Sustainable Multipurpose Materials for Design

specialist book: Materials Experience
November 2013
editios: Elvin Karana, Owain Pedgley, Valentina Rognoli


Reed Elsevier India

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Car bodies made by spider silk proteins, furniture made from fish scales, lightweight panels made of bamboo rings or light reflecting concrete: These are just some of the most striking examples of a development that will take on a revolutionary character in the near future. Natural biomass, lightweight materials and smart material concepts that incorporate an additional inner quality are becoming more and more prevalent.

The world seems to be undergoing radical change. Materials are becoming more natural, healthier and more sustainable. The design sector has been the most active in discovering the possibilities inherent in these innovative materials through the development of a new product culture whose most important aspect is sustainability.

Designers prepare the ground for promising innovative materials to enter the marketplace and, through dialogue with manufacturers, foster the development of new material or come up with problem solving materials on their own. In this chapter, we provide an overview of developments in the bio-based and sustainable material sector as well as in the fields of lightweight construction solutions and intelligent materials.

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image: fish scales plastic (design: Erik de Laurens)