Innovative materials shape the future

We completely agree with Charles Eames when it comes to classifying innovative materials in architectural concepts: »The details are not the details. They make the design«. Because they are an essential part of the whole process, we have been taking a curious look at the latest developments. Our conclusion for 2018: The most sought-after material is natural, recycled, smart – and uniquely shaped.

Individual and smart: Textiles in the fashion industry

The fashion industry shows what we can expect thanks to the technical progress of future textiles: Intelligence and affordable uniqueness. We are curious about the use of these properties in our architectural projects. Examples: The touch-sensitive jacket by Google and Levi’s reacts thanks to conductive fibres. The company »Unmade« is developing a technology that will enable a unique jumper to be manufactured at the same price as mass uniform products, thus catering to the spirit of an individualised society through innovative materials. (Source: Unmade).

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Jacquard by Google is the first touch-sensitive jacket and is considered an innovation in the area of »wearables«
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Unmade determines the structure of the jumper with a touch function / Copyright: Unmade, London

Green oases in times of urbanisation

The demand for innovative natural materials is not a coincidence. As urban ways of life increase, urban society’s longing for nature grows. This is because its healing effect supports well-being and productivity. Parks provide relief in public spaces, and green oases are emerging indoors. Even the colour green or materials with a plant pattern have a positive effect. The use of large green walls improves the indoor climate, and is also an effective eye-catcher.

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Wall coverings with forest mire, cork bark, corkboards or pressed Alpine hay, Copyright: DITTEL ARCHITEKTEN GMBH
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Left: Green oasis, copyright: Messe Frankfurt, Heimtextil / Amazonia by Pepe Penalver; right: Green wall in »Mußler Beauty by Notino« beauty store in Stuttgart

Here you find project »Mußler Beauty by Notino«

Recycling in the fight against environmental issues

As the earth’s resources continue to diminish, the volume of waste generated in cities is growing faster than urbanisation itself. A rethink in industry is leading to productions that use alternative resources and recycling procedures to recover raw materials. Our material library includes slabs made from rubble as well as elegant tiles made from plastic found in the sea. Many designers are creating products out of old materials by upcycling them, or are experimenting with renewable resources such as bioplastics or woven seaweed alongside the classic material wood.

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Materials made from old rubble (upper right), rice husks (left) or plastic waste (bottom centre), Copyright: DITTEL ARCHITEKTEN GMBH
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The potential of upcycling identified: Stable furniture made from old textiles, copyright: Messe Frankfurt, Heimtextil / Solid Textile Board Benches by Max Lomb for Really and Kvadrat

New design language in the digital age

The combination of complex shapes and structures as a design feature of parametric designs has established itself as a style of modern architecture with Hadid & co. Today, we can see computer-assisted designs in all scales and many different industries: Interior design, product design, fashion. Because the continuous progress in digital production technology enables the production of individualised shapes in an economically demonstrable way. 3D metal print is considered the great breakthrough in industry.

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Unique cladding with 3D panels made from stainless steel and aluminium / acoustic panels with random structure, Copyright: DITTEL ARCHITEKTEN GMBH
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Nanjing International Youth Cultural Center by Zaha Hadid

The renaissance of manual work

The renaissance of manual work is considered a countermovement to digitisation: Oversaturated with mass production and standardised perfection, the fascination for old artisanal techniques and dyeing methods is on the rise. Visible seams are intentional traces of the production process. The origin and story of the material is becoming important. Indigo is considered a trend colour; hand-knotted rugs are becoming a highlight in modern interior design.

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Indigo dye, Copyright: Messe Frankfurt, Heimtextil / Drawn by nature by Anna Badur
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The old weaving technology leaves behind traces of manufacture in the finished product

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