Materials Experience

1st Edition

Fundamentals of Materials and Design

Editors: Elvin Karana Owain Pedgley Valentina Rognoli
Paperback ISBN: 9780080993591
eBook ISBN: 9780080993768
Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
Published Date: 22nd November 2013
Page Count: 400
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There currently exists an abundance of materials selection advice for designers suited to solving technical product requirements. In contrast, a stark gap can be found in current literature that articulates the very real personal, social, cultural and economic connections between materials and the design of the material world. In Materials Experience: fundamentals of materials and design, thirty-four of the leading academicians and experts, alongside 8 professional designers, have come together for the first time to offer their expertise and insights on a number of topics common to materials and product design. The result is a very readable and varied panorama on the world of materials and product design as it currently stands.

Key Features

  • Contributions by many of the most prominent materials experts and designers in the field today, with a foreword by Mike Ashby
  • The book is organized into 4 main themes: sustainability, user interaction, technology and selection
  • Between chapters, you will find the results of interviews conducted with internationally known designers. These ‘designer perspectives’ will provide a ‘time out’ from the academic articles, with emphasis placed on fascinating insights, product examples and visuals


Design educators, students, design researchers, professional designers

Table of Contents


Foreword: Materials Experience—Fundamentals of Materials and Design


Introduction to Materials Experience


Section 1: Touched by Materials


Chapter 1. Designing Material Experience


From Product to Material Experience

Meanings of Materials

Designing Material Experience


Chapter 2. Sensing Materials: Exploring the Building Blocks for Experiential Design


Relating Sensory Perception to Material Properties

The Separate Roles of the Sensory Modalities in Material Experience

How the Senses Work Together in Creating Experiences

Sensory Dominance in Material Perception

Integrating Vision and Touch: The Experience of Warmth



Chapter 3. Tactile Aesthetics of Materials and Design



Tactile Perception of Materials

Underlying Material Parameters

Optimum Texture Design



Chapter 4. The Sound and Taste of Materials




The Sound of Materials

The Taste of Materials



Chapter 5. Manipulating the Material Code: The Transformation of Material Meaning in Contemporary Japanese Design



Sensory Manipulation







Chapter 6. The Immaterial of Materials


Aesthetics and Ethics: Reflections on Personal Tastes and Material Preferences

At What Cost?

Material and Manufacturing Legacies



Interview with Hella Jongerius

What are the Key Aspe


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© Butterworth-Heinemann 2014
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About the Editor

Elvin Karana

Dr. Karana is currently assistant professor in the department of Design Engineering at Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands and holds a Ph.D. in Industrial Design Engineering. She has presented her research at a number of international conferences and has run various workshops on the ‘meanings of materials’. Dr. Karana is one of the founders of the Natural Fibre Composites (NFC) Design Platform in The Netherlands. Her current research and education interests include teaching materials in design and designing and manufacturing with bio-based materials. She is the developer and the coordinator of the Materials Library: Made Of.. at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, TU Delft.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Design Engineering,Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

Owain Pedgley

Dr. Pedgley is associate professor of industrial design at Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey. He teaches courses in materials and design and is actively involved in three areas of research: materials and manufacturing for industrial design, designing interactions between people and things, and methods of conducting academic research through designing artefacts. he holds a Ph.D. in Industrial Design from Loughborough University, UK.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Industrial Design, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey

Valentina Rognoli

Dr. Rognoli teaches courses in product development and materials for design within the department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering at Politecnico di Milano in Italy. Her current research interests include materials and design, expressivity and sensorality in materials for design, emotional design, design and neurosciences, and biomimicry.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering, School of Design, Politecnico di Milano, Italy


" excellent introduction to a composition that reflects the fundamentals for turning a design idea into a materialized outcome...I recommend this book to those interested in materials design, from those entering the field to professional researchers." --MRS Bulletin, February 2015

"Product designers offer advice to colleagues on selecting materials, considering not only the complex ways in which materials influence how products are embodied and function, but also how the materials affect people's experiences of the products and the complexity of decision making about materials that designers face.", April 2014

"When the design focus shifts from 'products' to 'interactions', materials must be considered (also) as 'experience'. This book is a very useful contribution to attend to the experiential side of materials." --Ezio Manzini