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Becoming materials: material forms and forms of practice

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As a result of development toward 'smart' materials, materials now enable an expanding range of aesthetic expressions and user experiences. These materials are fundamentally temporal in their capacity to assume multiple, discrete states of expression that can be repeatedly and minutely controlled. These materials come to be, or become, only over time and in context—they are becoming materials. Thus, in the development and application of such materials, we must engage more extensively with the experience of materials in practices of design and of use. This paper introduces and discusses the concept of becoming materials—as well as the implications for practice—through a series of examples from our own practice-led research within art, design and architecture. Coming to terms with the implications for material practices of design and of use, we suggest, requires the development of new concepts and methods for doing and studying the design of becoming materials.
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Keywords: architecture; art; becoming; computational composites; design; design theory; material practice; prototyping techniques; research methods; smart materials

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Interactive Institute, Kista, Sweden 2: Interactive Institute, Kista, Sweden,University of Southern Denmark, Denmark 3: Interactive Institute, Kista, Sweden,Swedish School of Textiles, University of Borås, Sweden

Publication date: 01 September 2010

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