AFFA 2021 Materials Innovation Finalists Announced!

Elissa Brunato, Julian Ellis-BrownShneel Malik and The Shellworks have been chosen as finalists for the  £10,000 award made possible by the Clothworkers’ Company!

They were chosen from long list of nominated UK-based artists, makers and designers by a panel of experts made up of inventor Thomas Duggan, commissioning editor of Wallpaper* Magazine TF Chan and curator and writer Priya Khanchandani who said;

“This year’s finalists are united in their exploration of design as a medium for tackling the exploitation of our planet, which has been driven by consumption. The bioplastics derived from waste crustacean shells by Shellworks, and Elissa Brunato’s bio-iridescent sequins, demonstrate ingenuity in being derived from, and capable of being returned safely to, nature.

For Julian Ellis-Brown, Saltyco’s fabrics, made from plants grown in salty water, address the over-use of freshwater by proposing a viable alternative fertile source while Shneel Malik’s photosynthetic membranes offer a way for architecture to clean polluted water using the natural processes of micro-organisms. I can see so much potential for the objects that surround us every day be transformed by these new forms of materiality.”

The Materials Innovation Award was launched in 2014 by a desire to highlight the fast-growing development of designers working in the creation of new materials, which was an area largely unknown in the public domain. The category also highlights the growing popularity of cross-disciplinary, collaborative work between artists, designers, scientists and engineers and allows for a range of approaches, from new bio-materials to innovations in re-use; and from speculative materials to start-ups already having impact. All of them engage in-depth study of both material life cycles and their impact on the environment and people.

Over the seven years since its inception, consumers and companies have not only come to recognise the central role of  materials, but are actively looking for both radical social and sustainable solutions from materials design. The work by our award winning practitioners is driven by a desire to develop innovative materials by asking new questions, to find solutions for some of the most complex problems we need to address for the future. For a list of all finalists please visit here.

The recipient of the 2021 Fellowship along with four further £10,000 awards in Visual Arts, Choral Composition, Environmental Writing and Theatre-Makers will be announced at the Arts Foundation Futures Awards on the 27th Jan, 2021 at an online evening of celebration from 7pm. The three runners-up will receive £1,000 awards towards their practice. Please check the AFFA2021 pages for details of all the finalists.

The Clothworkers’ Foundation was set up by The Clothworkers’ Company in 1977 and aims to improve the lives of people and communities, particularly those facing disadvantage. To date it has awarded grants of more than £1200m.