Car Design Dialogues North America: Ethical Materials in Automotive and beyond

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In an era of sustainable design, the use of traditional materials is under the microscope and OEMs across markets are exploring the potential of new virgin materials that have a lighter impact on the environment. At Car Design Dialogues, an expert panel from across a variety of creative disciplines compared ...

In an era of sustainable design, the use of traditional materials is under the microscope and OEMs across markets are exploring the potential of new virgin materials that have a lighter impact on the environment. How far will these new materials reshape attitudes to luxury? What opportunities will designers have to push the boundaries of car design and designs in other industries? And how will the challenge of scaling up production of new materials impact on this supposedly greener future?

Car design legend Chris Bangle was joined by experts from Ultrafabrics, Steelcase Inc and Tapis Corporation to discuss these questions. “When we talk about circularity, we only really understand recycling as the breakdown of materials into constituents that can be rebuilt to a completely new thing,” Bangle said.

“But so much energy goes into making it in the first place, and maybe more energy breaking it down and rebuilding it the second time around. What we need is design that can travel in time – to design two or three cycles out, making a product for a purpose but ensuring it can also be completely repurposed again and again.”

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