This week’s study tour trip took us to Material ConneXion, a fabric library resource for students, designers and corporations.
Material ConneXion is home to material samples from 5000 different manufacturers, ranging from independent designers to synthetic giants such as 3M. While the library consists of 7500 samples, only 2500 are on display. All materials are organized by category: polymers, naturals, glass, carbon, metals and processes. From there each category is broken into smaller subcategories like mosaics, tiles and fiber composites.
Our tour guide explained that each material in the library has some kind of compelling story, and is an improvement on existing technology. For example, she showed us a material used for motorcycle jackets that slows friction in accidents while is also light reflecting, and therefore cooling. She also showed us translucent wood and translucent concrete, where fibers are glued between the layers to allow light through.