Foenikus 2 Smart Materials Fraunhofer IWU Beate Eismann photo Linke

Material treasures of the future

Exhibit area on smart and circular materials

4 May 2024–1 June 2027, Berlin

location: Futurium Lab
organizer: Futurium
selection of exhibits and didactics: Diana Drewes & Sascha Peters

With the Green Deal, the European Union has agreed to reorganize the economic system. A major transformation towards a circular economy has begun. The main aim of this will be a new understanding of how to use existing resources. The materials used should be kept in biological and technical cycles for as long as possible.

Raw materials for a circular economy

A large number of the materials still used today will give way to circular alternatives that are either based on renewable resources or can be fitted into re-use, re-pair and re-cycle strategies. In the future, there will be an idea for every material to be returned to the cycle.

In addition, material concepts are sought that have a positive influence on their surroundings and whose functionality enables efficient use through smart properties.

Foenikus Detail Sascha Linke Fraunhofer IWU Materialalternativen der Zukunft Futurium

As part of an exhibition in the Futurium Lab, the future agency HAUTE INNOVATION shows current and future material alternatives using 40-50 product examples, samples and demonstrators and explains their importance for the change to a climate-neutral circular economy. The exhibition places a particular focus on innovations based on natural resources.

Material treasures in the biological cycle

“We are currently experiencing that the most exciting innovations are taking place in biological cycles,” explains Dr. Sascha Peters from Haute Innovation set the focus. “This doesn’t mean that we turn back the screw and do everything like it was 200 years ago, but that we continue to develop the materials so that they work in our modern world.”

Whether it’s a skateboard made 100% from dense pressed paper, a street sign made from hemp fibers or batteries with graphite made from lignin: the exhibition shows surprising things and at the same time makes it clear that the biggest challenge is developing materials for high-tech applications , which can be returned to the biological cycle as nutrients after use.

Visitors can examine the structural properties of selected materials using a microscope. Demonstrators of so-called “Smart Materials” provide insight into current research work on functional materials.

images: FÖNIKUS shows in an aesthetic and playful way what thermal shape memory alloys are capable of, what they can achieve and how they can be used (source: innovation network “Smart3“, design: Beate Eismann, photo: Sascha Linke)