Material ConneXion: A library for materials

August 10, 2010 3:05:56 PM PDT
Any material you can name, and many you probably have never heard of, can be found in the material library. Instead of containing books organized by the Dewey Decimal System, the library contains samples of creative and environmentally significant materials.

"What we show you is no nonsense, like they say in NY, not ungupatche, They're meaningful things," said George Beylerian, who owns the library, which is called Material ConneXion.

Beylerian has a love of things, materials really, so, he created a library to showcase them as a resource for creative types.

The materials come from the military, aerospace, the pharmaceutical industry, and agriculture. If it's an interesting material, chances are there's a sample of it at Material ConneXion.

Andrew Dent is the vice president of the library and has a PhD in material science. Malleable concrete is one of his new favorite materials.

"You can imagine draping a sheet over the table and hose it down [to use] as concrete," Dent said.

Other interesting materials include a tile made of shredded counterfeit money. It's also a good example of how trash is being made into something useful.

Other interesting objects in the library's collection include a soap dish made out of corn instead of oil and a hand that was the result of 3-D printing.

"You can be excited about material but you need to know whether it's usable for your particular project," Dent said.

Dent and other staff members guide the clients, and the collaborative results can be seen around the world, like with Puma's new shoebox, which is really a recycled bag.

Material ConneXion began with 200 samples. Now there are 5,000 and the collection is growing by 500 a year.

Online: Material ConneXion