Innovation That Matters

Service helps product designers find sustainable new materials


With so many innovative new materials being launched every year — take Ecovative’s sustainable styrofoam substitute, for example—it would be difficult for any product designer or manufacturer to be aware of them all as they create their own new products. That’s where Material Short Stories comes in. The company offers a service-cum-publication geared toward manufacturers, agencies and designers that suggests five new materials that could be incorporated in any new product design. Clients begin by sending German Material Short Stories a visual of their product or concept via e-mail. The company then brainstorms on the concept and its user experience, factoring in branding and sustainability issues, and comes up with a list of new materials that could make sense. From there, it zeroes in on five innovative materials that could best be used to improve the product concept, and it sketches and summarizes those—including references and design recommendations—in a neat little booklet. Within a few days, clients get that booklet sent to them along with a 1-gigabyte USB card including a digital summary for use in presentations. The cost is EUR 600 plus VAT and shipping. Given all the sustainability-related innovation these days, there will clearly be increasing need for someone to help connect those on the product side with the fast-changing world of materials. One to emulate on a niche basis—or, to tap for help with your own next design? (Related: Library of green building materials.) Spotted by: Cagla Pakel



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