15 & 16 May 2024

2023 Features and seminars

Materials curation FROM GROUND TO FAÇADE by MaterialDriven

Our relationship with the Earth is multi-faceted. Directly or indirectly, we depend entirely on raw materials that have been excavated from, grown or manufactured on it. Humans have been creating objects, spaces and tools from clay, soil and stone-our ground resources for at least 25,000 years. Today's technological developments, and sustainability-driven renewed interest in these materials is pushing them to greater heights and capabilities. From new earthen composites, to high performance structural blocks, high end exterior cladding, interior finishes and vibrant natural pigments, there is a spectrum of design products on offer today whose basis lies in our most abundant and locally available ground resources.


Materials carefully extracted from the Earth, those made simply of earthen materials like soil, sand, clay, rocks and minerals themselves, and more recently, materials   strategically designed FOR the Earth, with a much healthier lifecycle impact in mind,  then are our most valuable palette for the built environment-used to construct buildings, from their strong foundations to their identity-giving facades.


Pairing technology with centuries old craft and cultural knowledge in many cases, these materials even have the power to replace resilient but challenging materials such as concrete, metal and plastic in increasingly frequent instances, shifting our perception of materials drawn from the ground as temporary, fragile or limiting. Today, both designers and end users are aware that any materials employed in building structure and interior spaces will eventually return to the earth. These materials can either leave a toxic and damaging trail on the environment, or give back, so to speak, breaking down at their end of life into elements which are truly nutritional for the earth. A wave of Regenerative solutions is taking over -compostable, bio-based, bio-fabricated, carbon negative and purifying - each designed FOR the earth as their customer. Often these materials are drawing away waste streams and pollutants from a variety of industries, neutralizing them and transforming them into materials of value.


MaterialDriven's curation traces the journey of precisely such materials from the ground up-from earth-based or earth-sensitive sourcing and design, to application in the most critical and visible of building components. Building facades, in particular, offer an exciting opportunity for such materials to be applied at scale, become visible and inspiring to a larger audience, and play an active role in improving local environmental conditions, especially in polluted urban areas. From interior finishes and surfaces, to exterior-grade blocks, tiles and panels, this exhibition brings together the most innovative of earth-driven materials.



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