New Material Award

Since the first New Material Award in 2009, this annual prize has been rewarding artists and designers for their contributions to material innovation in the service of ecological and social sustainability. Over the past decade, the prize has proved an important catalyst for innovative design research. Moreover, the New Material Award offers a platform to a generation of designers who dare to ask fundamental questions about industrial production processes and natural growth, waste flows and residual materials. Increasingly often, they do this in collaboration with scientific partners.

These can be confrontational questions, in which the ethics of industrial society and the politics behind environmental policy come under discussion. In the nominated projects, critical research leads to stimulating counter-proposals. With their speculative projects, the designers visualize an alternative, optimistic view of natural resources and the materials of the future.

Material innovation encompasses much more than just the development of completely new materials. Generally, it revolves around a revaluation of raw materials, techniques, or residual products that are currently overlooked by industry as unsuitable for the intended purposes. It is always possible to stretch the valuation – by exploring new possibilities through research, and most importantly without prejudice. From a loaded substance like animal blood, to the bamboo that has been used for centuries; and from the hair that we leave behind at the hairdresser, to the waste glass that, according to established industries, would be impossible to reuse.


The fifteen nominees of the New Material Award 2018 are Agne Kucerenkaite met Ignorance is Bliss, Alexander Marinus with Hey Jute, Basse Stittgen with Blood Related, Daria Biryukova with Forz Glaze, Envisions with Wood in Progress, Inge Sluijs with Plasma Rock, Iris de Kievith & Annemarie Piscaer with SerVies, Ekatarina Semenova with Care for Milk, Studio Klarenbeek & Dros and Atelier Luma with Algae Lab LUMA, Overtreders W & bureau SLA with People's Pavilion: 100% geleend, Sanne Visser with The New Age of Trichology, Shahar Livne with Lithoplast, Studio Chris Kabel with Recomposed Bamboo, Telesilla Bristogianni & Faidra Oikonomopoulou with Re3-Glass en Xandra van der Eijk with Future Remnants. Information on all nominated projects can be found at