The material world Sal B (EN)

The modern designer works with more materials than ever before. Not just tangible materials, such as the web, or desktop software, or the smartphone; also, intangible ‘immaterials’ such as data, time, radio, and the network.

To design well with materials, be they tangible or not, we need to be conversant in them, acutely aware of their capabilities. How do we develop that familiarity?

Through a process of material exploration. Not just reading the documentation or making a few drawings – but feeling their grain under your fingernails. To understand the nature of materials, you can’t just look at them. You have to play with them. So perhaps it’s better to think not about making prototypes, but making toys.

In this talk, Tom will look at what materials are (and can be); the value of material exploration, and how to approach it; and the value of playing with materials – the value of toymaking.