actual materials.

Materials that pretend to be what they are not are of all times. Examples are cheap variations of marble, low-maintenance straws made of PVC, or a flagstone stamp in concrete that prevents hauling stones. Definitions of the term ‘fake’ prove that the word does not have the best reputation: deception, delusion, deceiving, made-up, fraud, sham, false, not genuine. It is more interesting to look at the modern development of ‘fusion’: a mix of desires in a material. A ceramic tile can be combined with underfloor heating, while a wood print gives a ‘warm’ look. A lightweight, fire retardant honeycomb can be combined with a natural stone veneer for a luxurious look. HPL, which is easy to clean, can be perforated to increase the acoustic performances. The modern material is makeable, a mix that is tailor-made according to a specific recipe. This fusion is much better accepted and embraced.

A nice design variation of ‘fake’ are designs that do not pretend to look like something, but show the character of the material through abstract forms, such as wood patterns, or a wood print on a soft carpet. The famous Soft Urn from 1993 by Hella Jongerius marks the turn: the enormous contrast, the confusion and surprise when touching the glassy vase of soft PU was at the time revolutionary.

In the time of ‘fake news’ and virtual reality, designs as authority are current topics, and where good quality of imitation almost creates a new reality.

Fake It Till You Make It takes place at Broeinest, Torenallee 45 in Eindhoven (NL) from 1 April to 1 July 2017. On 22 June, during Materia Café, there will be a special session with lectures about biobased materials and material advice by the Materia team.

Broeinest is opened every weekday from 08.00 to 17.30 h.