I have always been fascinated with materials… the texture and color of rusted metal,  the patterns in the grain of wood, the beauty of raw concrete.  It is easy to rely on these conventional building materials when designing a project…they are beautiful, they are comfortable…but as designers we have a responsibility to strive for new and better solutions.

As technologies advance, our material options are growing exponentially. From Utraperforming materials that are stronger, lighter, and more durable than their conventional counterparts, to repurposed materials that are created with waste products, the possibilites are endless.  Some of the most cutting edge work is done with Intelligent materials that are designed to improve their environment.  Existing designs incorporate pollution reduction, water purification, solar radiation control, natural ventilation, and power generation.

Blaine Brownell’s books Transmaterial and Transmaterial 2 provide a catalog of some of the most intriguing, cutting edge advancement in technology materials on the market. is an online companion to the books that provides continually updated information on new materials.

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1 Comment

  1. Charlie….I so enjoyed this contribution. I also love color and texture. Being in
    the sign design world, I’m seeing a new and creative ideas for glass and metal and wood products. You can print on anything today! Check out

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