from 21.04.2023 to 03.09.2023


Questions of the Future in Design

Which new materials are needed today and in the future, and how can they be produced and used sustainably? The design exhibition Material+ approaches these questions through research projects, applications and speculative designs.
New materials have always been important in design. However, faced with dwindling resources and the climate and biodiversity crises, designers too are reflecting with increasing urgency on their use of materials. The focus here is on ecological demands and their social and economic implications. In the broader context of sustainable design, new materials are not the only factor, but they play an important role.

In three sections, the exhibition shows a selection of design objects exploring the use of new materials, looking at various aspects of the material cycle from resource extraction and processing to application and usage through to reuse or returning to the environment. It becomes clear that sustainable design not only focusses on the choice of new materials, but also always takes the entire material life cycle into consideration.

Resources and processing

Packaging made from food waste? Chairs grown out of minerals? Shoes made of lignin? The section on “Resources and processing” explores the development and application of new materials based on regenerative or recycled raw materials. The exhibits, including work by Tom Dixon and Maurizio Montalti, show how design can help use resources more sparingly.

Usage and life cycle

The section on “Usage and life cycle” deals with the development and application of new materials. Be it textiles made of cellu¬lose or chairs made of recycled plastics, the durability of the materials should match the expected lifetime of the objects, thus reducing unnecessary waste and energy consumption. The items on show include work by Stefan Diez and Steelcase.

Returning to the environment

Just as design doesn’t begin with the use of materials, it doesn’t end when the product ceases to be useful. The section on “Returning to the environment” explores the development and usage of new materials that are capable of being simply and completely returned to nature. Objects like bicycle helmets made of mycelia, containers made of seaweed, or disposable packaging made of eel grass also release no toxic substances or microplastics into the environment. The show includes items using such materials by Studio Klarenbeek & Dros and Notpla.


The exhibition in the six facade rooms is curated by bayern design and is a cooperation between the Neues Museum and bayern design.