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  • Davine Blauwhoff

    Davine Blauwhoff

    Researcher - Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

    [email protected]



    Dr. Elvin Karana

    Ir. Mark Lepelaar

    In 2016 Davine Blauwhoff (26) graduated as an Industrial Designer from Delft University of Technology. Her previous studies include a bachelor program Industrial Design at the University of Technology Eindhoven and the propaedeutic year at the Design Academy Eindhoven. Apart from education, she enjoys various sports (field hockey and athletics) and expresses her creativity by making interior design products or cooking spectacular food!

    Throughout the years of studying design, at different institutions, she developed a strong interest in materials. To her, materials are a source of inspiration and a way to express ideas. During her graduation she did a Material Driven Design project where Fungi (mycelium) was the point of departure. Of course this has to be one of her favorite materials! Slightly more conventional, she is very fond of wood (especially Olive wood) and finds ceramics very exciting to work with.

    As a graduated industrial designer, Davine positions herself between design, materials and research and has a strong interest in innovation and sustainability. Throughout the design process she thoroughly analyzes, explores and experiments in a structured way. Preferring to visualize, shape and detail her ideas through prototyping, she can translate her creativity into something tangible. In her work she pays a lot of attention to aesthetics where both shape and material integrate to support its function and product interaction.

    Currently Davine has two part-time occupations, which are both material driven: 1) Freelance design researcher at TU Delft on a project with waste fibers & bio-plastics (Recurf) and 2) Junior researcher at CoE BBE (Centre of Expertise Biobased Economy) working with mycelium for the building industry. Prior working experiences comprise an internship at Studio Kees, an industrial Design agency, and Materia, an online material library. 



    The residents of Amsterdam produce an average of 17kg of textile waste per person per year. Of this, only 16% is collected separately. The rest end up as residual waste and will be incinerated. Only apart of the separated gathered textile is suitable for reuse or high quality recycling. The combination of textile wastefibres and bio-based plastics produce new materials with unique properties. Together with clothing collection organization Sympany, the AUAS is doing research to the possibilities of making lasting products with the discarded textiles of the inhabitants of Amsterdam. But also companies as Starbucks and Schiphol airport have textile waste flows; a unique circular product and business model arises by processing these for example in furniture for their own shops or departure and arrival halls.

    In this project, Materials Experience Lab Researcher, Davine Blauwhoff, explores the design potential of waste textile-PLA composite materials. Applying the Material Driven Design (MDD) method (link), Davine develops unique materials and product applications which bring the unique qualities of the material forward.


    1. Karana, E., Blauwhoff, D., Hultink, E. J., Camere, S. (in preparation, available upon request), When The Material Grows: A Case Of Material Driven Design
  • Ziyu Zhou

    ziyu zhou

    Ph.D. Candidate - Politecnico di Milano, Department of Design, Italy

    Visiting PhD student – Offenbach University of Art and Design (Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach am Main), Institute for Materialdesign, Germany

    [email protected]


    Prof. Valentina Rognoli

    Prof. Manuela Celi

    Ziyu Zhou is a Ph.D. candidate in Politecnico di Milano, Department of Design. Through analyzing the teaching and learning process on materials in design, she is devoting her research on exploring what materials and material education can bring to design students, and, most importantly, how do they work. She is committed to clarifying the explanation on relationships mainly between materials experience and the design teaching and learning activities.

    Prior to this, in 2015, Ziyu obtained her Bachelor degree in Industrial design in Jiangnan University, Wuxi, China. In the same year, she starts her Master study in Product Service System Design in Politecnico di Milano, Department of Design, Italy. During her study, she gained lots of experience and skills on product design and design thinking through a series of national projects / international design competitions. Also, she has proficient communication abilities as a designer through learning under differentiated cultures. In 2016, she attended the course “Designing Materials Experience” by Valentina Rognoli and started her story on materials and design fortunately. After one year in 2017, she got her Master degree through the graduation project: DIY bioplastic Club. With the integration of her knowledge in DIY materials, product design, service system design and interactive design, through designing a toolkit on enabling people to make their personalized DIY bioplastics, she started her research on how people view and use the materials experience to enrich their ideas and design.  

    The main topics of Ziyu’s research and practice are situated in the intersection between: [1]The generic process, methodologies and spaces in educating design students on materials and through materials; [2] Emerging activities applying material experience into design education; [3] Development and creative practices in material-driven design; [4] Multisensory design with materials; [5] self-production, DIY, trans-disciplinary practices for materials generation.

    Current Project


    The relationship between materials and design is already being clarified by many scholars. With the perspective-changes on material and design in the past and the present, material potentially influences on our views on design. Nowadays, the education of materials for design is not restrained in listing the knowledge about materials and their technical attributes which can fit design, but emphasized on guiding students to learn how to provoke experience to users, with different choices of materials or even create new materials. Sensorial-expressive characterization of materials is getting more attention from design educators and students in the start of material investigations. Starts from these viewpoints towards materials in design and design education in recent years, this research will take our sight onto how could material drive innovation and facilitate the higher design education, through inspiring students’ design thinking and gaining design their design abilities comprehensively.


