Material Futures

Biotech is booming. As the ingenuities of science and nature open us to new design cultures- how can material innovators flex their influence through evocative, material-led brand storytelling?

Here we unpack 3 critical themes for Material Futures:

Materialising the Brand

Celebrating the Process

Journeys to Market

Material Expression

—New materials are entering the market- offering new finishes and improved performance through a more responsible lens. While disrupting current markets and establishing new categories, it is often difficult to understand their difference.

Woola creates a sustainable alternative to replace traditional bubble wrap. Waste wool is used to create three applications and wool sits at the centre of the brand's identity, communicating clearly who they are and what the brand does.

What if the defining characteristics of a material guided the visual identity, developing a clear, intuitive and embedded brand presence?

Tactile Language

—The creation and stewardship of some materials may have several steps, becoming complex and abstracted to the user. Simplified education around these processes is needed for greater material literacy.

Notpla is making packaging from 100% natural seaweed that 'disappears' when it is disposed of. This tactile language simplifies the decomposition process of Notpla's material offering, making its benefits easily understood.

What if storytelling could be used as a tool to guide people through the creation, use and disposal processes of new materials?

Utilising Infrastructures

—Manufacturing with new materials can require specialised ways of working. This might discourage adoption due to too costly and laborious processes.

KintraFibers has created a bio-based and biodegradable alternative to Polyester (PET). The material utilises the standard equipment used for PET while achieving a 20% reduction in energy usage compared to PET resin.

How might a development roadmap be informed by the manufacturing realities and market nuance across industries?

Process Visualisation

—The challenge of communicating a complex system can lead to a lack of understanding the impact of the innovation and the potential for future material applications.

Evrnu created NuCycl, an engineered fibre made from discarded clothing. This process is easily understood through a simplified graphic system, supported by an animation.

How can succinct articulation of process support legacy and start up brands to communicate their product in informative yet accessible ways?

Application Displays

—Exhibiting the capabilities of materials through engaging applications can demonstrate their value, drive usage and diversify industry interest. 

Beller and Hydro demonstrate the versatility and possibilities of aluminium with their collaborative project 'Bello!', a direct B2B use case. Driving visibility of the work at Hydro’s largest primary aluminium plant in Europe into the furniture space.

What if traditional material manufactures created collections with creatives to inform and excite industries about the capabilities of materials?

Waste to Market

—The journey from material creation to the commercial markets can present a series of hurdles. Brands are finding ways to strategically drive awareness of their products that will eventually hit the market.

CIRCULOSE Supplier Network (CSN) uses a global supplier network of yarn and textile producers to help the brand drive circular solutions in the fashion industry.

What if strategic partnerships unlocked credibility and new routes to market, offering new and unique positionings for material biotechnology brands?

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