Materials curation BEAUTIFUL WASTE by MaterialDriven
In the last few decades, as a consequence of our ‘throw-away’ culture, and a rise in industrial and technological production, there has been a sizable increase in the amount and complexity of waste accumulated across the world.
An outdated and linear model of making and discard is unfortunately still dominant in the design and construction industries among others, where technology such as nano-coatings, high performance composites and smart materials offer impressive possibilities, but are not sufficiently driven by recovery or repurposing in mind at the end of their useful life.
Sparked by resource scarcity however, and a growing awareness of impact on the environment, the landscape of materials and design products is starting to change. The challenges of pollution, diverse public health crises, and volatility in supply chains are already being experienced by manufacturers and consumers alike, making the need to reform and shift undisputed. Sustainability, and the concept of Regeneration in particular, is therefore being placed front and center during design and making today, triggering unforeseen innovation.
Designing with discarded and recycled materials is challenging, but it offers the chance to support material recirculation and in doing so, helps reduce the volume of waste currently ending up in our landfills, oceans and rivers, and air. As the circular economy advances, its goal of achieving zero waste is moving closer to home, and is becoming entrenched in our communities, industries and businesses. Most significantly, individuals, manufacturers, brands and institutions are all arriving at a similar and timely realization–that waste, in its myriad forms, offers raw materials of great beauty–and the more challenging the type and source of waste, the more appealing and rewarding is its transformation into functional, economic and aesthetic outcomes. Waste then, becomes as much a beginning as an end. So commonly overlooked in our daily lives, waste presents a wealth of opportunities, and where applied well, it can revolutionize not only the design landscape but also the planet's.
In this exhibition of materials, geared for the architecture, interiors, and other design industries, MaterialDriven will delve into a wide range of waste-based solutions that are both commercially available and more cutting-edge, emerging innovations. We will explore the strategic and cross-disciplinary reuse of waste sources such as agricultural byproducts, industrial and ocean debris, food waste, domestic discard and even challenging organic biological matter, uncovering how these are being transformed into new, aesthetic and highly functional products for the design and built environment.
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