In 2020, the New Material Award will be concluded. Over the past 10 years, material development and innovation has evolved. From a relatively minor subject within design research, it has become an increasingly fundamental aspect of sustainability and technological innovation, among other areas. With concluding the prize the sucessful collaboration between Fonds Kwadraat, Stichting DOEN and Het Nieuwe Instituut will come to an end.
When Fonds Kwadraat, Stichting DOEN, and Het Nieuwe Instituut joined forces in 2014, there was little professional or public recognition of the field’s importance. Now that this is widely acknowledged, the stimulating power of the award is no longer necessary. For this reason, Fonds Kwadraat, Stichting DOEN and Het Nieuwe Instituut have decided to discontinue the prize in this form.
The conclusion of the award is an excellent moment to honour the achievements of all participants, and to underline the continuing importance of material innovation. Starting in the autumn of 2020, a number of international gatherings and presentations will be organised with the aim of permanently connecting the many branches of the international network that was established in recent years. At the same time, the innovations that the award has stimulated will remain visible and accessible.
From 2009, the New Material Award was an initiative of Fonds Kwadraat (known as Materiaalfonds until 2015) and Stitchting DOEN that aimed to bring more attention to an aspect of design that was increasingly developing, yet remained outside the professional field of vision. In 2014, Het Nieuwe Instituut became a partner and more attention was paid to the public conversation, the physical presentation both nationally and internationally, and to the development of an international materials network. With expanding possibilities for interest-free loans at Fonds Kwadraat and the connection to the sustainable entrepreneurial network of Stichting DOEN, the entrepreneurial side of designers could be addressed. The common goal has since been achieved: there is now a greater social appreciation of, and attention to, the broad perspectives of the development and application of sustainable materials.