Hello Materials

Leading experts from around the world share their knowledge on the ‘Hello Materials Blog’. They write about developments in the field of materials and design, and share some of the many fascinating stories about contemporary and future materials.
The purpose of the blog is to offer a small insight into the vast amount of knowledge about materials that exists around the world. The experts will continually post new entries, and thus the blog will be in constant development.


Materials and Design Exchange

The Design Exchange - brings together the communities of design and materials technology in order to stimulate innovation, promote the transfer of materials knowledge and improve the competitiveness of UK business.
The Design Exchange is part of the Materials Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), forging a link between designers and other sectors of the KTN concerned with metals, plastics, textiles and the full range of modern materials.
The Design Exchange offers a physical resource in the form of a Materials Resource Centre (MRC). MRC is filled with shelves of small material and component samples in slots. Samples range from hemp fibres and paper made from recycled sheep poo to flooring systems made from an aluminium honeycomb core sandwiched between glass skins and expanded PTFE vascular prostheses.

Location: London
Twitter: matktnmade


A site that provides information about materials and technology and will connect people who are developing biopolymers, digital fabrication techniques, solid-state lighting, thermochromatic inks, etc. with people who are interested in working with them. ARCHITERIALS.com presents products that are new, interesting, and useful; projects that push materials to their edge; as well as projects that re-use or re-purpose materials in unexpected ways.

Key personnel: Alli Dryer


Harvard Graduate School of Design Material Collection

Revolutionary new materials and methods of fabrication are having a profound impact on the continuing evolution of design thinking. The impact is felt in many areas, including design methods, the conception of form, and modes of production.

Explorations in material research at Harvard's Graduate School of Design find expression through publications, exhibitions, colloquia, and course offerings that explore the research interests of members of the faculty. Examples of materials from commercial vendors and materials resulting from faculty/student research are gathered in the Materials Collection. The collection database can be searched to discover material examples and vendor contacts.

Location: Cambridge
Blog: GSD Materials Collection

RISD Materials Resource Center

The RISD Materials Resource Center is a place to explore materials and discover new methods and processes which can lead to new sources of inspiration and creativity. This space will be a place to discover new materials across disciplines, to observe applications of foreign materials and ideas, and even to test drive some of these materials yourself.
Location: Providence
Blog: RISD Materials Library
Key personnel: Mark Pompelia, Visual Resources Librarian. Alecia Underhill, Supervisor, Picture Collection


Material Stories

Aart van Bezooyen is a Dutch designer who lives and works in Hamburg. He received a masters degree in industrial design from the Delft University of Technology for originating the Material Explorer, a materials selection support tool for designers. Material Stories is where he brings together his experience in industrial design and passion for materials. He inspires and enables the best use of materials in order to make design more competitive, creative and sustainable.
Twitter: materialstories



Materialbiblioteket is the only materials library in Sweden. In the materials showroom in Stockholm professional industrial designers, product developers and architects can, free of charge, find information and inspiration from more than 2000 exhibited materials, manufacturing methods and surface treatments. The materials selection is based on what is currently interesting the Scandinavian designer community. Visitors at Materialbiblioteket work for the big swedish architect offices or design for companies such as IKEA, Electrolux, SAAB, Volvo, SonyEricson, H&M and Scania.

Materialbiblioteket also give talks and lectures on current and future materials trends. These presentations also focus on Swedish and Scandinavian materials trends for industrial design and architecture.

Materialbiblioteket conducts materials scouting for designdriven companies. This is a service most often used by global companies interested in a Swedish angle on materials trends for industrial design.

Materialbiblioteket also give talks and lectures on current and future materials trends. These presentations also focus on Swedish and Scandinavian materials trends for industrial design and architecture.

Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Key personnel: Björn Florman, Oliver Schmidt


New Materials Resource Center

Located at the California College of the Arts, the New Materials Resource Center offers a wide-ranging, interdisciplinary collection of new and innovative samples. The collection currently includes over eighteen hundred samples, cataloged in a database searchable by properties, usage, or manufacturer.
Location: San Francisco, CA
Key personnel: Jake Sollins, archivist




Inventables believes that it is currently too difficult for designers, artists, and inventors to source materials. To solve this problem, we are building an online store that will streamline the process of innovation and inspire everyone - regardless of profession - to explore what’s possible.
Blog: Materials Blog by Inventables
Location: Chicago
Key personnel: Zach Kaplan - Founder and CEO
Twitter: Inventables



The CORE-Materials repository contains 1329 open educational resources (OERs) in Materials Science and Engineering, freely available under a range of Creative Commons licenses. Check out their blog here.
Location: Liverpool
Twitter: CORE_Materials


Perkins+Will Precautionary List

The goal of the list is to highlight chemicals that are listed by government agencies as having negative health issues and to associate them with the classes of building materials where they might be commonly found. The Precautionary List, which was unveiled at GreenBuild 2009, also describes available alternatives in an effort to push the building industry to embrace healthier buildings.

Access by builders and architect as well as the public is free. The list features 25 chemicals broken into typical building categories such as wood treatments, indoor air quality, ozone depleting gasses and heavy metals. Each entry describes the chemical and provides links to vetted government databases, such as California’s Proposition 65 list developed by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, which catalogs chemicals and their known health hazards.



Selectingmaterials is a place where we will analyse digital tools for material selection. We also want to study the history and other aspects of material selection.

The website and the research is being done by Pedro Ramalhete. He holds M.A. in Design, Materials and Product Management at the University of Aveiro.


raumPROBE is a materials consultancy from Germany. Offerings include a materials library and free online database.
Key personnel: Hannes Bäuerle, Joachim Stumpp
Location: Stuttgart
Raumproben: Aktuelle Materialien für Architektur und Design (2009)
Raumproben²: Neue Materialien für Architektur und Design (2007)



Materia is an international independent material information platform for the creative professional. We select worldwide innovative materials for architects, interior decorators and designers. The materials we present are published through the Material Explorer, newsletters, exhibitions and fairs.
Location: Enter, The Netherlands
Key personnel: Els Zijlstra - Creative Director

Free materials database search (registration required)



Material ConneXion

Material ConneXion is a global materials consultancy that creates innovation through strategic material selections. Built on the belief that Every Idea Has a Material Solution, the company advises Fortune 500s, smaller forward-thinking companies and government agencies seeking a creative or competitive-edge through material innovations.
Location: New York, Bangkok, Cologne, Daegu, Milan
Key personnel: Andrew Dent - Vice President of Materials and Library Research, Cynthia Tyler - Senior Research Scientist
Ultra Materials: How Materials Innovation Is Changing the World (2007)
Material ConneXion: The Global Resource of New and Innovative Materials for Architects, Artists and Designers (2005)

Andrew Dent "Sustainability through Materials Innovation" via Design Green Now