Taken directly from the
world around us, natural
materials are among the
most widely recognized.
The materials created by
nature are incredible, and
material manufacturers are
learning to use and modify
them in new ways.
POST-CONSUMER products can
find a second life as wallboard.
Carton stock is energy-intensive
to recycle, due to its many layers
(paper, plastic, aluminum). But
the ReWall Co. uses the mixed
composition of juice and milk
cartons to its advantage, binding together the strong cellulose
fibers from the paper by melting
the plastic layer. The resulting
wallboards have high screw-pull-out strength and can be used
for interior and exterior walls.
Among the offerings is a “naked”
Some methods of using what
nature provides are ancient,
but re-envisioned in a new way.
Made of baked soil, roofing tiles
on ancient temples in Japan with-
stand rain and frost for centuries.
Soil high in minerals is formed
into high-density clay and baked
at extremely high heat. The soil
carbonizes, forming an organic
silver and black effect on the sur-
face. Koyoseiga Co. is now using
this vernacular method to create
new tile formats for world heri-
tage sites and private homes.
A byproduct of the meat
industry, leather comes in many
grades and from many animals.
One that is gaining popularity in
apparel, upholstery, and interior
walls is Salmo Leather’s Nanai.
Descaled and tanned like other
animal leathers, this salmon skin
retains the diamond-like pattern
of the fish scales and has a soft
As consumers are bombarded with more data and exposed to ever-increasing numbers of connections, their goals and desires are changing. They’re much more apt to value environmentalism and social equity. Yet they want to differentiate themselves, so they’re interested in unique and bespoke products and services. They crave information, convenience, and customized experiences. And as
the shift from file folders to file icons becomes more complete, the digital world becomes increasingly physical—
generating the “smart” object.
In response to these shifts, three materials trends are developing across industries: New Naturals,
Authenticity, and Connection. Retail has seen its share of these trends, but these uncommon examples
can inspire new applications.
By Sarah Hoit
Trending in materials
New naturals, authenticity, and connection
CARTON WALLBOARDS BAKED SOIL TILES SALMON SKIN LEATHER