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Materials opportunities

A one day workshop-seminar discussing “Material opportunities” and “Resource efficiency in manufacturing” was organised by BI-D (bic innovation-design) and WRAP Cymru.

The morning session started with the first speaker Chris Lefteri. He demonstrated the benefits that can be generated from switching a project’s approach from a traditional one, where material is chosen in a later stage, to a material centered approach, where the project starts with the material. In fact this approach; starting from an understanding of materials’ properties and qualities, can lead to unusual and unexplored project solutions and applications, re-contextualising materials into new and different sectors.

The presentation focused then on the need to reduce the gap between design and material sectors, making information and technical data easier to understand and apply. Suggestions and examples specifically referred to adopting a more illustrative and visual language comparing data for existing and common objects, to help communicate values currently expressed quantitatively.

Building on the discussion around properties and qualities, the hidden characteristic of material at creating and narrating stories when they interact with contexts and users was also addressed. In fact, often these stories are embedded in the material and emerge through functionality, sensorial and emotional feedback, becoming a fundamental part of customer experience. So, materials are not only a set ensemble of technical and chemical properties, but they can tell a story to people by the design of the product, contributing to increasing customer demand to consume experiences.

The event followed with important advice and practical information giving regarding funding opportunities, schemes and partner organisations that can support SMES in the implementation of a waste reduction and optimization strategies.

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