© GERA Leuchten
How does collaboration between designers and industry create innovative products? With the MaterialTransformation platform, interzum is bringing together both fields to establish personal connections. Three questions for the initiator, Iris Laubstein, on the idea behind the platform, the programme for interzum 2017 and real-world success stories.
Ms. Laubstein, what is the idea behind MaterialTransformation?
Every new generation of industrial designers must first get to know industry materials, products and skills so that they can experiment with them and later apply them in practice. At the same time, the industry is always interested in the unconventional ideas of newcomers. Especially for the furniture and supply industry, the transfer of industrial design knowledge between different branches is particularly exciting. It makes innovations possible and opens up new markets. But where and how do industry and emerging industrial designers find each other? interzum, at the beginning of the supply chain, is an ideal incubator for inspiring collaborations between universities, newcomers and established businesses. This is where the foundation is laid for future best-practice projects and success stories.
How exactly does MaterialTransformation support the collaboration between industry and universities?
MaterialTransformation is a platform that matches suitable partners. This is accomplished through direct placements between universities and businesses, mediated by contact people at the trade fair: for example, a master's student looks for businesses that will support him in his master's thesis on emotional material experience. Or a business seeks to make contact with suitable universities and teachers in order to reflect on unusual concepts with students. Here, personal contacts are made and supported with background information. But the MaterialTransformation platform also tells success stories that developed independent of the platform's knowledge transfers and exemplify collaboration between industrial design and industry.
How are the projects followed and ultimately made public?
MaterialTransformation is a permanent message and exchange platform that provides reports before, during and between trade fairs on projects between universities, newcomers and businesses. We show how innovative products evolved from collaboration and how young talent found their way in the industry. At interzum 2017, projects and participants will be presented at the MaterialTransformation Forum, where an exhibition and conference programme provide opportunities for networking: universities and companies will introduce themselves and rising talent will share their visions for future topics. In turn, the international interiors show, imm cologne 2018, will be the stage on which new cooperative projects and current stories from the platform are presented, new contacts are made, and additional collaboration is initiated.