Paris || Maison et Objet || Materials

It has been so long since my last post! My summer was utterly perfect, I had a great time and did some coolhunting for myself (you can still call me an amateur if you like), but I have to go back to business again. School has started again (YES!), so that means I can coolhunt again, look for trends and share some amazing concepts with y'all! I'm really looking forward to this year and I hope I can transmit my enthusiasm in my blog posts. First stop: Paris!

This was my first time in Paris. I didn't know what to expect, but I really enjoyed the things we did. I'm not going to tell and show all the things I saw and did there, but I will emphasize some (in my eyes) highlights.
First off, we went to the amazing Maison et Objet, a fair in Paris which shows all kind of new living concepts and trends. I never heard of it before, but it was so inspiring. Some people didn't like it, but I stared my eyes out and couldn't stop exploring all the halls.

One of the most inspiring and potential things I saw there, was a little exhibition about all new kinds of material, called "Les ze most by Matério. Matério is a French 'database' which searches for all kinds of new materials. They select thousands of specific or innovative materials and technologies and show these on their website or in a showroom, just like at Maison et Objet.

They showed 21 materials, some still in progress, others already used in daily life. For example, they showed materials made with nano technology, experimental materials with human flesh, genetically engineered fur and oak charcoal, which appeared to be white. Some were super interesting, other weren't and that's why I only picked some really cool and interesting materials to show you. Most of them are related to Living, but the last one really is related to Appearance.

First off is the 'Mushroom Leather' (at the right side of the picture above), a material created by Grado Zero Espace. This company experiments a lot with all kind of new materials. The Mushroom Leather is simply a slice of a giant mushroom. It's tested in labs and it appears that it's breathable, entirely natural and it has a strong capacity to absorb moisture and then release it. The website says it could be used forinsoles for shoes, or in a watch strap.

How humans see the Bird-Protection Glass (left) and how birds see it (right)
The next one is the 'Bird protection glass', created by Isolar, a German company. I was already told about this material in a Living class previous year, so it was very nice to see this material in person. I still think this is some kind of magic. How did they produce it in a way that humans can't see the stripes, while birds can? I think Greenpeace will love this material, because it could save a lot of birds lifes. Isolar is only talking about using it in homes, but it would be great as glass windows in cars and trains as well, just because some unlucky birds get hit by those sometimes as well.

'Decafé' is a very sustainable project, created by the Spaniard Raùl Laùri. He uses used coffee grounds to create all kind of design items. On his website he beautifully explains why he uses coffee. For example, he tells us that we can't ignore the fact that thousands of stories and events normally take place surrounding a cup of coffee. So he asked himself: "Why would we get rid of such a valuable product when it is possible to make the most of its emotional aspects?" I totally agree with him and I think we have to learn to think in a way like this about all our 'garbage'. Why can't we give the toys we used to play with, but now broken, a second chance and use them as something different? Why can't we use excrements of our pets as a fertilizer for our garden? This might sound nasty, but it's just a way of thinking we have to adjust.

And last, but certainly not least, the 'Cosmetic Caviar'. This beauty product was created by Capsum, using NeoBulles™ technology, a technology using the little 'bubbles' to hold perfume concentrate, liquid coacervate and water + Glycerin. It was all created by scientist, who wanted to find a new way to treat your skin with. I really like the fact that science is combined with beauty in this product.

These examples all show that creating new materials is still a small, but booming business. By knowing a lot of existing materials will vanish over the years, the need for new, and mostly better, materials is strong. All these examples are just small, but imagine what kind of materials we could create if we start experimenting with lots and lots of other materials. I still think Nano technology and 3D printing (using new kind of materials as well) will be the future. And new materials aren't only supposed to use for clothing or design accessoires, they can be used in the simpliest things as well.

I took a look at the site of the Dutch Design Week 2013 as well, and I concluded that a lot of new materials will be shown there too. I'm really interested in these kind of things, simply because I would like to create a new kind of material myself in the future. Not only by experimenting myself, but by using science as well. These new materials will open a lot new doors for us and I truly believe we can solve some big problems by creating and using new materials (for example protecting your body against UV radiation by wearing clothing made of a special material).

Please visit their website for more cool and inspiring materials.

(Source: Link & Link & Link & Link & Link & Link)

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