    1. Zhou, Z. (2020). Engaging Material Education in Design. The Design Journal, 24(1), 149-159. DOI: 10.1080/14606925.2020.1830549

    2. Zhou, Z., Rognoli, V., & Celi, M. (2020). Features of material exploration projects emerged in design schools. In Conference Proceedings EDUNOVATIC 2020 (pp. 704-709). Redine.

    3. Zhou Z., Rognoli, V. (2020). Designing Materials and Material Designers: Research by DIY-Materials Research Group. ZHUANGSHI Journal, 2020 (01. Total No. 321):17-23

    4. Zhou Z., Rognoli, V. (2020). Material Education: New Training, New Skills. Chapter in MaterialDesigners Book.

    5. Zhou, Z., & Rognoli, V. (2019). Material Education in Design: From Literature Review to Rethinking. In Fifth International Conference for Design Education Researchers (pp. 111-119). METU Department of Industrial Design.

    6. Zhou. Z.; Rognoli. V.; Ayala-Garcia. C. (2018), Educating designers through Materials Club, 4th International Conference on Higher Education Advances (HEAd’18), http://dx.doi.org/10.4995/HEAd18.2018.8206

  • Shahar Livne


    Designer in residence

    [email protected]



    Dr. Elvin Karana

    Shahar Livne (1989) is an Israeli-born designer located in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Her lifelong fascinations in nature, biology, science and more developed into intuitive material experimentation way of work during her bachelor studies at the Design Academy Eindhoven. Since 2014, Shahar’s body of work focuses on material research and her work process is characterized by trial and error experimentation in the search for interesting results. Some of her projects deal with obscure materials such as animals blood, man-made fossils, crystallization and more. Her projects starting points are often stories about places, cultures and everyday life, yet, materials are always in the center used as carriers of narratives. Shahar Sees herself as a conceptual material designer with an intuitive and research approach that materializes through written research and expressive objects compositions. currently, she works on developing her graduation projects from the Design Academy Eindhoven where she graduated at in 2017, investigating speculative material occurrences in nature.

    Project (2018)


    Environmental changes, deforestation and the spread of man-made pollutants are inevitably threatening the existence of natural materials and transforming nature as we know it. At the same time, new natural materials which are the result of environmental contamination are emerging, and man-made materials such as plastic are proliferating in our surroundings.

    Investigating a post-plastic future, where the only place to extract petroleum-based plastics will be from nature in a new hybrid form, plastics will regain a new value, far beyond the way we see it in our current time.
    By creating and developing Lithoplast- a speculative material which might be the result of thousands of years of natural metabolism and its encounter with the "golden spike" of humanity- plastics, Shahar embodies and research questions with this new raw material that can be processed in a similar way to clay and is acting as an ultimate symbol of the transformation of matter and the inevitable shifts of materials between nature, synthetic and cultural aspects.
    In this project,  Shahar would like to use the MDD method to explore whether Lithoplast is experienced as natural or synthetic and how she can systematically tailor its qualities to enhance or worsen the experience of naturalness through craftsmanship and design objects. 

  • Camilo Ayala Garcia

    DR. Camilo Ayala Garcia

    Assistant Professor - Design Department Universidad de los Andes Bogotá, Colombia.

    c[email protected]

    c[email protected]



    Dr. Valentina Rognoli

    Dr. Elvin Karana

    Camilo obtained his Ph.D. degree on the topic of Do-It-Yourself Materials as triggers of change at Politecnico di Milano. Prior to this Ph.D. research, Camilo received his Bachelor degree in Industrial Design from the Los Andes University in Bogotá in the year 2004. He also obtained his Bachelor Degree in Textile Design from the same university simultaneously. In the year 2007, received his Master of Arts in Design degree from Domus Academy (the University of Wales accredited school of design) in Milan awarded with Distinction.

    Camilo began his professional career in Colombia back in 2001, where he earned experience in the product design field developing several projects for renowned local and international clients. After various years of work as a professional designer, he moved to Germany to attend at Hochschule Pforzheim the MSc. Produktentwicklung (Product development) as a guest student and learn the language. Subsequently, he transferred to Italy to complete his Master studies. After his graduation, he started to share time being tutor at Domus Academy and working as a product designer for Donegani & Lauda studio and Cammarata Gioelli both in Milan for some years. Camilo decided to return to his hometown to become full-time professor and researcher at his alma mater where is currently entitled Assistant Professor in the design department.
    Together with his teaching activities, Camilo devotes his research to local materials and products development, with several patents granted as well as different academic contributions published.


