Materials Design Map, for a local circular economy

News — 11 July 2023

Made by WeVux, this is a free platform where you can find experiments on materials, sustainable products, as well as designers, studios and startups working on these topics.

WeVux - a project started at the Politecnico di Milano in 2011 and coordinated by Giuseppe Barbalinardo, Teo Sandigliano and Mattia Lanzarone - has set up an interesting new tool for designers and companies in the design field: the Materials Design Map is an entirely free online platform that documents and makes available information about sustainable material experiments.


This is a collaborative database, where fact sheets and details are provided, at no subscription cost, directly by participating designers, studios and companies, and materials are updated monthly. Anyone who has created or is working on a sustainable material can participate through a simple Google Form on the Contacts page.

We believe in the multidisciplinary nature of the industry, in design as a way to facilitate a transition to a more sustainable future. The Materials Design Map is the first project we are launching: an online database, free and usable by anyone with a connection that not only allows people to get in touch with companies and designers, but also helps them understand what kind of projects are being developed in a given geographic area”. This is what the platform is all about, as explained by Teo Sandigliano of WeVux. 

Pluma by MOGU srl @ MOGU srl 

PIANTATOIO by Matali Crasset con KeepLife by Pietro Petrillo e Ilaria Spagnuolo, Piila srl @ Piila srl

The database particularly emphasizes the geolocation of materials and experiments to foster real local circular development. For this, the platform presents an interactive map where it is possible to check the geographical location of the searched project or the total number of projects related to new materials in a given location. This is followed by a list of projects organized according to 4 different filters, i.e., designer name/type of resource/type of business and country where the firm/company is located. Then by clicking on the results it is possible to have a description of the project, the location, the status of the project (first prototypes, seeking funding...) and the web contact of the designer.

The Growing Sneakers by Nicholas Rapagnani

Ohmie Lamp by Rekrill @ Rekrill

The Materials Design Map came about as a result of observing some critical issues found in materials experiments. One among them is concept development: we are used to seeing Petri dishes containing real microcosms, samples of new materials that help us imagine a sustainable future, but how can we integrate these experiments within industrial production systems? The other critical aspect is the fragmentation of waste recycling and reuse systems, so much so that, to give an example, in a state like Italy we have different rules that change from region to region, even from city to city. Is there a single solution to our problems? A single one probably not, but the Materials Design Map aims to offer us many small, possible solutions.

Giria by Evelina Kudabaite @ Evelina Kudabaite

The Materials Design Map thus aims to respond to these critical points: on the one hand, there is the desire to map all the different projects that have been and are being developed, to share them and make them known as much as possible, with the hope of facilitating their development and contact with possible sponsors and partners. On the other hand, through the introduction of a map and the participation of companies and products already on the market, the desire is to try to make a contribution to the circular economy: to encourage the development of small-scale circular solutions on a local scale, as well as a local economy based on circularity, avoiding environmentally harmful practices such as waste transportation, storage in landfills and the downcycle phenomenon.

Terra Eternity by Studio Yoon Seok-hyeon @ Studio Yoon Seok-hyeon

Since 2011, WeVux has been involved in sharing design and architecture projects through careful curating. In recent years WeVux has specialized in content related to sustainability and emerging design, offering concrete contributions to the world (the real world) of planning and Design.

Tag: Sustainability circular design new materials

© — All rights reserved. — Published on 11 July 2023

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