From oysters to cheese, MaterialDistrict presents the building blocks of the future

Rotterdam – This March, in six pavilions, the 14th edition of MaterialDistrict Rotterdam will present 150 exhibitors, 200 new material innovations, 100 leading start-ups and designers and a lecture program featuring 60 speakers. The exhibition at the Rotterdam Ahoy will address themes like circularity, digitalisation, smartness, health and social design. MaterialDistrict will also display the most recent additions to its independent collection, ranging from printed roof tiles and a composite made of marble dust and oysters to pavers made from burned waste.

'One improvement on previous years will be the cross-pollination of industries and the Techno transfer,' said MaterialDistrict creative director Els Zijlstra. 'Materials for architecture can be interesting for product design, research for fashion textiles can be meaningful for interiors, lectures about recycling processes can be an inspiration for any industry.'

The exhibition presents material innovations in six pavilions arranged by market sector: Architecture, Interiors, Products, Urban Landscape, Print & Sign and Textiles & Fabrics. 

MaterialDistrict is a prolific platform for inspiration, consultation and sourcing of innovative materials, not just during the annual exhibition at Rotterdam Ahoy, but also via MaterialDistrict.com, and during traveling MaterialDistrict Expo, MaterialDistrict Talks and MaterialDistrict Pop-Up events.

Known for its particularly strong lecture program, this year, nine internationally respected ambassadors will represent six market sectors, helping to select speakers as well as exhibiting start-ups and designers. Ambassadors for the Architecture, Interiors, Products, Textiles & Fabrics, Urban Landscapes and Print & Sign showcases are, respectively, Ben van Berkel and Filippo Lodi (UNStudio and UNSense), Niels van Eijk and Miriam van der Lubbe (Van Eijk & Van der Lubbe), Anouk Groen (RNA Design), Anne Marie Commandeur (Stijlinstituut) and Liesbeth in ’t Hout, and Cees Donkers (former Eindhoven municipal architect) and Annemarie Kleve (Houdbaar).

MaterialDistrict offers a lecture program of 60 speakers (top) as well as 150 exhibitors, 200 new materials, and showcases from 100 start-ups and designers.

Visitors should look for insulation made from Typha, communicating façades and façades made of thinglass, 3D printed composites, nanotechnology, digital production processes, high-end panels made from old newspapers, 'marble' made from plastic waste, interactive, shapeable, adaptable and reversible materials, even material reduction. The most intriguing, however, may be biofabricated materials, which will be the topic of a lecture by Emma van der Leest of Blue City Lab. 'Think of bricks made from mycelium or "leather" made from blood, and materials made of the most fantastic "leftovers" like coffee grounds, urine, cow dung, old fruit, industrial waste and plastic,' said Zijlstra. 'These will become our future materials and they will give us a new material identity and perceptions of materials.'

For more information and to obtain a free ticket, visit Rotterdam.MaterialDistrict.com.

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