Ellen Lupton, design luminary and curator at the Cooper-Hewitt Nation Design Museum, and product designer and teacher Inna Alesina introduced their new book, Exploring Materials: Creative Design For Everyday Objects at Baltimore’s Design Conversations. Their book, published by Princeton Architectural Press, is divided into five sections that cover topics like: how to get inspired by materials, how to use materials to solve design problems, and how to transform prototypes into sellable products. Another section of the book reminds designers to make a positive impact on the world by considering topics like sustainability, accessibility and social responsibility. This theme appears throughout the book since many of the products are made from repurposed materials. From the publisher’s website:
Exploring Materials invites you to get inspired by physical forms and substances. Materials are like words. The richer your design vocabulary, the more design solutions you can see and express. Foam, mesh, wood, plastic, and wire each have behaviors and properties that suggest different types of structure, surface, and connection. Each has its place, consequences, and cost. Understanding materials is essential to design, and understanding materials through hands-on experiment is absolutely crucial. Use this book to begin looking at design with new eyes. Ignore what you already know, and find out how substances such as cardboard, cloth, metal, and rope can yield surprising structures with unexpected functions.
Go to the post on Core77 for more coverage of the Baltimore Design Conversations event and the book.