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Features and panel discussions

Materials curation by MaterialDriven

We understand and navigate the world with all five of our senses. Sensory Design enhances awareness of the material world and creates an emotional reaction to it through stimulation of our visceral responses. It encompasses both experimental work and practical solutions designed to inspire wonder and new ways of connecting to our surroundings. Certain materials activate different senses, and with deeper exploration and engagement, this response can be harnessed into the design of our products and environments.


Sensory design paves the way for:

Accessibility and Inclusiveness
By opening up to multiple sensory dimensions, designers can reach a greater diversity of users. Those with hearing, vision or developmental disabilities can experience designed products.

Respite/escape/disconnect from the digital world
“In a very digitized world, finding visceral ways to capture attention and engage all the senses feels especially important for the human experience”. Disconnecting from digital stimulation reconnects one with nature and therefore with their primal senses.

Health and Wellbeing
Selecting lighting that aligns with circadian rhythms, employing biophilic design and modulating indoor air quality that help reduce allergens, toxins and microbes are some of the ways that Sensory design can feed directly into health and wellbeing.

Enhanced experiences
Everyday products or spaces can become novel, by stimulating our sense of wonder and engagement with textures, smells and sounds.

Materials can help guide movement through buildings and urban spaces, creating a hierarchy of environments for users to pass through or reside in.


THE 5 SENSES......
The ultimate experience is one that combines all of the senses in a maximum scale. Nevertheless, the intensification of only one of the senses through a material can completely shape a concept, product or space.

Cleary considered the dominant sense, we use our eyes as a principal way to collect data. Materials interact with light and colour, playing an important role in the way we perceive our surroundings.

In sensory sound design, quiet is beautiful. We use materials to design silence. In fact, quieter sounds are often the most effective, as louder sounds fight for attention, they create distraction and resistance.

Scent is the sense most strongly tied to memory – signature scents create memorable multisensory experiences for their consumers. Materials with pleasant scents create a strong, positive connections between a space and its occupants, making it feel less sterile and more personal.

Your sense of touch is at work even when you experience the humidity level in a space, or react to its airflow or temperature. Touch covers everything we a come into contact with including surfaces, boundaries, and environments within our view that we might simply imagine touching. Materials challenge our perceptions of what things should feel like.

Food and materials are more and more intertwined. As we become aware of the waste produced in agriculture, restaurants and even our own homes, materials for food packaging and tableware have become incredibly advanced, often edible, and full of flavour.

Beyond the five senses...
In addition to the big five, there are other senses that determine how we perceive and respond to the world around us. Materials can aid and heighten the experience of....


Proprioception: The sense of space, which includes the sense of movement and position of our limbs and muscles


Synaesthesia: A collusion of senses, where people can see sounds as colors or associate certain sights with smells.


The materials display curated by MaterialDriven will address these goals and themes of Sensory Design, and engage with all of the senses through:

• Interior wall coverings

• Art and Installations

• Building Materials

• Surface Finishes

• Wearable Technology

• Interior objects and consumer products

• Textiles

• Immersive and Interactive Experiences



MaterialDriven is a Design Agency and Materials Library. We are a strategic interface between the developers of innovative and sustainable materials, and the studios, brands or institutions seeking to learn about and apply them. MaterialDriven was founded in 2016, and is based in the UK and US.


Delivering educational, curatorial and consulting services, we work with leading entities across Architecture, Interior and Product Design, Real Estate Development, Consumer Goods, Fashion, Retail, Academia and Research. Our projects encompass talks, workshops, materials exhibitions and installations, consultancy for individuals and brands, product and design development and project management.


• Our in-house, continually expanding materials collection of 300 + innovative, diverse materials for the design industries.

• Our strong relationships with material makers of all scales – from fresh graduates, to leading startups and established manufacturers.

• Our in-depth knowledge of materials, their properties, trends and applications across industries.

• Our commitment to bring advanced, cutting edge materials to market to meet consumer and industry needs.

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