Designs with the main feature ‘weight’

Care for milk

Overproduction and continuous price drops have seen our appreciation of milk sink to an all-time low. With Care for Milk Ekaterina Semenova wants to reclaim the value of this characteristic Dutch dairy product.Dairy leftovers of milk are collected from neighbourhood households.

Wood in Progress

Driven by a strong affinity to challenge the industry, the design collective Envisions strives to collaborate with established companies and inspire them to rethink their production processes.

Plasma Rock

Landfill waste is transformed into energy with the only by-product being the Plasma Rock.
The quality of this nearly undiscovered and non-toxic material is that it is mechanically strong, dense and environmentally stable. Besides the aesthetic differences (Plasma Rock can be green or black), the rocks have differences in the number of elements, depending on the type of waste.


Lithoplast is a new composite material that brings to life a speculative and scientific-based research into the future of plastic pollution and how it hybridizes into a new material in the geological strata of the earth. The name Lithoplast suggests its abilities: Lithos- meaning ‘stone’, and Plast, meaning ‘capable of being shaped or molded’.

Photo: Alan Boom


Fine dust from Rotterdam is used to make enamel for ceramics. The color of the particulate matter makes the poor air quality visible, and even tangible.

Recomposed Bamboo

‘Recomposed Bamboo’ investigates the composition of the bamboo tube, and how this structure can be used more efficiently and aesthetically.

The Tree Trunk Chair

What does ‘new’ mean? The Tree Trunk Chair has a production time of 200 years. By pressing a mould into a tree for two centuries, the tree will slowly take on the shape of the mould, after which it can be removed and the chair can be ‘harvested’.

The Growing Lab – Mycelia

Fungi are micro-organisms that consist of many extremely small and fast-growing hyphal threads. Grow the fungi on the right substrate and a new, strong material will form, which can take on any three-dimensional form. The Growing Lab is an ongoing research project into the possibilities of using fungi for design and architecture.

Virtual Paper

The world of materials is bigger than the material world. Using algorithms, computers can simulate the natural characteristics of materials. Ontwerper Borgart uses an algorithm developed by the University of California at Berkeley to simulate the characteristics of paper.


A prosthetic arm can be heavy, expensive and uncomfortable, as was discovered by a jewellery maker who had lost her arm and was fitted for a prosthesis. Roel Deden developed an attachment for her that is more of tool than a replacement of a body part.

The Lenticular Project

Lenticular printing is used to produce an image that changes optically in colour or depth as it moves. Antoine Peters is researching the possibilities of applying this technique to fabric and creating ‘multiple design’ clothing; the colour of the print changes depending on the movements of the wearer or the viewer.


The glass industry uses only white, pure sand for the manufacturing of glass. This type of sand can only be found in a small number of sand quarries around the world. As part of the Sandbank project, Atelier NL is experimenting with various local, non-pure types of sand. Types of sand from different locations produce different colours, patterns, and textures.
Sand from different locations produces different colors, patterns, and textures. Melted in the oven the sands fracture, foam, and harden into crystallization patterns. With SandBank Atelier NL explores the potential of these new material variations.

Photo: Mike Roelofs


In the Netherlands, mealworms are grown for the food industry. Now mainly as food for animals; in the future also for people. The mealworm originates from the mealworm beetle, which dies several months after laying eggs. Growers see these beetles as waste and throw them away. In order to reduce waste and reuse natural resources, Aagje Hoekstra examined how the beetles could be given a second life, as part of her graduation project at the Utrecht School of the Arts (HKU).

Black Gold

Quintus Kropholler ‘s Black Gold collection includes items made of asphalt. Asphalt consists of stone and bitumen. Bitumen is the material that is left over after the processing of crude oil. With this project, Kropholler wants to change the perception of the material. Unlike plastic and gasoline, this petroleum product has a long life and will probably outlive its source (petroleum). Kropholler also demonstrates that asphalt has an aesthetic value.

Mycelium Project

With the Mycelium Project, Studio Eric Klarenbeek aims to offer an alternative to plastics and bioplastics in the relatively young market of 3D printing. The chair is printed with mycelium, a network of hyphae. Instead of melting layers of plastic together, Eric Klarenbeek uses mycelium as ‘living glue. The basic raw material is vegetable waste.

Pendant lights

One in four trees has a fungus. The mould-infested trees are not put on the timber market and are usually cut up in the shredder. Milo Dool gives this waste wood a new destination in his Pendant Light design; the lamps are made of mouldy beech wood.

