Mind & Matter


New Materials 3.0

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I am pleased to announce that my latest book, Transmaterial 3: A Catalog of Materials that Redefine our Physical Environment, has just been published by Princeton Architectural Press. The third volume in the Transmaterial series continues my effort to inspire architects and designers interested in transforming the structure, spaces, and surfaces of their projects with the latest high-tech and environmentally friendly products.

Transmaterial 3 offers a survey of technological advances in materials with a special emphasis on new developments in the field of biopolymers and various agriculturally derived products; biomimetic products, systems, and processes that seek to emulate natural examples including low-embodied-energy and biochemically manufactured products; "grown" materials; nanoscale materials; renewable energy technologies; "second-life" materials derived from repurposed waste; and responsive, interactive, and transformational digital interfaces that harness pervasive communication networks and are powered by low-energy illumination sources.

Some of my favorite entries in the book include Self-Repairing Composites by Natural Process Design, Wall Through Wall Carpets by Carpets for Buildings, Adaptive Fritting by Hoberman Associates, Solar Water Tarp by Superficial Studio, and Cartesian Wax by MIT Media Laboratory / Material Ecology.




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About the Blogger

Blaine Brownell

thumbnail image Minnesota-based architect and author Blaine Brownell, AIA, is a self-defined materials researcher and sustainable building adviser. His "Product of the Week" emails and three volumes of Transmaterial (2006, 2008, 2010) provide designers with a steady flow of inspiration—a 21st-century Grammar of Ornament. Blaine has practiced architecture in Japan and the U.S. and has been published in more than 40 design, business, and science publications. The recipient of a Fulbright fellowship for 2006–07, he researched contemporary Japanese material innovations at the Tokyo University of Science. He currently teaches architecture and co-directs the M.S. in Sustainable Design program at the University of Minnesota. His book Matter in the Floating World was published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2011.