New Material Award 2016 goes to designer Olivier van Herpt

3-D printing has taken flight in the past few years. Today’s printers generally use new plastics which, although very useful, only add to the problem of plastic pollution. However, many designers are experimenting with new materials. And that maybe why this year’s New Material Award has gone to Olivier van Herpt for his Functional 3D Printed Ceramics.

Olivier van Herpt

Open source

Van Herpt has developed a 3D printer that can print with normal clay without the need to dilute it. His printer builds up thin layers which create fine details in his work. The New Material Award jury commented: ‘With this self-built 3D printer, Olivier van Herpt catapults an age-old craft into the twenty-first century.’ Thanks to this innovative technology, polluting plastics can be replaced with a highly sustainable material with a high cultural value. Van Herpt is making his invention available to all as an ‘open-source’ project.

The award and 15,000 euro prize money was handed over by Minister of Culture, Education and Science, Jet Bussemaker at the opening on Saturday of the 2016 New Material Award exhibition during the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven.

Plant roots

Artist  Diana Scherer won the 2016 New Material Fellow for Interwoven, in which she trains plant roots to create a strong and resilient material. In partnership with the Radboud University, Scherer is exploring the possibility of, among other things, growing a dress underground. Scherer will receives a six-month mentorship from Het Nieuwe Instituut to develop her idea further.

Milan exhibition

Van Herpt’s designs and those of Diana Scherer can be seen together with eighteen designs nominated for the award at Kazerne in Eindhoven during Dutch Design Week until 30 October. The exhibition will also be shown at the Salon del Mobile in Milan in April 2017.

Biennial prize

The New Material Award is a biennial prize organised by Stichting Doen, Fonds Kwadraat and Het Nieuwe Instituut that challenges artists and designers to develop and apply sustainable materials and innovative technologies. A nominating committee selected eighteen designs from 88 submissions. Previous editions have been won by Julia van Zanten, Tjeerd Veenhoven, Studio Maarten Kolk & Guus Kusters and Marjan van Aubel.