Invert Footwear

The Invert Footwear collection consists of pairs of different brands of sneakers and flip-flops. For example, Elisa van Joolen turned sample models of Nike skate sneakers inside out and created new matching soles made of flip-flops. The Nike sole became new sandals. Each pair of shoes is unique.

Blue Sky Project

Scientific research has shown that the best way to deal with winter depression is the light of a clear blue sky on a summer’s day. For the Anti-Winter Depression exhibition that took place in the winter of 2013/14 in Marres in Maastricht, Chris Kabel conducted a study into the physical process that makes the sky blue. The preliminary result of this study is the Blue Sky lamp, a prototype therapy lamp that simulates the light of a clear blue sky on a summer’s day.

3D Print Canal House

The 3D Print Canal House is a three-year research project in which DUS Architects, in collaboration with a number of national and international partners, work on the printing of a canal house to study the possibilities of 3D printing in architecture.

CaCO3 Stoneware

Inspired by the growth of stalactites, Laura Lynn Jansen and Thomas Vailly have found a way to ‘grow’ stone in different forms. Their design series, CaCO3 Stoneware, consists of objects grown around structures drop by drop. The fragile skeleton, a 3D-printed structure, undergoes a petrification process that lasts many weeks in specially chosen thermo-mineral springs with a high calcium carbonate content, also known as CaCO3.

Photo: Floor Knaapen


In North-Holland, thousands of hectares of tulips are decapitated in May to retain the energy in the tulip bulb. Tulip growers do nothing with the tulip heads. With No-ink, Tjeerd Veenhoven has developed a process to give this flow of residual tulip heads a new purpose. First, the tulip heads are dried in a large rotating drum in the studio and then the stems and pistils are removed. The tulip’s petals remain.

Aera Fabrica

For her project, Aera Fabrica, Roos Meerman uses heat and air to blow up 3D-printed forms. Because plastic can quickly change from a liquid to a solid, it is possible to make the form flexible by heating the plastic, then blowing it up and letting it cool down again until the shape sets. Meerman uses PLA, a 100%-biodegradable material made from corn.


In order to explore the different applications of graphite, Niels Datema has designed various products, each of which has a certain property of graphite. Datema discovered that graphite has huge potential in terms of sustainability. It is an excellent electrical conductor and has a very low resistance. Graphite is the only naturally dry lubricant that we know of. Furthermore, the material is exceptionally resistant to extreme temperatures and to corrosion.

Clean Art

Jan Eric Visser (1962) has been transforming the inorganic part of his household refuse into autonomous works of art since 1987 as an ongoing project and his lifework. All sorts of waste items literally disappear in his sculptures, defining their shapes. Waste paper and coloured leaflets, processed and eventually impregnated with wax, make up the skins of the works.


Botany, as a discipline, began with early human efforts to identify edible, medicinal and poisonous plants, making it one of the oldest sciences. More than two centuries ago plants started to be categorized also for their secretions, a possible source of material.

Joined Forces

The design of Joined Forces emerged from a materials study of natural fibres and resin (bio-composites). When a fibres is hardened it gains resistance against pressure forces besides the strong tensile strength characteristics it already possesses.


Old crafts from the Biesbosch return with the seasons. The contempary poor quality straw and willow are cut in winter and bundled to function as a bench in summer. After the fall season, the benches disintegrate. They are returned to nature, to feed new and willow and reed.

‘6:1’ and ‘Ceramic Paint / Collection Cornwall’

The production of pristine white porcelain is a heavy burden to the environment: the production of one kilogram of porcelain produces six kilograms of waste, and the mining changes the landscape forever. The produced waste is not used in the ceramic industry, but disappears in our roads, buildings or is reintroduced into the landscape creating ‘pyramids’ of sand and minerals.

Kirsty van Noort was the second winner of the Material Award 2012

Reconstructing particles – Farrago

Reconstructing Particles is a research project investigating different possibilities of recycling, aiming to find new applications for waste and residual materials (industrial and biological) combined with different craft techniques, focussed on material innovations.

Carbon Age

Three clocks produced using Biochar. Biochar is produced by the thermal decomposition of agricultural waste and consists mainly of carbon. The carbon is present in an inert form, which means it cannot be absorbed by plants or animals. When buried in the earth, Biochar will work to continuously remove CO2 from the atmosphere.

First Runner Up

The raincoat is made from a new textile developed on the basis of a C2C certified interior furnishing fabric impregnated with an eco-friendly coating so that the garment is waterproof. The coat can easily be taken apart and recycled.

