Material Ecologies

During the recent Design Week, one of the groups participating caught my attention, the UTS Material Ecologies Design Lab (MEDL). On the UTS website, the group describes their work as ‘bringing together studies in material culture, material thinking and material futures. Encapsulating a range of design practices and materials-led research.’

The researchers have been undertaking exciting R&D work to not only learn more about emerging materials but to develop materials themselves. Recently, when exploring the possibilities of recycled glass, the group began experimenting with the glass ‘fine’. Ultimately this led to the development of a new ceramic that could be used to make tiles, bathroom fixtures and bricks, whilst redirecting materials away from landfills.

As well as the invention of new materials, the group focuses their attention on learning how we can effectively use other newly developed materials across more applications, for example, within the emissions-heavy building industry.

While learning about this group, I was reminded of an interesting article I recently read on Dezeen. The article, which is linked below, explored ten different uses for bioplastics, ranging from fashion through to applications in the kitchen.

I love seeing so much innovation in this space. Please share with me your favourite material inventions!