The New Material podcast investigates the practices of (new) material designers within the context of Dutch industry, landscape and economy. A journey that reveals how design research into materials, their properties and applications sheds light on the entire manufacturing process and supports a better understanding of the conditions of production. Following the complete cycle of materials provides crucial insights for innovation and change in order to reduce pollution and counter climate and social injustices.
The podcast consists of four episodes on the themes of Waste, Power, Crops and Tech:
Episode #1: Waste
Why not start at the end, the place where products and materials land when they are no longer needed? The Attero waste facility in the village of Wijster in the northeast of the Netherlands provides the backdrop for a discussion on whether our trash is a goldmine full of potential, a source of new materials, or a curse and the inevitable consequence of an untenably wasteful system.
Participants in the conversation are designer Daria Biryukova; marketing manager and spokesman of Attero, Robert Corijn; philosopher Lisa Doeland; designer and founder of StoneCycling, Tom van Soest; and designer Basse Stittgen.
Episode #2: Power
The rapid overhaul of the landscape of the port of Eemshaven, in the far north of the Netherlands, perfectly conveys how our accelerating need for energy is creating a new reality. It shows the effects of the massive energy transition taking place in Western societies. The scale and complexity of this transformation leads (new) material designers to very surprising alternative strategies and unexpected decisions.
We talk to Cas König, CEO of Groningen Seaports NV in Eemshaven, and Sven Stremke, landscape architect, associate professor at Wageningen University & Research, and co-founder of NRGlab. Artist, social designer and researcher Debra Solomon shares her research. We also hear from two New Material Award nominees, who explain their practices: solar designer Marjan van Aubel, and designer and body-mind therapist Judith Zeeman.
Episode #3: Crops
Growing crops means working with living materials, which tell us what they need. We visit the most innovative and futuristic greenhouses of Westland, the horticultural region between The Hague and Rotterdam, and reflect on the experience of the continuous human interaction with the soil. We are at the dawn of a new era, in which seaweed and mycelium will shape our ways of thinking and producing.
We meet Stijn Baan, marketing and communication manager at Koppert Cress, Monster. We also hear from Pablo Tittonell, agronomist, professor of resilient landscapes at Groningen Institute of Evolutionary Life Sciences and professor of organic farming systems at Wageningen University & Research, and from New Material Award nominees Maurizio Montalti, and Maartje Dros and Erik Klarenbeek of Klarenbeek & Dros.
Episode #4: Tech
Technology has a huge influence on the way we live and work. Robots are integrated into production lines, and artificial intelligence plays a vital role in our daily lives. As a major force of constant innovation, technology is a fruitful playground for curious designers exploring new manufacturing methods.
We pay a visit to 247 Tailor Steel B.V., based in the eastern Dutch village of Varsseveld, and speak to Frank Geelen, chief operating officer. We hear from New Material Award nominees Pip Atkinson, who works at Studio Dirk Vander Kooij, and Hester van Dijk of Overtreders W. For the wider context to this tech episode, we talk to Ap Verheggen, artist inventor, and Peter Paul Verbeek, professor of philosophy of technology and ethics at the University of Twente.
A postscript to New Material
One more round in the studio with the editorial team to wrap up the New Material series.
With a selection of audio fragments from the different episodes: Pablo Tittonell, agronomist, professor of resilient landscapes at Groningen Institute of Evolutionary Life Sciences and professor of organic farming systems at Wageningen University & Research; philosopher Lisa Doeland; marketing manager and spokesman of Attero, Robert Corijn; landscape architect, associate professor at Wageningen University & Research, and co-founder of NRGlab, Sven Stremke; New Material Award nominees and designers Klarenbeek & Dros; and marketing and communication manager at Koppert Cress in Monster, Stijn Baan.
By designers and researchers Toon Koehorst & Jannetje in ’t Veld, programme manager Ellen Zoete, host Maarten Westerveen and editor in chief Wineke van Muiswinkel.
Host: Maarten Westerveen
Development and editor-in-chief: Wineke van Muiswinkel
Research and concept: Koehorst in 't Veld
Sound engineering: Alfred Koster
Artwork: Ine Meganck
Het Nieuwe Instituut: Olle Lundin, Ellen Zoete
New Material is a collaboration between Stichting DOEN, Fonds Kwadraat and Het Nieuwe Instituut.