Material Library Stockholm | Virtual Design Festival x Stockholm Design Week | Dezeen

As part of Virtual Design Festival’s collaboration with Stockholm Design Week, the founder of the Material Library in Stockholm reveals what Scandinavian designers look for when they visit, and discusses environmentally friendly materials.

Sweden’s Material Library is a showroom and exhibition space with thousands of material samples, open for architects, designers and product developers.

It’s run as a part of Stockholm Design Events, which also arranges Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair, Formex, WorkSpace Sweden, Stockholm Design Week and Summer Design.

Most designers who visit the Material Library ask founder Björn Florman the same two questions, he said: are there any new materials, and are there any environmentally friendly materials?

“I try to answer them both with ‘no!’, which of course can be a bit disappointing,” Florman said.

“But let me explain: there really are very few new materials to be found. The boring reason for this is that the periodic table of elements has looked the same for decades. We read a lot about the development of new bioplastics, but I don’t regard them as new.”

“Before we started to invent plastics made from fossil-based oil, we were already using bioplastics, and many of those plastic materials are the ones being perceived as ‘new’ today. They are not new, they have just been forgotten for 70 years or so,” he added.

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