Design and Material Innovation Shine
The doors of Material Matters 2023 have closed. The four-day event, run from 18-21 September at Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, as part of the London Design Festival that founded by William Knight and Grant Gibson welcomed 6,000 registered visitors to there. They discovered a plethora of products, installations and ideas, as well as a rich programme of talks.
Installations included Planted from Danish textile designer Tanja Kirst, which asked the simple question: can oranges, seaweed and hemp be transformed into textiles without compromising aesthetics? Meanwhile, the fair’s Designer of the Year was Pearson Lloyd. Its installation looked at its material choices in a ﬁstful of recent projects and the increased importance of circularity in its work. Clients featured included Howe, Modus, City of Bath, Batch.Works, TAKT, Proﬁm, and Senator.
Modern Synthesis launched Bou Bag, a new handbag made of bacterial nanocellulose with Danish fashion brand Ganni and crafting plastics! studio returned with an environmentally-active installation that detected potentially harmful UV rays created in collaboration with DumoLab Research.
On the third ﬂoor, Isola, the Milan-based design platform, hosted a new exhibition, Nothing Happens if Nothing Happens, which featured emerging designers using regenerative resources and repurposing waste materials. Designers working with waste was a signiﬁcant theme again this year.
On the top ﬂoor, for example, BC Joshua showed a seat (created with designer Ella Doran) made from a newspaper pulp blend. HagenHinderdael and Novavita Design joined forces to develop a product collection made from coﬀee waste, milk packaging, and fermented sugar. Planq launched Rezign® materials – a collection of materials made from textile waste, such as post-consumer denim, army clothing, suits and white denim. Yair Neuman had lighting pieces made from disused spectacle lenses. The Tyre Collection displayed how it has developed a system for collecting rubber particles from tyre wear and transforming them into products.
Meanwhile, others worked with nature. BioMATTERS showed vessels 3D printed from mycelium; Silklab displayed the potential of silk ﬁbroin; and Material Magic had furniture and lighting fashioned from hemp with magnesium and potato starch. The Wood Awards unveiled its shortlist for this year’s prizes in a beautifully designed exhibition. That potent brew of ideas, materials and products was topped oﬀ by a talks programme that took a deeper dive into our material culture.
Material Matters Fair
After a hugely successful inaugural edition, Material Matters returned in 2023. Based on the critically acclaimed podcast of the same name, the fair brings together over 40 world-leading brands, designers, makers, manufacturers and organisations to celebrate the importance of materials and their ability to shape our lives.