"AI will impact material design by improving simulation and prediction efficiency, identifying new materials and properties through machine learning, and automating routine tasks, however, the role of the designer will still be crucial in setting design goals, interpreting results, and making informed design decisions." This is what ChatGPT, an AI-driven text generator answered to the question "How will AI influence the way we design materials and the role of the designers in it?". What's for sure is that in a world that's increasingly driven by AI, the role of the designer is being challenged.
Acrylic Couture GbR's Refined Acrylic Glass, for example, exemplifies this thrilling future. This handmade product features various materials encased in acrylic glass, with unique nanoparticles added to produce dynamic light effects for customizable shine and shimmer. Another hard material is Marubeni Europe plc's Metallic Composite, a durable material with a metallic appearance made from PA6 with ultrafine inorganic fillers. It boasts high gloss, stiffness, strength, lightness, and is heat, weather, and light resistant. This recyclable material excels in its properties and is ideal for use in automotive design. Thirdly, The Good Plastic Company's Recycled Plastic Juicy Lollipop is an extremely versatile hard sheet material. Each sheet is made from a single type of plastic, ensuring full recyclability. The material's eye-catching colours and glossy finish thus transform former single-use cutlery into beautiful and sustainable products.
Moving onto nature-inspired materials, we find the Leafs Decor from Organoid Technologies GmbH. The sheet material is built up from individually washed, dried and pressed leaves. Its transparency varies depending on the base material, but coatings make it less delicate and suitable for outdoor use. Not inspired by flora, but by fauna, the Synthetic Leather Stingray by Mah-ATN GmbH is a synthetic material with a natural stingray look, which is suitable for extravagant uses like wall coverings and upholstery due to its captivating, changeable appearance. Although the exact interaction between humans and machines will unfold in the coming years, these materials are already omens of what lies ahead of us. They foretell a future where humans and machines interact, with the human touch still present but aided by technology and machine learning. Although already evoking tension, the exact outcomes remain to be seen in the years to come.
Using Multi-Image Prompting, all featured visuals were created by Envisions in collaboration with OpenAi.
When new technologies present themselves, it simply doesn't come down to rejecting or accepting them. Once introduced, they immediately start to influence our surroundings and can no longer be deleted from our everyday lives. It is thus far more interesting to position ourselves towards new technologies and question how they influence our being. Instead of being a rival, AI could therefore become a collaborator that pushes our abilities to new heights.
A completely different material that embodies our future material landscape is Interlace Polyethylene Membrane from Melissa Grustat. Polyethylene foam is mainly known as a soft protective cover for furniture which only survives storage and transportation after ending up in the waste bin. But its lifespan can be extended through thermal treatment and pressure, and its appearance improved with lacing techniques. This process only takes a few seconds, and no additional materials are needed, making it simple and fast. Another woven material is the Knitted Copper Heating Fabric by Cotexx GmbH, a woven material that evenly distributes heat like a water bath. It's made of copper wires and can be safely and efficiently connected during processing while working with low and main voltage. Beyond all these technical aspects, the copper material features a red metallic finish that's aesthetically pleasing to look at.
Refined Acrylic Glass - Acrylic Couture GBR
Metallic Composite - Marubeni Europe PLC
Recycled Plastic Juicy Lollipop - The Good Plastic Company
Interlace Polyethylene Membrane - Melissa Grustat
Knitted Copper Heating Fabric - Cotexx GMBH
Leafs Decor - Organoid Technologies GMBH
Synthetic Leather Stingray - Mah-ATN GMBH