Smart List - 06/01/23

New Material Databases

4 min

By the IW Team

The Smart List is a monthly list of multi-media recommendations on everything design, curated by Interwoven Design. As a group of aesthetically obsessed designers, there are a lot of beautiful products, objects, and resources that we love and enjoy. These products improve the quality of our daily lives and we want to share them with you. This issue is a collection of material databases, incredible tools to help you find new and sustainable materials for prototyping and manufacturing!

Smart List: New Material Databases


At the beginning of 2023, A Plastic Planet unveiled an innovative online platform, PlasticFree, aimed at assisting designers of all industries in their quest for plastic-free materials while navigating the complex realm of sustainable options. By subscribing to this service, users gain access to comprehensive reports on over 100 plastic alternatives, offering valuable insights into their properties, production methods, and sourcing.

The PlasticFree database caters specifically to sectors heavily reliant on plastic, such as packaging and textiles, with plans to expand its coverage to buildings and construction later this year. This unique platform serves as a valuable resource, combining a material library with a design tool. It not only presents case studies showcasing how these materials are already being utilized across five continents but also allows users to create mood boards to gather inspiration for their projects.

The development of PlasticFree is the culmination of over two years of dedicated research and collaboration with a council comprised of esteemed scientists, business leaders, and industry experts. A Plastic Planet’s goal is to empower architects and designers with the knowledge and resources necessary to make informed choices that contribute to a plastic-free future.

via Dezeen


Materiom is a free online resource that enables everyone to make their own raw materials, as long as you can follow a recipe. By making this knowledge accessible, Materiom accelerates material development and lowers barriers to entry for makers around the world.

Materiom offers recipes of varying complexities on a scale of 1 to 5. These recipes can be found organized in different categories based on their material type and composition. Similar to a cooking recipe, the instructions are broken down into easy steps that are comprehensive and detailed. 

The recipes yield all types of materials, including a 3D printing paste that is made of egg shells. Check out the database HERE!

via Core77


MaterialDistrict is the foremost platform for connecting innovative materials worldwide. As a premier source of inspiration for high-end materials, MaterialDistrict is invaluable to research and design experts across industries who utilize the platform to explore fresh material solutions.

The extensive database presents a multitude of articles introducing novel materials to global audiences. These articles not only delve into the characteristics and potential applications of the materials but also provide insights into the manufacturing process. By effectively presenting accessible materials to designers worldwide, MaterialDistrict opens up a realm of boundless possibilities.

MaterialDistrict fuels global innovation by bridging material requirements with suitable solutions. Through the MaterialDistrict network, collaborative innovation is encouraged to foster a superior, more sustainable, and higher-quality society.

via MaterialDistrict

Material ConneXion

Material ConneXion, established more than two decades ago, originated as a valuable resource catering to furniture and architectural design. Today, it has evolved into a global materials library and consultancy, earning recognition for its pioneering problem-solving capabilities across many industries and brands such as Adidas, Target, BMW, and Puma.

Alongside the curation of material libraries and collections worldwide, MCX specializes in assisting companies in identifying materials that elevate the performance, aesthetics, and sustainability of their projects. With its headquarters in New York, the company boasts additional branches in Bangkok, Bilbao, Daegu, Milan, Skövde, and Tokyo, while simultaneously maintaining an extensive online materials database.

At the heart of Material ConneXion lies a physical library housing an impressive collection of over 10,000 materials and processes. These resources are meticulously categorized based on their chemical composition, encompassing polymers, naturals, metals, glass, processes, ceramics, cement-based, and carbon-based options.

via Material ConneXion

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