Grey Matter

New materials for the post-fossil era
Grey Matter
11.02 - 09.05.2021

Tuesday - Sunday, 10 am - 20 pm

Floor 3

Free entry

With the planet's natural resources on the verge of exhaustion and in a consumer society bent on producing waste in vast quantities, many designers are playing an important role in the research and development of new materials that are in line with the needs and challenges of the 21st century. This exhibition is a compilation of new materials that are currently emerging in the field of design. Engineers, architects, biologists, botanists... many professions are involved in the development of this field. 

Materia gris (Grey matter) presents some forty or so “biomaterial” projects that are particularly interesting due to their biodegradable nature. The challenge for the future of industrial production - the elimination of single-use plastics and their replacement by more sustainable versions - lies at the heart of these projects. Leather made from seaweed or apple waste, textile fibres produced from pine needles, plywood obtained from corn cobs and many other surprising materials whose raw materials are algae, bacteria, fallen leaves, fish, milk, fungi, insects, coffee, kombucha, fruit, etc.

The participating designers include: Apple Ten Pam, Kosuke Araki, Basse Stittgen, Alix Bizet, Nacho Carbonell, Silio Cardona, Álvaro Catalán de Ocón, Baptiste Cotten, Crafting Plastics! Studio, Licia Desideri, Formafantasma, Manuel Jouvin, Fernando Laposse, Pascal Leboucq & Lucas de Man, Woojai Lee,  Alberto Liévore, Gianantonio Locatelli, Julia Lohman, Tom Metcalfe, Mogu (Maurizio Montalti and partners), Naifactory Lab, Erez Nevi Pana, Tamara Orjola, Neri Oxman (Mediated Matter Group), Carolina Pacheco, Rodrigo García González y equipo Notpla, Jorge Penadés, Inés Sistiaga, Studio Lionne van Deursen, Studio Sarmite, Studio Swine, Studio Thus That, James Shaw y Marjan van Aubel, Tessa Silva, Valdis Steinarsdottir, Patricia Urquiola, Vollebak y Scarlett Yang.

The exhibition is rounded off by an archive of materials entitled “Materials Narratives (by Elisava): from Experimentation to Market”. Elisava Materials Narratives is a platform where researchers, teachers and companies can interpret and learn about materials. The archive on display comprises materials developed at Elisava at undergraduate, Master's or European project level as well as commercial materials from its material library.

Ana Dominguez Siemens, curator of the project, studied History of Art at the Complutense University of Madrid. Since 1989 she has worked as a freelance journalist, writer and exhibition curator specialising in design. She writes for prestigious Spanish and international newspapers and magazines and has also written numerous texts for books and catalogues on the work of Luis Bustamante, Jaime Parladé, Gaetano Pesce, Gunjan Gupta, Giulio Ridolfo, Álvaro Catalán de Ocón, Fredrikson Stallard, Anton Alvarez, Mattia Bonetti and others. She has curated several design exhibitions on such topics as sustainable design, social design, 3D printing, DIY, the packaging of the future, self-production, or the search for diversity in an industrial context. She has also curated solo exhibitions on the work of Jaime Hayón and Patricia Urquiola.

Lucas Muñoz is in charge of the design and assembly of the exhibition. In his project, he combines the use of materials stored from previous exhibitions with basic resources (notebooks, tins, pencils, etc.) in a way that is ingenious and unexpected and has a circular and social character. He is designer who lives and works between his hometown of Madrid and Eindhoven in the Netherlands. His career covers a wide range of projects that he has produced both in his workshops in these two countries and locally in different corners of the world - he has developed contextual work in such places as India, South Korea, Lebanon and Thailand, among others, as well as in many European countries. In addition to his extensive production of furniture, he has also created other more experimental pieces such as loudspeakers, skateboards and boats. Lucas has undertaken exhibition and interior design projects that he has always managed to endow with an extensive understanding of his profession. A few examples over the last year or so are his latest major project, the MO de Movimiento restaurant, in Madrid, or the sociological study The Rocket Trail which he made into an exhibition, an archive and a documentary film that he conceptualised, co-directed and produced.


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