Material Lab announces new collaboration with Brain of Materials


With design becoming increasingly intertwined with the digital world, particularly over the last 12 months, Materials Lab is delighted to announce a new collaboration with the innovative online platform, Brain of Materials.

Studio Manager Taranpreet Kaur spoke to Stanislaw Grünstein, Strategy & Operations Manager, and Hannah Hildenbrand, Senior Material Specialist at Brain of Materials, to discuss more about this exciting collaboration.

Welcome to Material Lab, Stanislaw and Hannah! Please can you tell our studio visitors about the Brain of Materials platform?

Of course. Brain of Materials is a global digital platform for materials and material data. Anyone looking for inspiration has access to a vast amount of materials that can be searched intuitively and filtered by categories, attributes, test categories and suppliers. For manufacturers, Brain of Materials offers the tools to boost product portfolios by digitising their materials and equipping each one with 3D surface scans, high-resolution pictures, certified test results and a standardised, easy-to-understand display of all relevant material data.


Image Credit: V. Schenk & V. Grossmann

What can architects and designers expect when using Brain of Materials?

They can use the platform for free and get instant access to a digital library of inspirational materials and portfolios, along with the contact details of all suppliers. The integrated chat function enables seamless interaction and collaboration. Brain of Materials provides architects and designers with high-quality, easy-to-use 3D surface scans that can be downloaded or dragged and dropped to where you need them. Additionally, all of the vital information on each material is available at a glance, from technical data to test results.

How will architects and designers benefit from this new collaboration with Material Lab?

We are really excited to be collaborating with Material Lab - together we can take users on a complete journey of discovery. Having the opportunity to explore materials in-person at Material Lab, enables architects and designers to better understand the surface texture, feel and colour of the products available which is a crucial part of the design process. They can then use our platform to add a deep dive into the technical data for the materials they choose to ensure they are ready for engineering purposes. The collaboration is the perfect combination of analogue and digital, which is a key driver in modern-day design.


Image credit: Brain of Materials

Speaking of modern design, what are your favourite trends of 2021?

The Covid-19 pandemic gave rise to some interesting trends. One of which, coined ‘Playful Craftsmanship 2.0’, saw people get creative and improvise by combining old craftsmanship and material knowledge with new production techniques to create new and sustainable products. With international transport routes grinding to a halt, we’ve also seen a greater focus on local resources and distributors. Overall, the industry now has a deeper understanding of the circular economy, and there’s a genuine desire for change. Consumers are on board too, as there’s a growing demand for human-made materials and a higher acceptance of the imperfection found in recycled materials.

Are there any new materials emerging that you think designers should be looking into?

One particularly exciting and sustainable design trend is the re-usage of waste to develop novel and innovative materials, which ties into the growing appetite for recycled materials. When it comes to textiles, we’re particularly excited about Mixed Fibres Recycled Fabric developed by imat-uve and a German-Dutch project consortium. Pioneering the recycling of mixed textile waste that would otherwise be burned or dumped, this material is based on a yarn from multiple fiber sources and easily competes with the quality of the initial fabrics it’s been recycled from. It’s the epitome of material recycling.

(Image Credits: V. Schenk & V. Grossmann, & Brain of Materials)

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