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Material ConneXion is a materials consultancy that helps companies source advanced materials to enhance the performance, aesthetics and sustainability of their projects. The company is headquartered in New York City and was founded in 1997. Material ConneXion was acquired by SANDOW in 2011.
Material ConneXion maintains a physical library of over 8000 materials and processes, with 20-30 new materials added each month. Materials in its collection are categorized based on their chemical composition: Polymers, Naturals, Metals, Glass, Processes, Ceramics, Cement-based, Carbon-based.
Work and reception
Material ConneXion was named a “Top Eco-Innovator” by The New York Times in 2007, recognized for its efforts to make information on sustainable materials and sustainable design practices more readily available to designers and corporations. Material ConneXion's consulting work and Materials Library has led to the development and improvement of consumer products, architecture, packaging, interiors and numerous other design-related projects. The company's clients have included design and architecture firms, government agencies, and large corporations such as Adidas, Target Corporation, PUMA, and BMW.
In 2001, designer Sandy Chilewich discovered a woven vinyl material in Material ConneXion's library that led to her Chilewich brand of household products and accessories. The company also worked with designer Harry Allen to find a sustainable, low-cost, post-industrial polypropylene packaging material for Aveda’s award-winning Ukuru line of cosmetics. In 2004, Material ConneXion helped Nike source a monofilament sleeving normally used to protect PVC pipes from bursting for use in its Air Jordan XIX.
Through its partnership with McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) and the Environmental Protection and Encouragement Agency (EPEA), Material ConneXion is the only Materials Library in the world to feature Cradle to Cradle assessed and certified materials and the only materials consultancy to offer Cradle to Cradle Certification and Cradle to Cradle product development.
Material ConneXion’s vice president of materials research, Dr. Andrew H. Dent, has contributed to numerous publications, and is a frequent speaker on topics related to materials, sustainability and design.
Material ConneXion has also authored several materials-related publications, including the most recently published Material Innovation series (Thames & Hudson).
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