Research Files #9: Future materials: stories of innovation

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Trials and errors of breakthrough innovations in advanced materials with MaterialDistrict, Textile Lab & Emma van der Leest.
Material innovation involves much more than just the development of completely new materials. Generally, it revolves around a revaluation of raw materials, techniques, or residual products that are currently overlooked by the industry as unsuitable for the intended purposes. How does material innovation work in practice, how do you ensure you are meeting a need in the market, and how can you scale up?

Els Zijlstra | Creative director MaterialDistrict
Emma van der Leest | Biodesigner, author Form Follows Organism & Creative Director of BlueCity Lab
Ista Boszhard | Co-founder Waag's TextileLab Amsterdam
Cecilia Raspanti | Co-founder Waag's TextileLab Amsterdam

Form Follows Organism
By discovering materials and processes, that nature has designed but hasn’t patented, Emma van der Leest searches for new grown materials that are completely compostable and minimize the usage of hazardous resources that can cause huge damage to our ecosystem. Biodesign incorporates living organisms e.g. bacteria, fungi, algae or cells into the design process.As biodesigner, Emma collaborated with different disciplines, from scientists, physicists, artists, and designers. How could nature’s sustainable materials become tomorrow’s consumer products? Emma is also the founder and creative director of the BlueCity lab, a laboratory where she opens up a wet, dry and tastelab for anyone who wants to research and develop new materials, from bacteria to waste streams.

TextileLab Amsterdam
The TextileLab Amsterdam is an open lab for fashion, textile and material designers; researchers, artists, and engineers; and creatives interested in exploring the future of the textile and clothing industry. With the lab, Ista Boszhard and Cecilia Raspanti want to focus on the unethical and environmental unfriendly realities of the current textile and clothing industry, which has been a topic of conversation for some time now. By 1. experimenting with craftsmanship, heritage, technology, digital fabrication, and biology, 2. sharing knowledge and 3. pushing the boundaries of the textile and clothing industry, they want to explore alternatives for both the changing values in the industries as innovate the design and production process.

MaterialDistrict is the world’s leading matchmaking platform in the field of innovative materials. The platform is used by R&D- and design professionals of all industries to discover new material solutions. From March 12 to 14, the annual expo MaterialDistrict Rotterdam (formerly known as Material Xperience) will be held in Ahoy. Over 180 participants will show you the latest innovations in architecture, interior, urban & landscapes, products, textiles, and print & sign. Get a hold of a free ticket for the expo!
Event will be in English, more speakers will follow soon!