BASF designfabrik presents Material Selection N 1

01 Nov 2023
  • Trend book shows the latest results of the interplay of material and design
  • Innovative PU coating makes stone flexible
  • Special polyamide ensures high gloss in automotive interiors

In its trend book, BASF designfabrik®, which is part of the new Creation Centers, presents the results of an international study that combines current social trends with innovative new materials and design. How do ‘circular economy’ and exclusivity, improvisational art and innovation fit together and which materials can combine these characteristics? The designfabrik® teams from the Creation Centers in Shanghai, Mumbai, Yokohama and Ludwigshafen have found answers and solutions to these questions, which they present in the ‘Material Selection N°1’.

The first trend presented in the study describes a society called the ‘Aspirational Society’ by the trend researchers. This is a society that strives for exclusivity, but at the same time wants to act sustainably and not commit itself to ownership. To have access to all music titles and movies of the world at any time replaces the physical data carrier. Access to exclusive products and data alone is sufficient, the ultimate purchase is no longer absolutely necessary. It is not so much the products themselves that give us exclusivity as the feeling that they give us access. "The transformation of such a society, which wants to own everything, to one which wants to use everything, also creates new demands on materials, services and products," says Alex Horisberger, designfabrik® Ludwigshafen, BASF.

The trend researchers have therefore developed a material that combines all these contrasts: It can reproduce textures and structures individually and yet shines like a liquid. A mono-material special polyamide that meets sustainable demands and at the same time offers durability.

The second trend of the BASF study originated in India and describes an attitude to life that is rarely found in Western society: the art of improvising. In India this attitude is called ‘Jugaad’. ‘Jugaad’ has proven to be a successful system, especially when you have to rely on a functioning solution due to scarcity of resources or time pressure. Lack and need make inventive and thus innovations arise from temporary arrangements in the shortest time. In our society, however, lack and need occur at completely different, divers levels: In the age of digitalization, for example, the lack of haptic feedback is ubiquitous, because we touch smooth display glass surfaces every day, blank and without texture. With a world first, BASF is not only bringing haptic experiences back into everyday life, but it also breaks with what previously seemed to be established contradictions. Alexandre Dreyer, Head of Creation Center Asia, BASF, explains: "With the help of an innovative PU coating, the natural surface of the stone can be combined with lightness and flexibility, thus opening up completely new design possibilities". An example of this is the use of the material in the VisionVenture concept campervan. There, the entire bathroom was lined with the innovative slate material.

The trends and materials are handed over only in connection with a personal presentation and are intended exclusively for customers and potential customers. The ‘Material Selection N°1’ cannot be obtained or requested individually.

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