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On our recent field trip to materials connections, I was fascinated by the amount of products they had created on the floor. I feel like a lot of times with sustainability, different strategies are talked about but never executed, so it was great to be able to have tangible evidence of sustainable materials. All of the materials had been developed by a team of scientists to be used as alternatives to harmful substances that make up other materials. Being able to touch and feel matter that will make a difference in the footprint we leave on this earth left me inspired to make a difference of my own.
I have been doing a study on geodes in one of my studio classes, so a material that was very interesting to me from a design perspective was 4847-01. This material had the look of a geode but instead was polymer sheets from recycled waste materials. The look of the sheets were so beautiful I was surprised to see that the ingredients were things such as coffee cups, CDs, production scrap, old banknotes, and toothbrushes. Although they had the look a geode, they also had their own unique touch which would be awesome to see in a piece of furniture or sculpture even.
While the museum was incredible, I think it could serve more of a purpose to have the prices of the sustainable materials compared to that of harmful ones. Walking into a library such as that and seeing all of the sustainable alternatives makes one think of why people aren’t using them as much as they should. The big thing that comes to mind is cost, and if they are leaving that information out on the tabula’s that could be the answer. Creating a material that is better for the environment is great but if people cannot afford it, it will do no good. Whether you believe in global warming or not, everyone wants low cost and well built materials.

If these materials were in fact more expensive than the harmful ones, which ones would you buy?unnamed

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