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Design-driven materials innovation: what the Light.Touch.Matters project can teach us

Dr Erik Tempelman | TU Delft, The Netherlands

Design-driven materials innovation: what the Light.Touch.Matters project can teach us

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The EU-funded research project Light.Touch.Matters presents a test case for "design-driven materials innovation". In this 3.5 year long project, product designers and materials scientists jointly develop a new generation of smart interface materials. Being thin and flexible, these "light touch matters" can sense your touch (using piezo plastics) and respond by luminescence (using OLEDs). They can advance product design to a point where "the product becomes the interface", and examples of such products are being developed in the project in parallel to the new materials. With the project ending summer 2016, we are now in a position to draw conclusions about this new form of materials innovation. This contribution will present not only the materials involved, but also the pros and cons of involving design professionals in the process, as well as the challenges and the solutions that can make design-driven materials innovation a success.