Integral foamed concrete

A core of foamed concrete with a solid outer layer. The kernel and cladding are both made from sand, cement and water and are fully recyclable.
The worldwide production of concrete continues to rise, but innovation is lagging behind. Foamed concrete is lighter and more durable than ordinary concrete but is also more vulnerable and water-absorbent. These disadvantages can be eliminated by covering the core with a solid outer shell.

Fabric Facade

Insulating fa’ade fabric made from strips of recycled PTFR (Teflon) sourced from conveyor belts used in the food processing industry. The strips are cut out of five-metre-long rolls. The pallets used to transport the material are used as cutting tables.


The wood used in the seating element and back panel has been infected with a mould culture, then dried to inactivate the mould and give the wood an exotic appearance. Inspired by an age-old Japanese craft technique, the legs and arm rests of the chair have been scorched.


The IJ-Lamp is made out of plastic and consists of elements that can be combined in a variety of ways. This kind of plastic is suitable for use because, unlike old-fashioned light bulbs, eco-friendly and LED bulbs don’t heat up. The IJ-lamp comprises two identical black and/or white shades and a coloured filter, held together by a light socket.

The Drinking Fountain

A ceramic container that cools water as an alternative to the plastic water coolers found in offices and public places. If clay is fired at a low temperature it allows water to evaporate through the porous walls, bringing about a natural cooling effect. The cooler is linked to the water supply, doing away with the need for bottled water.


Throughout the Netherlands, the areas around railway and bus stations are overflowing with old, abandoned bikes that need to be cleared away.

De Goedzak

Every now and then everyone throws out items that might still be of value and/or useful to others. These items disappear in grey garbage bags and end up on trash piles. The ‘Goedzak’ offers them a second chance. The bright coloured bag with the transparent window attracts attention and allows you to scan its contents. If no one is interested in contents, the bag will simply follow the same path as the other garbage bags.


Zipp is a lamp made from a flat section of polypropylene 0.4 mm thick, with a metre-long zip attached. All you need to do is zip together the long strip of material to create a wonderful spherical lampshade. In general, most lamps are packed in space-consuming boxes for transportation. And what is actually being transported is mainly air.

Manou Chair

The Manou Chair is constructed from the sustainable materials manou (pulp cane) and leather and comprises a minimum number of parts that all have a function.


Yana, a felt cloth measuring 4 by 6 meters, is the outcome of a study of the properties of wools and felt.  The fabric includes Italian mountain wool and rabit angora.  It is made using an ancient Turkish technique for felting rugs and can be used as a curtain or partition wall.

Formed from Clay

The Netherlands is a land formed by river, sea and glacier clay. By excavating clay in different sites throughout the Netherlands, shaping them and firing them, an incredible series of tiles resulted: a ceramic map in a variety of colours.

Canvas: second skin façade

For the renovation of an office building in Utrecht, firm of architects Cepezed and façade specialists jointly designed a Teflon-coated glass fibre second skin façade.

Side Table

The Side Table is part of the Urushi Series, in which Aldo Bakker works in collaboration with Uruschi artist Mariko Nishide. The Urushi Series last for all times, which is the ultimate in sustainability.

Seam Chair

When developing the Seam Chair and Seam Bench Chris Kabel worked with Materials Lab of the Air and Space Faculty at the TU Delft and composites manufacturer Lankhorst Indutech in Sneek. Chris Kabel used the material Pure, which is a 100% woven polypropylene textile (PP threads) with an internal core that melts at around 180 degrees C and an outside that melts at 130 degrees C. At the right temperature, the outer layer melts, fixing the remaining fibres. The result is an extremely hard recyclable material in contrast to the glass fibre-reinforced plastics currently used in the (furnishings) industry.

China Cabinet

During an internship with the EKWC, Marjan van Aubel started her research into porcelain foam, light but extremely hard porcelain.  This porcelain is even more sustainable because it can be fired at just 900 degrees C, and expands three times in the oven (normal porcelain has to be fired at 1260 degrees) so that only a third of the materials are required. The lightweight materials users fewer resources, are easier to transport and very long-lasting.

Moving Meshes

Research into materials is a key part of the work of Maria Blaisse. Essential qualities here are simplicity, clarity, beauty, durability and making optimal use of the material and its characteristics.

Gaudi Stool

Weight is a crucial aspect of sustainability. Lightweight products use less energy. Geenen’s research looked at systems found in nature and in architecture. The research project culminated in a series of designs in which each item of furniture is designed on the dynamics of a constructional principle.