Material Alchemy has been devised to showcase the most innovative, thought-provoking design approaches to materials within the 21st century. Enlisting the help of luminaries from the world of science, technology, and design showcases new responses to material innovation and provides key insights into how material will be utilised to shape our future environments.
Unlike existing publications that singularly examine and showcase materials from an industrial and technical standpoint for commercial application, this publication explores materials from a conceptual, historical and narrative point of view.
Exploring key topics such as synthetic biology, how designers and scientists are designing with living matter, utilising the laboratory as a means to cultivate and grow new materials. To technological innovations, how new technologies such as 3D printing are revolutionising the manufacturing industry. Showcasing the work by technologists and artisans, how these collaborative partnerships are evolving to redefine materiality in the 21st century.
The book not only provides new insights into how designers, scientists and artisans are exploring materiality, it also presents opportunities to physically engage with materials through the following chapters: ‘Low-Tech’, ‘High-Tech’, ‘Molecular Gastronomy’ and ‘The Laboratory’.
In addition to this, the publication features interactive content that merges the analogue with the digital. Using image recognition software to trigger hidden content in the form of animations that visually demonstrate how to carry out each workshop, or to transport you to the alchemist’s conceptual film to further explain the narrative of their research.
The use of materials within art, design and architecture is a dynamic and growing area of research. How we use and define a material no longer applies in the 21st century, a material is more than just a material to clothe and shelter us, our desire for intrinsic value and connectedness has driven the way for new interpretations of materiality, as opposed to merely applying materials for commercial applications.