Collections

For the Collections we invite people from different disciplines to highlight their favourite materials from the Future Materials Bank and share why they have selected them or love working with them. We recognise that people from different professions, cultures and backgrounds have different relations with the materials and we actively seek for this plurality in perspectives.

The Maya Forest Garden by Eugenia Morpurgo

This Collection presents materials which have been selected not for the relations between each other in terms of use or production processes, but rather because they are all potentially producible from the same regenerative and successional agro-ecosystem. Tomato, Maize, Banana tree, Mango and Avocado. The five plants from which the materials originate are all present in the Maya Forest Garden, the traditional meso-american orchard plot which remains the second most biodiverse place in the world second only to the Amazon forest. With this collection I’m suggesting that in the quest for finding sustainable alternatives to oil based materials we need to start looking at the biodiversity present, or not, in the context from which the initial bio resources are cultivated or bred. Because, the ever growing offer of new materials produced with agricultural by-products are only technical solutions which are not questioning the agricultural system that generated the by-products in the first place. Therefore they are not providing real alternatives to the environmental impact of monocultural industrial farming and, in some ways, they are even contributing to confusing people regarding the difference between renewable and extractive resources. The five materials presented here are a peak into a larger analysis which is looking into the potential materials producible during the 20 years of the Maya Forest Garden cycle. This analysis, together with a Material Library which allows us to browse through materials under the logic of species coexistence are all part of the project Syntropic Materials. An ongoing research project which looks at alternative agro-ecological models such as regenerative agriculture practices and attempts to combine these with the latest development in natural material research. In order to design regenerative processes for plant/animal based materials production.

Eugenia Morpurgo is a Italian independent designer researching the impact that production processes have on society, with a focus on investigating and prototyping alternative scenarios and products.


Eugenia Morpurgo

Mango leaves

Mango leaves

Tomato

Tomato

Avocado seed

Avocado seed

Banana fiber

Banana fiber

Corn cob

Corn cob

5 Material Futures graduates from 2020 by Kieren Jones

Material Futures is an MA course at Central St Martins in London, where science, technology and design collide. The course invite practitioners from all fields of the creative industries to create alternative narratives to what will become the defining issues of our times. United in our belief that our planet is at breaking point and our current methods of managing and dealing with these systems are ineffective and outdated, they encourage students to look beyond existing disciplines to anticipate our future needs, desires and challenges for the 21st century. Whilst the students come from entirely different disciplines, from science, politics, design, engineering, fashion and architecture, they are all united in their hunger to become real-world agents of social, ecological and political change through expert collaboration and trans-disciplinary practice. For this Collection Course Leader Kieren Jones selected 5 Materials Futures graduates from 2020 to showcase their graduation projects.

Kieren is head of the department Material Futures


Kieren Jones

Chicken feather

Chicken feather

Scoby leather

Scoby leather

Chicken waste

Chicken waste

Banana fibre

Banana fibre

River Coin

River Coin