Multi-Situated Materials  


With the notion of Multi-situated Materials (Karana, Giaccardi, Rognoli, in press), we suggest that if the materials of a product can enable an individual to resourcefully situate the product in multiple contexts and as part of multiple practices, the product will remain appropriate and will continue to generate value for a longer time. Take Soft Light by Simon Frambach as an example. It is a lamp that can be used for illumination, but it is unique and conspicuous for its soft nature. It is made of an elastomeric material. The use of this material involves unconventional practices of squeezing and pressing not usually associated to lighting items. This soft, pumpkin-shaped product produces soft light, but because of its ductility can also be used as a warm and pleasant pillow, or as a crevice-filling device to be placed between any object and a wall, or between two objects, without fearing that it will get broken or damaged.

In this project, Materials Experience Lab Post Doc Researcher, Bruna Patreca, develops a taxonomy, which depicts the technical properties and the experiential qualities of the multi-situated materials, also in relation to product attributes (e.g. form, structure, etc.). She develops a set of multi-situated product concepts demonstrating how these qualities can be mobilized through different types of materials (e.g. smart materials or computational composites, bio-based materials).