Transmaterial: A Catalog of Materials That Redefine our Physical Environment is available through Amazon.
Transmaterial grew out of Brownell’s weekly email newsletter he shared with friends in an attempt to learn more about what was happening in the world of material innovation.
After a brief, engaging and easy to read introduction from Brownell, in which he delves into the seven broad categories he has created to classify materials innovations (Ultraperforming, Multidimensional, Repurposed, Recombinant, Intelligent, Transformational and Iinterfacial), the book dives right into the materials.
From interesting concrete variations such as carbon-dioxide absorbing cement through to fabrics such as Holofiber, a responsive polyester based textile, the breadth and depth of what is in this small book is impressive. Although it is important to keep in mind that Transmaterial is by no means a comprehensive guide to materials, but more of a “portable travel guide” on materials that provides “a brief snapshot within [Brownell's] on going effort to learn about and celebrate innovative materials”.
The book has an architectural focus, as oppose to an industrial design focus, and as such some of the materials are more suited to architectural applications than design applications. However, overall I am sure the majority of Industrial Designers would benefit from materials inspiration from the architectural world to fire up the brain.
Transmaterial is an exquisitely curated, beautifully designed (Anyone who picks it up this book will note the page template utilised has been well thought out to make both causal browsing and targeted fact finding easy) and considered book that will provide you with food for thought and inspiration when you are stuck for materials to explore or utilise for your next design project.
This book is a must for any self respecting material aficionado or Industrial Designer’s book shelf.
Transmaterial: A Catalog of Materials That Redefine our Physical Environment available through Amazon, as is its second iteration Transmaterial 2.
You can also visit transmaterial.net (the free online companion to Transmaterial) for a look at quite a few of the materials in the book.