Mutant Matter, presenting materials and making for our supernatural future, was one of the most progressive and intriguing shows of Milan Design Week 2018. Working in collaboration with experimental design collective Dutch Invertuals, we proposed not just a new collection, but entirely new ways of thinking about what making means in the Anthropocene era, exhibiting radical design concepts and investigations into possibilities of our new material future.
Mutant Matter bridged the gap between our book Radical Matter and the creative processes of 10 Dutch Invertuals designers: Onno Adriaanse, Thomas Ballouhey, Théophile Blandet, Mirjam de Bruijn, Xandra van der Eijk, Fransje Gimbrère, Fleur Hulleman, Shahar Livne, Marlou Rutten and Zwart Frame. Each was commissioned to present a vision of how the evolution and mutation of materials might be harnessed to bring about a more livable future. The resulting works include entirely new materials and revaluations of old ones, experiments with recycled objects and repurposed waste streams, and radical new methods of making and thinking about design.
Throughout Milan Design Week, we brought together leading material innovators and international design thinkers to discuss the issues examined by both the book and the exhibition – the future of materiality, and new ways of thinking about sustainable design. Inviting the audience to consider Waste: A design issue? and Freak of Nature: Organic or human-made matter? we encouraged people to take an entirely fresh view of how the future of making might look.
In a series of detailed essays, we delved further into the issues explored by Radical Matter and Mutant Matter. These were printed on Extract, a paper made from recycled disposable coffee cups by exhibition sponsor GF Smith – putting our ideas into action on the spot.