New and smart materials - why and how

    Research output: Non-textual formSound/Visual production (digital)Communication


    A first question when talking about new materials is why we should use them – are the traditional old materials not sufficient? Take for example an old farmhouse made with timber framing and thatched roof. It is made from materials like wood, reed, clay, chalk and linseed oil. They are found locally and easy to replace, repair and dispose of. Furthermore do we face a number of challenges using the new materials. There is less experience in using them, the risk is higher, and investments are likely to be higher. So there are good reasons to stick to the old well known materials. And yet the new materials are interesting. Why? Because we can achieve a long range of new and improved physical properties like durability, weight, strength, appearance, environment and the unit cost can be reduced. Furthermore do the new materials open for more advanced and sophisticated semiotic properties. The semiotic properties are becoming more and more important since consumers more increasingly select between products based on the meaning they associate to the product appearance. Semiotics is the study of signs and symbols and described by authors like Pierce and Saussure. Customer preferences also keep changing over time and an important question to producers are therefore which appearance preferences the customers will demand in the future. A model for how to perform foresight and translate this into consumer trends is presented together with a facility called the future tool that support designers with inspirations and material samples. The present version of the future tool is based on the theme 'safe haven'.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2008
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    EventSmart Space : The Age of Intelligence in Buildings and Furniture - Vejle, Denmark
    Duration: 1 Jan 2008 → …


    ConferenceSmart Space : The Age of Intelligence in Buildings and Furniture
    CityVejle, Denmark
    Period01/01/2008 → …


    • semiotics
    • materials
    • future, trends


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