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On 15 April 2016 Het Nieuwe Instituut organised a European New Materials Network Meeting during the Milan Furniture Fair in partnership with Materfad: Materials Centre (Barcelona) and Happy Materials (Prague). This was the first step in the formation of an international network for knowledge exchange about materials innovation and design in relation to sustainability. Twenty-four participants from nine countries spent the afternoon talking about research, activities, experiences and ambitions in relation to networking and partnerships in this field. The meeting took place in the exhibition RESET by Royal Academy of Art (KABK).

The participants in the meeting were Het Nieuwe Instituut; Materfad; Happy Materials; Stichting DOEN; Material Stories; BNO (The Association of Dutch Designers); Associazione Design Industriale (ADI); Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti; the Design & Living Systems Lab and the MA in Material Futures at Central Saint Martins; Material Archive; Materialscout; Designaffairs, matériO, Made of...; the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering at Delft University of Technology; Material ConneXion® Italia; Triwu; Chris Lefteri Design Ltd; Material Archive; MATREC - sustainable Materials and Trends; Officina Corpuscoli; MaterialDesignLab at KEA Copenhagen School of Design and Technology; Haute Innovation; Material ConneXion Bilbao and the School of Design and the ‘Giulio Natta’Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering at the Politecnico di Milano.

Salone Satellite

Following the network meeting, Het Nieuwe Instituut and seven of the participants were invited to give a presentation to the organisation of Salone Satellite on networking, research and activities relating to materials innovation, design and sustainability. This public New Materials > New Design Talk took place in the Salone Satellite Open auditorium on 14 April. 

International Materials & Design Network

Within the advancing international network of innovation in materials, design and sustainability, a growing number of new collaborative projects is being set up. Examples of international collaborations include working visits by Dutch designers and international activities for the New Material Award. Het Nieuwe Instituut and international partners organize these activities to realize more market expansion in the design field, in so doing contributing to the internationalization of Dutch design practice.    

Things and Materials programme track

Het Nieuwe Instituut’s Things and Materials programme track includes the Series on Materials, a series of exhibitions in which a single material is examined from historical, speculative and sensory perspectives. Research by Het Nieuwe Instituut fellows into various materials has been made public through exhibitions, publications and films. Earlier projects have included WOOD: The Cyclical Nature of Materials, Sites and Ideas (fellow Dan Handel); PLASTIC: Promises of a Home-made Future (fellow Tal Erez) and GLASS: Engine of Progress (curated by Koehorst in 't Veld). The exhibition Biodesign: On the Cross-Pollination of Nature, Science and Creativity, curated by William Myers, examined a broad range of projects that employ living systems for creative production within the arts and design.

The New Material Award is a biennial prize for materials innovation in the fields of art, design and architecture, established by Stichting Doen, Fonds Kwadraat and Het Nieuwe Instituut. The prize functions in two ways: every two years a jury selects two winners from the projects submitted, while the website acts as an archive and research resource, arranged into various categories. A selection of the submissions will be shown during Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven in 2016 and the Salone del Mobile in Milan in 2017.