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Design for Next… Year. The Challenge of Designing for Material Change

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Ben BridgensORCiD, Dr David Lilley



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


From the moment of purchase, pristine objects are subjected to an array of stimuli including wear, impact, heat, light, water and air which alter their tactile and aesthetic properties. Material change is often regarded as ‘damage’ or ‘degradation’, but has potential to be used as a tool to engender emotional engagement to an object. We present a framework for designers to better understand how materials change with use, and in turn how people respond to materials as they change. Key challenges are identified which must be overcome to use this framework in design practice – people’s physical interaction with objects is poorly understood, it is difficult to simulate material change, materials resources for designers do not provide information about material change, and people’s responses to aged materials depend on a complex web of interacting factors.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bridgens B, Lilley D

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Design for Next: 12th European Academy of Design Conference

Year of Conference: 2017

Pages: S160-S171

Online publication date: 06/09/2017

Acceptance date: 01/03/2017

Date deposited: 13/07/2017

ISSN: 1460-6925

Publisher: European Academy of Design


DOI: 10.1080/14606925.2017.1352715

Series Title: The Design Journal