    THE MATERIALS GENERATION - The Emerging Experience of DIY Materials


    1. Utility Patent: Hebilla Para Chaleco Antibalas. Deposited: 26/04/2011

      Patent Number: 11050690

      Sector: Mechanical Engineering

      Status: Granted

    2. Utility Patent: Placa De Protección Balistica Para Chalecos Antibalas

      Personales En Material Compuesto.

      Deposited: 26/04/2011

      Patent Number: 11050701

      Sector: Chemical Engineering

      Status: Granted

    3. Utility Patent: Chaleco Balístico Ajustable Portamuniciones.

      Deposited: 28/12/2012

      Patent Number: 12235979

      Sector: Mechanical Engineering

      Status: Granted

    4. Utility Patent: Sistema Modular Flexible Multi Talla Para Casco De

      Protección Balística.

      Deposited: 04/03/2013

      Patent Number: 13043301

      Sector: Mechanical Engineering

      Status: Granted

  • Alessia Romani


    Ph.D. Candidate - Politecnico di Milano, Department of Design, Italy

    Research Fellow – Politecnico di Milano, Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering “Giulio Natta”, Italy

    [email protected]



    Prof. Marinella Levi

    Prof. Valentina Rognoli

    Alessia Romani is a PhD candidate in Design at the Department of Design (Politecnico di Milano), and she currently works as Research Fellow at the Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering “Giulio Natta” of the same university. Her main research interests focus on the interdisciplinary connection between Design, Materials and Additive Manufacturing. She aims at bridging design and engineering through the lens of materials and digital technologies. Also, she is interested in new design strategies and approaches to additive manufacturing, new materials and finishing for design and additive manufacturing, parametric and computational design, design for sustainability and circular economy.

    She is actively involved in two main research projects: “FiberEUse - Large scale demonstration of new circular economy value-chains based on the reuse of end-of-life fiber reinforced composites” (H2020 EU Funded project - Grant Agreement N. 730323-1) and “+Ability” (Codesign of 3D Printed Customized Assistive Technology). She previously took part in “NNCF – Noi Non Ci Fermiamo” project funded by Roche S.p.A. (Codesign of Assistive Technology for Rheumatic Diseases).

     Alessia is currently part of +LAB, 3D printing lab of Politecnico di Milano, and she has joined the Materials Experience Lab after the beginning of her PhD path. Her PhD research aims at investigating the interdisciplinary link between design, materials and additive manufacturing in circular economy contexts, fostering the exploitation of new circular materials and strategies in the design practice. Previously, she received her BSc in Product Design in 2015 from Politecnico di Milano, and she obtained her MSc in Design & Engineering in 2018 (full marks) from the same university with a thesis focused on the codesign of 3D printed customized assistive technology developed at +LAB. During her studies, she also worked as a designer in the household appliances and textile fields.

     Through her research experience, she had the opportunity to merge design research and materials engineering, gaining expertise at the intersection of the two disciplines. She also collaborated as teaching assistant and co-supervised MSc thesis of the two disciplinary fields (MSc in Design & Engineering, BSc and MSc in Materials and Nanotechnology Engineering). Moreover, she has authored publications in peer-reviewed journals, participated at international conferences and organized workshops focused on 3D printing, materials and design.

    Current Project


    Considering the exploitation of fossil derivatives for human activities, the importance of sustainability is going to constantly increase in the next years. New circular economy models should be investigated to reduce the human impact on earth. As a result, design, materials and digital technologies play a crucial role in this change, and a wider range of circular materials and design strategies should be implemented. Nevertheless, their combined integration in the design practice is still challenging, and designers are not always aware of these possibilities. At the same time, the potential applications of these materials and their experiential aspects are scarcely considered in the conventional development process.

    The aim of this research is to investigate the interdisciplinary link between design, materials and additive manufacturing in circular economy contexts. At a later stage, the goal is to foster the integration of new circular materials and design strategies based on additive manufacturing in the design practice. Starting from specific case studies, the research will be focused on the investigation of new circular materials and design strategies for additive manufacturing through a design engineering experimental approach. Afterwards, new experiential tools will be developed to exploit the potential of emerging materials and strategies for new design applications in circular economy models.


    1. Romani, A., Suriano, R., Mantelli, A., Levi, M., Tralli, P., Laurila, J., Vuoristo, P. (Forthcoming, 2021). Composite Finishing for Reuse. In: Systemic Circular Economy Solutions for Fiber Reinforced Composites.

    2. Mantelli, A., Romani, A., Suriano, R., Levi, M., Turri, S. (2021, Forthcoming). Additive manufacturing of recycled composites. In: Systemic Circular Economy Solutions for Fiber Reinforced Composites.

    3. Mantelli, A., Romani, A., Suriano, R., Levi, M., Turri, S. (2021) Direct Ink Writing of Recycled Composites with Complex Shapes: Process Parameters and Ink Optimization. