A physical collection, as well as an online digital database and website of materials, ranging from innovative to new materials found everyday in the constructed environment, was created to help students explore and understand material composition and functional traits to allow students to rethink conventional applications and promote material experimentation in design practice. Supported by the PITF program, the collection database could be searched to discover material examples and vendor contacts.
Revolutionary new materials and methods of fabrication are having a profound impact on the continuing evolution of design thinking. The impact is felt in many areas, including design methods, the conception of form, and modes of production. Examples of materials from commercial vendors and materials resulting from faculty/student research are gathered in the Materials Collection, housed in L33 Gund Hall.