Between biology and technology
30 Apr 2021
Furniture and lamps made from antibacterial birch bark, © Moya, Berlin
Dr. Sascha Peters, you are responsible for the Stage Green Smart Materials program. Which content-related focal points will play a role?
The innovation process is currently taking place in the field of tension between sustainability and smart material solutions. The world is calling for solutions that, overall, mean that we use our resources more responsibly. In the next few years we will see a change in our product culture towards a circular economy, we are quite sure of that and we will manage it.
Shimmering Wood - structural paints for wooden surfaces without the use of pigments, paints or varnishes, © Aalto University, Helsinki
Can you give us a few examples of “green” smart materials?
Structural paints for wooden surfaces, antibacterial birch bark, acoustic solutions made of paper pulp or algae pictures that remove fine dust and odors from the air - these are just a few examples of material solutions that are of natural origin and that can fulfill a function that otherwise only with additional materials or coatings would be feasible and usually make the use of chemical substances necessary. We show other solutions and are currently seeing many innovations and innovations that arise at the interface between technology and biology.
The world's first biodegradable acoustic panel made of paper pulp, © Baux, Stockholm
Don't "smart" properties also require new manufacturing processes? What interesting approaches do you see here?
In terms of manufacturing processes, we are currently seeing a leap in development in additive processes in construction. The topic and the potential for reducing construction time and costs have been discussed for a long time. Germany's first 3D printed building was realised last October, and more will follow. This not only influences the way architects work, it will also change the interior design, because certain spatial structures can already be anticipated or integrated into walls when a building is being built. We are excited to see what new opportunities will arise over the next few years.
Germany's first 3D printed building, © Peri, Weissenhorn
The interzum @home platform is celebrating its premiere this year. What new opportunities do you see with a view to increasing digitization for expanding reach, opening up new target groups, business networking, etc.?
In order to increase the range and, above all, to address target groups in regions of the world that have not yet found their way to Cologne, the interzum @home platform certainly offers added value. But we are also looking forward to physical trade fair events again and hope that the pandemic will soon be a thing of the past. All digital tools cannot replace one thing: a personal conversation!
You can find the full program of the Green Smart Materials stage on the digital platform interzum @home here .
Dr. Sascha Peters from Berlin-based material agency Haute Innovation, © Koelnmesse