How do spiders and mushrooms inspire tomorrows buildings? In architecture the word design is mainly associated with the design of buildings and objects. In the world of materials, design is something internal. The development of production methods on the micro scale has led to far greater control of how we design and construct new materials. This kind of design is mainly invisible to the human eye. In fact materials of the future are already a reality today, and they can help us answer many of the ecological design challenges we are facing. Through the use of new materials the aim is to develop a building culture that positively affects the world in which we live – both architecturally and environmentally.
New materials are very much a matter of new scientific knowledge. The volume of research in the within biology, physics and chemistry doubles every ten months – a rate of development that remarkably parallels that of the development of computing power. Our built environment needs to reflect on these shifts in technology by implementing and innovating through multidisciplinary expertise. Ultimately, the periodic table of elements defines our building blocks.