Materials and making for our supernatural future
Humankind used to take the materials of nature offered and make them into something new. Now, there’s a new stage in the cycle, as nature takes human materials and transforms them once more. The making materials of today become the mined resources of tomorrow. Plastics are written into the fossil record. Industrial waste streams decay into intriguing new substances. We have entered the Anthropocene era – a new geological age where human making has realigned the processes of nature, forever blurring the boundaries between the natural and the man-made.
Experimental design collective Dutch Invertuals are collaborating with FranklinTill on Mutant Matter – an exhibition of radical design concepts and investigations into possibilities of our new material future.
‘Geologically speaking, the fruits of the Anthropocene are yet to be witnessed. However, the acceleration of human industry has already made irreversible and permanent changes to the planet, to the point that artificial geological phenomena are being documented worldwide. As a result, designers are beginning to consider not only the complications caused by these vast ecological changes, but also the potential.’ – Caroline Till, FranklinTill
Showing at Spazio O’ in Milan’s Isola district, Mutant Matter marks Dutch Invertuals’ 18th appearance at the Salone del Mobile, and one of the most progressive and intriguing shows on this year’s programme. Bringing together two of the most dynamic and forward-thinking organisations in contemporary global design, the exhibition proposes not just a new collection, but entirely new ways of thinking about what making means in the modern world.
‘Radical Matter inspire us to observe the drastic evolution of materials. For Milan, we offer our joint vision on a small chapter of this broad and socially involved topic. By envisaging and questioning material innovation we hope to make a real difference on a deeper level.’ – Wendy Plomp, Dutch Invertuals
For Mutant Matter, 10 Dutch Invertuals designers each present a vision of how the evolution and mutation of materials might be harnessed to bring about a more livable future. Works include entirely new materials and revaluations of old ones, experiments with recycled objects and repurposed waste streams, and radical new methods of making and thinking about design.
As part of the exhibition Mutant Matter FranklinTill are curating a series of talks exploring our current and future relationship with materials and the role of materiality in design.
Wednesday 18 April, 4pm
WASTE: A design issue?
Should design systems be built to eliminate waste or to use it? Should ‘waste’ even figure as a design term when all materials can be considered resources? In a world of finite raw materials and abundant recyclables, household rubbish and industrial scrap are becoming increasingly interesting as material resources – how might makers and industry work together to tap into them?
Thursday 19 April, 4pm
FREAK OF NATURE : Organic or human-made matter?
Are today’s designers unlocking the power of raw materials, or adulterating them into alien matter that threatens our fragile ecosystem? Does the distinction between natural and human-made still apply, or are we moving into a new age of Frankenstein materials? In the near and distant future, what anthropogenic matter might we be mining and what value could we engineer from it?
Via Pastrengo, 12, 20159 Milano MI (Isola area)
Near Garibaldi station
10:30h – 20:00h
Tuesday closes at 19:00h
Sunday 22th closes at 17:00h
16th 17:00h – 20:00h
Talks by FranklinTill
Wednesday 18 April, 16:00h – WASTE: A design issue?
Thursday 19 April, 16:00h – FREAK OF NATURE : Organic or human-made matter?
Friday the 20th starts 19:00h!!