Material Pathways

What is it?
  • The Material Pathways is a design tool in the form of 25 method cards with guidelines on how to use them. From the online platform they can be downloaded for free or purchased in a printed version.


  • Focus is on Materials their technical and environmental aspects, as well as cultural and emotional values. The aim is to inspire and encourage critical and mindful approaches to working with materials in all stages of a products lifecycle.


  • Developed at Design School Kolding, Denmark by Karen Marie Hasling, Ulla Ræbild, Iris Hertula and Ashna Patel published in 2020.

Platform overview
  •  The tool introduces 25 approaches to Sustainable Design organized in 6 categories:


  • 1) Design and Concept 2) Disposal and Recovery 3) Materials 4) Production 5) Transport and Retail 6) User and Practice.


  • The layout of the cards is a combination for text, icons and graphic representations.


  • The Sustainable Design Compass on one side shows how the individual card is positioned in relation to three overall design approaches: 1) Technical, 2) Functional, 3) Emotional.


  • The Fact Side describes: 1) What, 2) Why, 3) Challenges, 4) Examples, 5) Card Links to 6) Further Readings.

Relevance
  • The Material Pathways tool is developed to support teaching and learning about Materials in a holistic perspective. The further reading section provides academic references to inspire tutors when planning a course and guide students to find literature for deeper reflections.


  • The cards can be used in classroom activities, by individuals and to facilitate collaboration in a group.


  • Target group: Students, Tutors, Independent Designers, Design Teams

How it connects to the Pillars
  • Using the search function you find all 4 pillars represented.

  • Environmental: Material Degradation, Living Material, Material Circulation, Material Geography, Material Circulation.

  • Economic: Material Transparency, Material Ageing, Material Crafting, Material Plurality, Material Waste.

  • Social: Material Crafting, Material Ageing, Material Substitution, Material Transparency.

  • Cultural: Material Sensing, Material Perception.

Activity proposals
  • Concepts Based on Sustainability Approaches

  • Exploring Material Parameters