Hello everyone, this is Munetake. Let me report about the interesting event, “Material Experience 2018”, which happened between the 13th and the 15th of March.
Material Experience is an exhibition about the various uses of innovative materials. This annual event has been held for 5 years, which is run by the organisation called Materia. The avenue is divided into 6 sections; Products, Interior, Fashion&Workwear, Mobility, Architecture and Graphic & Packaging. 140 companies in total partook in this events. Over 250 kinds of cutting-edge materials were introduced this year. Moreover, there were speeches held by world famous innovators from the fields of architecture, science, design and other fields. Unfortunately, I could not enjoy the great speeches, because I visited this event in the late afternoon on the last day. However, I had many great conversations with the exhibitors, as well as opportunities to know the trends in material industry. From this experience, I would like to introduce the companies and materials here, which I was astonished by.
First of all, I got my eyes on this product. This product is designed for the Japanese market, from which I assume they are rice bowls. Because they are made of plastic, they are very light and durable. Even if they are dropped from a table, they wouldn’t break so easily. This product would be perfect for serving meals in hospitals and kindergartens in Japan. In addition, this material can be biodegraded by bacteria’s even if they were to be wasted in the ocean.
This Finnish company is making plastic product using biotechnology. They are especially skilled in making products from biodegradable glass fiber, which reinforce PLA materials to be durable and eco-friendly by adopting ABMcomposite technology.
Next one is this table that looks like it’s made of concrete ! It has a minimalistic design with simple coloring and a smooth texture. It is also very light. Net Echt is a Dutch company producing products with a concrete look. They set a wood inside of the product and cover it with a coating mixed of polyester and other compound. The product’s idea came from the process of constructing a ship in the past. Owners can easily take care of their products, because the coating repels water and dirt. This company mainly produces furnitures and gardening tools. As their recycle project, they are collecting back their products from their customers after use. Collected products are decomposed and recycled to make a new product. This way, they manage sustainability with customers directly.
“Oh I’ve seen this” , I reached my hand to a container of eggs. I always go to Albert Heijn and buy the biological eggs with the egg container. I was excited that I found the same egg container in Material Experience. Paper Foram produces papered texture materials which are made from water, natural fiber, starch, premix.
These packaging products are becoming popular in Europe where the sustainability trend persists. The material is more durable than actual paper. Their product areplaced in a bit expensive class among other packaging products, due to the cost of manufacturing the material, which is more expensive than manufacturing paper. Therefore theyare used as packaging for biological eggs, which are priced comparably expensive when compared to regular eggs.They are also used as packaging for Bests’ headphone.
The last, company, MOSO, makes bamboo materials for architecture, which are familiar to Japanese people. They used the kind of bamboo called “Moso” which grow in the warm and wet climate areas of Asia. Therefore, they now have 4 manufacturers in China. In Europe oak trees are the mainly used in architecture. Bamboo becomes more durable than oak when they are pressed. Evermore the price of bamboo materials is almost the same as oak materials. It can be a replacement for the main architectural material. Furthermore, bamboo has a advantage in sustainability, because the growing speed is very fast.
My findings after walking around the venue, was that most of the companies that participated, consider sustainability as a necessary aspect of their product’s presentation. Many exhibitors said that products without sustainability cannot succeed on the European market. Thinking about Japanese production, they use innovative technology and products labelled with “Made in Japan” is known as high quality products around the world. However, the idea of sustainability is still not spread enough in Japan when compared to Europe. Therefore, only quality and design are valued in a product. In the case that people sell Japanese products on the European market, it is necessary to adopt green marketing, considering the trend of a market.
I did not see any Japanese companies when I walked around the venue. I hope there will be some Japanese companies participating in Material Experience to introduce innovative Japanese crafts with their high technology next year.
Inside of Material Experience: