Installations are often a practically invisible part of a building. Miles of cables, piping, tubes and wires are concealed behind the ceilings, floors, walls and foundations. The facilities themselves are tucked behind voids or form unsightly blemishes on rooftops.
Materials and manufacturing processes remains an essential component of industrial design education. But for many students and young designers, they are still unsure of their comfort with these complex issues and how they affect their designs.
In recent years advanced materials have emerged and are having a major impact on the products around us. Coming from science and technology advanced materials can outperform traditional materials as they for instance can be tougher, can withstand higher temperatures, and can be tailored into new shapes.
The increasing availability of product environmental information provides an opportunity for consumers to choose more sustainable products and for designers to be rewarded for selecting more sustainable materials. Here are some tips on how to do this.
Biomimetics is on everyone’s lips and it is now difficult to imagine a future where it does not play a key role in the development of our society. The development of new materials is not unconcerned with this new discipline, though we must be aware of what we can obtain (and what we cannot) from imitating nature.
One of the most significant future transformations in the material sphere will be the development of a carbohydrate economy. This will be a global economy based primarily on renewable material feedstocks—as opposed to our current economy, which is founded largely on fossil fuels.