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AFFA event : The New Materialists at the Design Museum

The secret life of materials has been exposed. From the Attenborough ‘moment’ in 2016 calling out single-use plastics to revolutions against fast-fashion like #whomademyclothes and inbuilt product obsolescence, there is now wide-spread awareness of the central role that materials design plays in social and environmental transformation. The question now is how can we capture this moment, to connect and build a movement?

19 Nov 6.15pm @ The Design Museum, London

The Arts Foundation 2020 AFFA finalists are talking…

Bethany Williams, Lewis Hornby, Jack Herring and Fernando LaPosse

With products ranging from furniture, food, fashion and electrical components, the four groundbreaking finalists of the Arts Foundation’s 2020 Materials Evolution Award discuss the challenges they face building a business with social innovation at its heart. Click on their names for more information about the finalists.

Joined by Madeline Petrow, director of sustainable e-commerce platform Mamoq, materials consultant Caroline Till from Franklin Till and Professor Rebecca Earley who established the Centre for Circular Design at UALthe talk will provide insight and spark debate into how and why social impact is an integral focus in material design today. The event will be chaired by Monika Parrinder, design writer and trustee of the Arts Foundation.

Short presentations of their work will form the basis of a chaired discussion which centres on points of connection, what’s at stake and how to accelerate a movement. How do materials designers work creatively with society at large? Can they address the social and environmental issues at the same time? How to find investment and scale these projects? And, how can we make it happen ethically, but fast?

Rebecca Earley, a judge for the award commented about the finalists, “These designers all represent the future of sustainable materials; from the environmental to the social. Addressing a range of issues from fashion waste to replacing plastics, revitalising communities and local industries, to looking after our elderly, they all think about material evolution as new systems and relationships. They have all crafted thoughtful responses to some of the most pressing problems of our time.”

The award is part of the Arts Foundation Materials Evolution Award, an annual £10,000 fellowship for emerging innovators in materials supported by The Clothworkers’ Company. The recipient of the fellowship will be announced on the 27th January at the Arts Foundation Awards where the runners up will all receiving £1,000. For information on past finalists visit here.

Images: Top : Legacy Table by Fernando LaPosse; Body image: Bethany Hughes design

Tickets : £12, £8 student/concs, £5 member. Tickets available through this link