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Design: which materials to use today?

to be a designer today is to be under the fire of many self-criticisms and collective and individual questions. I try to share mine with you on the direction I have been taking for several years. But the important thing, without falling into solutionism, is to advance in your thoughts, to try things, it is also not to remain frozen and waiting idly. What economic model to find in our work? Should we use digital as the final medium? Or keep it as a transitional support? Should we put all our work in free license? Should we stop being a designer? And if we create products, objects, should we use wood? Can we still use plastic today? Can bio-materials that can be eaten (corn, wheat, etc.) be banned? These are complex and ethical questions that are good to ask and to act on. Today, I wanted to share with you Materiom, a non-profit organization that works at the crossroads of design, digital manufacturing, ecology and materials science. In an international team (in Chile, Spain, Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Mexico) of designers, materials specialists and engineers, Materiom develops, tests and shares their research on materials designed to local, regional and global ecology while developing an approach based on the circular economy. Their idea is to design and promote new materials to manufacture in kitchens, in Fab Lab or Makerspace. Each of their recipes uses locally abundant natural ingredients and a living chemistry. Plastics and composites that you can cook on the stove, mold, laser cut and 3D printing, etc. I present you some materials from their site. When reading them, I invite you to imagine what everyday objects could be made from these materials.


Composite: Bio plastic-coffee-Sucrose-Agar agar-Alginate-Pine resin-Gelatin-walnut So they have a library of materials that you can find on Materiom Website as baking soda, potato, green tea, used coffee grounds, nuts shells, wheat flour, ocher, mold, vinegar, cork, pine resin, etc.


Materiom's ambition is to create an open database of material properties and technical data that can be used for material analysis, numerical modeling and product design. This obviously has the mechanical and aesthetic properties for each of their recipes. To this day, I tell myself that the production of everyday objects must drop drastically (or be stopped for some) to favor the repairable, the recoverable, the used, the manufacturable... and if the everyday objects production must still be done for various reasons, these materials will surely be considered.

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