Materials – Sector Textiles & Urban
One Week About Materials, curated by MaterialDistrict
Sector Textiles & Fabrics
Ambassadors: Anne Marie Commandeur and Liesbeth in ‘t Hout
What do you think are the most important material innovations within your sector and why?
AMC: Biobased textile innovations are surely the most exciting innovations. Fruit waste is found to be a suitable raw material, featuring fashion textiles derived from orange, apple and grape skins, as well as pineapple leaves. Orange Fiber, which is made from by-products from the citrus juice industry, is applied by Salvatore Ferragamo. Liselore Frowijn worked with the vegan ‘leather’ Piñatex, produced from pineapple leaves, for her collections. Stella McCartney collaborates with US-based biotech company Bolt Threads to study silk proteins found in nature to inspire the development of lab-engineered synthetic spider silk. And these are just some of the commercially applied developments, there is so much more happening in the labs.
The outcomes of the Trash2cash project, taking waste and making new fibres, are extremely important. These are still in an early stage, but aiming to create new regenerated fibres from pre-consumer and post-consumer waste. All developments that facilitate us to design for recyclability are of massive importance. So to start from scratch, with virgin materials, in anticipation of future recycling.
LH: The clothing industry, at the moment, is one of the biggest industries in the world and, unfortunately, still a very polluting one that fills the world with heaps of textile leftovers and garbage that won’t disappear for hundreds of years.
For that reason, the best industrial innovations are the ones that reduce the extreme overdoses of clothes and textiles and go for the use of materials that are biodegradable and go happily back to Mother Earth. In the first place, that means the use of new natural sources for the creation of textiles and materials. Currently, many students and designers are working together with companies and universities like Technical University Wageningen and TU Eindhoven, to create new textiles from plants, fruits, fish skin and many other natural raw materials. Of course, the projects are still experimental, but more and more often you see them widely exposed on presentations and exhibitions like Dutch Design Week and published in the media. Sustainable innovation is, for textiles and clothing, the only option.
New technologies in production play an important part in it. This can be about 3D printing and industrial inventions like knitting machines that create a whole garment in one piece. Using these methods, a lot of polluting logistics and overdoses of energy can be avoided. Next to that, it will be possible for people to have their own personal garments, perfectly fitted.
Sector Urban & Landscapes
Ambassador: Cees Donkers
What do you think are the most important material innovations within your sector of Urban & Landscapes and why?
Transformation. This term I use to describe also the reuse of old buildings for new functions, rather than demolition. The reuse of the former first factory of PHILIPS (built in 1920) became the icon for a completely new identity of the city!
We were used to invent new ways of living and housing and use of landscape by demolishing the past and build new updated versions of our daily life. During the past 30 years, we discovered that we used the planet ‘for free’ without feeling responsible for the future generations, in the meantime living with more and more people using more and more natural sources.
Using our brains makes us aware of the fact that we cannot continue in this behaviour so we have to change. Transformation makes it possible to change and re-use the past. So less or even no waste anymore and smart or, even better, wise creativity for a better society.
Transformation has been important throughout my career. When I started working in Eindhoven, I pleaded for the preservation of the (white) village where I bought a house, 40 years ago. Rather than focusing on the upkeep of my own house, I put my energy into organising a maintenance fund for the village. This was the start of my career.
Later, I started organising a programme called ‘Q-Café’, in which the Q stands for quality and the setting was a bar. Q-Café invited people to talk about the quality of the city. One subject was a building owned by Philips, called De Witte Dame (The White Lady), that was supposed to be demolished. I got a job with the local government, and my first project was to preserve and transform this building. In the 90s, Eindhoven was voted the ugliest city in the Netherlands. Thanks to the transformation of De Witte Dame, which turned into an icon for design, this view has changed. From ‘ugly duck to a design pearl’. Since then, I have transformed many buildings, which offers many possibilities for the future.
MaterialDistrict Rotterdam 2019
Rotterdam Ahoy, Ahoyweg 10
12 – 14 March, 2019