Material District Rotterdam
12–14 March 2019
Once again, the Material District trade fair wants to demonstrate that there are promising and environmentally friendly developments in the field of materials. Progressiveness, a pioneering spirit and the desire for a circular economy are key themes for over 150 exhibitors and, alongside larger and more established companies, these topics set the tone among 100 trailblazing start-ups and designers presenting over 250 new materials.
Nine design ambassadors, including Ben van Berkel and Filippo Lodi from the architecture and design studio Unstudio, have worked in close collaboration with the organisers to help select the start-ups. In addition, they have drawn up and curated a lecture programme with two parallel streams involving over 60 speakers. Both designers and academics will be sharing their findings with visitors.
Under the premise that new materials can still surprise and give impetus to innovative design, the organisers aim to expand the imagination of fair visitors in the field of materials. Their plan seems to be paying off, as according to their figures, last year the number of visitors increased by a third, so they are expecting to exceed 2018’s visitor total of 8,400. This is not a surprise as the exhibits include, for example, pavement slabs made of burnt waste, wallpaper made of palm leather, fashion made of coffee textiles, interactive facades, and ceramic lacquer made of human urine. The possible combinations of composite materials such as marble powder and oysters are astonishing as well. Fabrics with a cozy feel are still on the advance and Material District invites visitors to actively touch and try them out – sensual activities that the internet will still not be able to compete with in future.
The fair is divided into the sectors architecture, interior design, textiles and fabrics, cities and landscapes, products, printing and signs.