MATERIAL DRIVEN DESIGN

MATERIAL DRIVEN DESIGN

WEB---MATERIAL-DRIVEN-DESIGN2Modern technology has opened up a new world of advanced materials and complex production methods. It has provided us with a lifestyle surrounded by products that are made from materials we hardly recognize, using production techniques that seem like magic to most people.

Unfortunately, this is also the scenario faced by most designers and design students. Having a significant lack of knowledge about materials means the designer ends up concentrating predominantly on form while the material selection and development of the design is typically left in the hands of technicians and the production workers. However, the material can be seen, to a large degree, as the DNA of a product. It is what defines both the tactile and technical properties, and therefore largely determines the production method and the environmental impact. Qualities such as innovation and sustainability are not additives that can be injected by a technician into a product at the last minute, so if it is not originally designed to be sustainable, it most likely never will be.

The designer creates the design ‘recipe’ and a designer who does not understand materials can be compared to a chef who does not know the ingredients for creating a meal.

During this course, the students where ask to create their own material and then design a final product based on the knowledge they acquired during the three week course. They were given various methods and techniques for material exploration as well as, general knowledge about materials. They used their new materials creatively as a driver for innovation and sustainability in their design.