Material Policy

The Future Materials Bank aims to collect and share knowledge about sustainable materials for art and design practices. It embodies a resourceful archive for material processes that advocate for ecologically conscious making practices.

Our Material Policy is shaped by how sustainability is currently practised and can be realised in the future. Within the bank are several interpretations regarding sustainability from a diverse range of practitioners.

Below is a list of questions we ask ourselves before publishing a material or making process. We hope this encourages you to think deeply about the material life-cycle of your work or offers guidance if you would like to be included in our archive. We would love to hear from you.

The questions are organised into four categories: Usability, Environmental sustainability, Social sustainability, and Afterlife of the material.

Usability refers to how accessible and transferable the knowledge required to work with a material is in different contexts. This also importantly encompasses the health and safety of the maker, user, and environment the material is a part of. Environmental Sustainability asks to what capacity the production processes impact or exploit the natural resources it undoubtedly uses. Likewise, Social Sustainability considers to what extent the human and cultural labour involved in the material life cycle is fairly acknowledged. Lastly, Afterlife considers the residual value of a material or process once it has run through its initial life cycle.

This Material Policy is progressively reviewed. We fervently welcome your feedback so we can continue to collectively address and (re)define how to transition towards truly sustainable practices.


Environmental sustainability

Social sustainability