Emerging Materials Lab
Materials research constantly evolves to offer novel, superior materials as better alternatives to convention. The Chair of Emerging Materials focuses on the potential of such materials for product design, develops theories, tools and methods for:
- selecting the best material(s), grounding on an informed awareness of the unique capabilities of materials, as such that a design takes full advantage of those capabilities.
- designing with emerging materials, not only to find appropriate and innovative application areas for such materials, but also to inspire material industries for the further development and/or modification of those materials.
- proposing new materials, to suggest new possible directions for material development grounding on emerging issues and approaches in the design domain, as well as inspired by design interventions.
Capabilities of materials are not limited to those engineering (technical) aspects. Designers select or design with a material not only for what it is, but also for what it expresses to us, what it elicits from us. Thus a distinguishing feature of the Chair of Emerging Materials is its holistic approach to ‘materials and design’, not only posing questions from the single lens of technical affordances of materials, but also questions aiming to understand how they are received by people, what their overall impact on societies would be in order to facilitate meaningful material applications.
Accordingly, the Chair of Emerging Materials advocates the challenging couplings of theory and practice from materials science, design engineering and social sciences, and embeds this understanding in cross-departmental, cross-faculties, national and international research projects and in industry collaborations, as well as in materials education in design.