MaterialDistrict Talks: When fake becomes the new real

Pakhuis de Zwijger and MaterialDistrict present MaterialDistrict Talks: When fake becomes the new real, in which material expert Els Zijlstra discusses the impact of ‘fake’ materials. Vegan leather, in-vitro meat, artificial grass – when is fake accepted as the new way to go?

Whether it is about 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. For the most part, fake materials are chosen for cost reasons, cause it is more durable or lower maintenance than the real thing. Where some favour ‘faux’, it makes other people just cringe. With more awareness about significant environmental impacts that come with the use of materials, we see new alternatives like vegan leather, bio-composites and nanomaterials rise in popularity. What is it that makes us stop questioning authenticity have us accept and embrace the alternatives? When does fake become the new real?