Radical Matter: Rethinking materials for a sustainable future

We just the attended the launch event of FranklinTill's new book, Radical Matter: Rethinking materials for a sustainable future at the Design Museum. Lightning talks and a panel talk that consisted of 5 respected designers, artists, educators, researchers, and makers were all discussing the future of materials, changing the value of what we embody material with and the need to dematerialise changing what we want and desire in order to create a sustainable future. 

  1. Caroline Till
    1. Caroline Till is co-founder of FranklinTill and co-author of Radical Matter: Rethinking materials for a sustainable future published by Thames & Hudson. Previously directing the Material Futures course at Central Saint Martins, Caroline’s expertise is routed in sustainable design practices, design innovation and future materials. www.franklintill.com
  2. Carole Collet
    1. Carole Collet has dedicated her career to developing a new vision for sustainable design, and pioneered the discipline of Textile Futures in 2000. She is the CSM-LVMH Director of Sustainable Innovation at Central Saint Martins UAL, as well as Director of the Design & Living Systems Lab, a programme exploring the interface of the biological sciences and design. www.designandlivingsystems.com
  3. James Shaw
    1. James Shaw is a graduate of the Royal College of Art and now runs a studio in South London specialising in the design and manufacture of furniture, products, sculptural objects with a focus on material research. His work is in the permanent collections of MoMA, The Montreal Museum of Art and the Vitra Design Museum among others. www.jamesmichaelshaw.co.uk
  4. Zoe Laughlin
    1. Zoe Laughlin is the co-founder and Director of the Institute of Making at University College London. Working at the interface of the science, art, craft and design of materials, her work ranges from formal experiments with matter, to large-scale public exhibitions and events with partners including Tate Modern, the Hayward Gallery, the V&A and the WellcomeCollection. www.zoelaughlin.com
  5. Paul Smyth
    1. Paul Smyth is a London based technologist and artist. He is a co-founder of Makerversity and design studio Something & Son. Something & Son is a collaborative and activist led collective working across art, design and architecture creating diverse work that is socially and environmentally driven. Their projects aim to inspire the change they wish to see in the world. www.somethingandson.com

The talk consisted of provocative topics like shit, hair, dust as sustainable materials for the future. The emergence of digital and industrial tools that are becoming more affordable and accessible is allowing for more open source mentalities allowing for co-creation within digital fabrication allowing for minimal waste. The idea of living materials becoming the factories of the future as industrial manufacture dwindles and biological manufacture replaces it encouraging DIY systems for anyone and everyone. 

One of the many interesting projects presented in the book.

 Marjan van Aubel and James Shaw's Well Proven Chair

Marjan van Aubel and James Shaw's Well Proven Chair

 Made from sawdust and soya bioresin that caused a porridge like mixture from the foaming reaction as it started to expand and set into a strong mouldable, lightweight material.

Made from sawdust and soya bioresin that caused a porridge like mixture from the foaming reaction as it started to expand and set into a strong mouldable, lightweight material.

We ended up waiting in a very long queue after the paneled discussion only to find out that the book was sold out. Super bummed about it but this is why Amazon is so amazing. So we've recently purchased it on Amazon and would highly recommend it to anyone not just interested in material processes and sustainability but if you're a maker, alchemist, designer, artist, scientist, and researcher. This book shows the amazing material driven processes through beautiful visuals and provocative ideas. Forward thinking thoughts by various designers and makers as agents of change. 

Highly recommend the book!

Ahreum Jung