“I am a Material Designer”: Towards a New Trans-discipline – Border Sessions

“I am a Material Designer”: Towards a New Trans-discipline

An increasing number of designers today, performing at the intersection of arts, crafts, design, biology, materials sciences and engineering, identify themselves as ‘material designers’. They work across the borders of seemingly disparate disciplines, all the while maintaining their designerly thinking and acting central to their materials design practices. But what if such cooperations could be developed, merged and formalized to serve a new trans-discipline?

Through a number of illustrative cases, I will promote the idea of creativity-driven futures of materials development and the emergence of a new profession: Materials Design.


Elvin Karana is Associate Professor of Design Engineering at the Delft University of Technology, where she founded and directs the Materials Experience Lab. Her research aims to understand and enhance the relationships people have with the materials of products. She has undertaken this topic with a holistic approach, capitalizing on not only the technical properties of materials, but also meanings, emotions and actions materials in products elicit. She coined the term “materials experience” to describe this holistic view. Over the last years she developed theories, tools and a method to make designing for materials experience actionable in practice. She is published in Design Issues, The Journal of Cleaner Production, Materials and Design Journal, International Journal of Design. More recently, she has published her work within the Human Computer Interaction field, in the ACM conferences Computer Human Interaction (CHI), and Design Interactive Systems (DIS). She is the main editor of “Materials Experience: Fundamentals of Materials and Design”.



Thursday 14 June


14:45 - 15:15

Session type



Filmhuis Den Haag – Another Galaxy