The Future Materials Bank is not only an archive of sustainable materials but also a guide for artists to ask questions and raise awareness around the material options they have. There is no simple way to determine whether a material is sustainable or not as it involves different and often ambivalent components. To bring different focus points together and give a more holistic overview of the materials, we have created a list of criteria that concerns usability, eco-friendliness, social circumstances, and afterlife.
The Material Policy is always in transition and ready to be updated along with current and future developments in the field. What we consider to be sustainable today might be different tomorrow. Below you can find some of the questions we ask ourselves before adding new materials to the archive. Please take these into consideration when submitting new materials.
Is it a material that is relevant for an artistic practice?
Does the material have a negative impact on human health? For instance: does it irritate the skin or lungs?
Is it affordable and available for artists?
Are there any copyrights or patents on this material or are we allowed to share the recipe and share the knowledge?
Transparency; how easy can we check the social and environmental credentials?
Is the material organically grown?
What is the environmental footprint in terms of distance: is this material available locally or even: can it be made at home?
Does it contain VOC’s or chemical compounds?
Where and how are the raw materials sourced?
Has the material been tested on animals or does it contain animal products?
Is the material circular?
Is the material (or any ingredients) certified with any ‘eco’ labels?
How much water has been used in the process of making the material?
Do people working on this receive a fair wage throughout the supply chain?
What are the working conditions?
Was there any child labour in the process of making of this material?
Were traditional and civic rights respected in the making of this material?
Is it a craft/technique with important cultural value?
What are the possibilities of recycling this material?
What are the possibilities of upcycling this material?
What is the lifecycle of the material? How often does it need to be replaced?