Materials Matter 2023 in London - Photo by Materials Matters.

Material Matters fair 2023 in London – Photo by Material Matters.

DesignMaterial Matters is the cross-media platform for designers, architects, manufacturers and makers investigating the importance of material intelligence and how materials will shape our lives over the coming decades. After last year’s successful debut, the platform returns with the Material Matters 2023 Fair at the London Design Festival 2023, occupying the Bargehouse OXO Tower Wharf in London Southbank [Map]. Check what we liked the most.

Isola exhibition @ Material Matters, London Design Festival 2023 - Photo by Anwyn Howarth.

Isola Design exhibition @ Material Matters, London Design Festival 2023 – Photo by Anwyn Howarth.

Can oranges, seaweed and hemp be transformed into textiles without compromising aesthetics? Visitors can find out at the entrance of the fair. Specialised in weaving and product development, Danish designer Tanja Kirst showcases her investigative approach, rethinking the use of well-known materials. Her Planted installation features ten unique textile pieces made from responsible organic yarn.

Planted installation by Tanja Kirst @ Materials Matter fair 2023 in London - Photo by Materials Matter.

Planted installation by Tanja Kirst – Photo by Material Matters.

Five thousand mature trees are felled annually in London due to weather, urban development or disease. Most of these are needlessly chipped and burned. Award-winning social enterprise Goldfinger puts this Treecycled timber to good use by giving it a new life as high-end furniture, saving the tree from being wasted, capturing carbon, and reducing the need to cut down our forests. Its profits support the Goldfinger Academy, which creates pathways to design and craft careers for young people in the local community, as well as the People’s Kitchen, a monthly community meal cooked from surplus ingredients.

In the center of the picture furniture by Goldfinger @ Materials Matter fair 2023 in London - Photo by Materials Matters.

In the centre of the picture: furniture by Goldfinger – Photo by Material Matters.

London-based creator Yair Neuman repurposes discarded lenses from the eyewear industry to create a new material for his products. The designer unveils an assortment of pendant, table, and wall lights alongside his Delerex® sunglasses frames, all made without glues or bonding agents.

Yair Neuman's lighting design @ Materials Matters 2023 fair in London - Courtesy of Materials Matters.

Yair Neuman’s lighting design – Courtesy of Material Matters.

Dutch sustainable furniture brand Planq brings forward innovative materials, such as recycled textiles and bio-based resources, for a better future. This year, it launches Rezign® materials: a new collection made from textile waste like post-consumer denim, army clothing, suits and white denim. This is combined with biobased resources like flax and jute coffee bags to create a veneer, multiplex board and flex sheet materials.

From left, Yair Neuman's lighting design and Planq's chair @ Materials Matters 2023 fair in London - Photo by Materials Matters.

From left, Yair Neuman’s lighting design and Planq’s chair – Photo by Material Matters.

The third floor of the Bargehouse OXO Tower hosts the Nothing Happens if Nothing Happens exhibition curated by the Milan-based design platform Isola, featuring emerging designers harnessing regenerative resources and repurposing waste materials. We particularly liked the Alien furniture collection made from recycled plastic by Russian designer Vaagn Mikaelyan. “I wanted to turn to outer space so that aliens would show how to protect the planet and be useful to each other not through wars but through service for the good.”

Aliens collection by Vaagn Mikaelyan from Isola Design at Material Matters 2023 - Courtesy of Isola Design.

Aliens collection by Vaagn Mikaelyan from Isola Design at Material Matters 2023 – Courtesy of Isola Design.

Hydro illustrates the untapped potential of recycled aluminium, showing Bello!, a new lightweight bench manufactured from nearly 90% of the material and designed by Norwegian Lars Beller Fjetland. Serving customers in all industries, from automotive to building and construction, electronics, offshore and maritime, the company pushes the boundaries for low-carbon aluminium and using post-consumer scrap to create recycled alloys and products, helping its customers on the path to zero emissions.

Bello! bench by Lars Beller Fjetland @ Materials Matters 2023 fair in London - Photo by Materials Matters.

Bello! bench by Lars Beller Fjetland – Photo by Material Matters.

Tyre wear is the second-largest microplastic pollutant in our oceans and a major air particle matter pollutant. The Tyre Collective spearheads the capture and monitoring of tyre wear to accelerate the shift towards true zero-emission mobility. The clean-tech start-up is developing the first on-vehicle patent-pending device using electrostatics and airflow to capture particles at the source. Once captured, this pollution can be upcycled into various applications, creating a closed-loop system.

The Tyre Collective - Courtesy of Materials Matter.

The Tyre Collective – Courtesy of Material Matters.

Solidwool was created with the ethos of taking the unwanted and turning it into something beautiful. At Material Matters 2023, the company presents furniture designs made of Solidwool, a fibreglass-like new composite material made from Herdwick and Welsh Mountain sheep wool. The pieces were crafted at its workshop in Devon, UK.

Solidwool's Hemp chair @ Materials Matter fair 2023 in London - Courtesy of Materials Matters.

Solidwool’s Hemp Chair – Courtesy of Material Matters.

bioMATTERS specialises in 3D printing and robotic fabrication techniques for living materials. It develops solutions for ‘grown-living design’ for product design and architecture applications and fabricates a wide range of biomaterials using clay, mycelium, microalgae and bacterial-based dyes.

bioMATTERS @ Materials Matter fair 2023 in London - Photo via IG. follow @biomatters.llc.

bioMATTERS @ Material Matters 2023 in London – Photo via IG. follow @biomatters.llc.

In each edition, Material Matters throws the spotlight on a particular designer or studio. Pearson Lloyd is 2023’s practice of the year. As part of the studio’s ongoing research to improve the circularity of the mass-produced products for which it’s responsible, Pearson Lloyd has conducted a review of the material palette of its projects in recent years. Founders Luke Pearson and Tom Lloyd were struck by how different they were compared to a decade ago.

Pearson Lloyd @ Materials Matters 2023 fair in London - Courtesy of Pearson Lloyd.

Pearson Lloyd @ Material Matters 2023 fair in London – Courtesy of Pearson Lloyd.