MIT Media Lab - Materials for the future
The MIT Media Lab is a research laboratory that gets its inspiration from the School of Architecture. Its research does not restrict to a few academic disciplines, but finds its roots in technology, media, science, art, and design, it encourages the unconventional mixing and matching of various research areas.
Their experiments might seam at times like out of this world and maybe even losing touch with reality, but this kind of new ideas will allow us to move into the future better prepared.
Today we have a big environmental problem related to plastic and their team is focused a lot on finding new materials, materials inspired by nature that one day might help us replace plastic or other substances.
Some of their research on this include:
- add electrical functionalities to everyday materials such as fabrics, or feathers, and transform them as sensors (https://www.media.mit.edu/projects/material-functionalization/overview/)
- hybrid living materials that are formed by combining living and non-living materials (https://www.media.mit.edu/projects/hybrid-living-materials/overview/)
- bio-polymers to replace plastic (https://www.media.mit.edu/articles/this-crazy-sculpture-is-made-by-an-mit-engineered-machine-that-3d-prints-biopolymers-to-replace-plastic/)
- venous materials (https://medium.com/mit-media-lab/venous-materials-towards-interactive-fluidic-mechanisms-ec380377ce6a)
- emissions-free cement (https://www.designboom.com/technology/mit-researchers-emissions-free-cement-10-04-2019/)
These new materials would be very helpful in our packaging industry, we are always in search of Eco-friendly materials that can be easily produced, look good and are inspired by nature. Trying to use bio-degradable materials in as many projects as possible should be a global concern, this can help both the environment and businesses to reach loyal, higher income customers.