Where are new materials created?

Fabricademy students on a visit to Materfad

  • Nov 27, 2023

Last week students of Fabricademy went on an eye opening visit to Barcelona’s Materials Centre – Materfad. Apart from learning about new materials and their properties, a focus was placed on how sustainability can effectively be put into practice through the use of locally found sources. 

Fabricademy is a multidisciplinary program that does not operate only with textiles and clothing but it is reinventing the way we think about fabrics and soft materials in general. The students are learning to consider all sides of material origins, fabrication, applications and end-life aspects. Visiting material libraries such as Materfad is aimed to expand their knowledge of material selection and inspire them to turn material waste into any kind of product. 

Over the course of a few hours spent at the materials centre, the students got the opportunity to hear about the process of creation of different innovative materials, find out what they are used for, what their potential is and were able to interact with real-life samples to get a fuller picture of their respective properties. 

Material libraries serve as a resource for research and development in the design field. Materfad provides educational resources, including information about the manufacturing processes, sustainability certifications, and other relevant details for the student learning path. This information helps students make well-informed decisions about material selection during the design process. At the same time, it leads them through the material exploration on their own to understand what is hidden inside the leftovers. Take advantage of it, and redesign the concept instead of throwing the excess material away. 

All materials presented during the visit hold the potential to revolutionize the way we make things. What’s more, they can be found just within arm’s reach. Whether it’s chicken feathers that could be used for insulation, or rice which produces a great waste that could be 3D printed with, or even olive pits that could be utilized to reduce the usage of cement. These examples and many others aimed to show the students that the materials they choose to work with can be infinite, and most importantly, they could be local and free. 

More about Materfad
Created and driven by the FAD (Fostering Arts and Design), Materfad is Barcelona’s Materials Centre. It works as an observatory of the future, conducting technological research and surveillance focused on innovation, sustainability and creativity through materials. In the Materfad database, thousands of innovative, commercially available materials, processes and technologies can be consulted.

Want to discover new materials and create ones yourself?
Find out more about Fabricademy

Nov 27, 2023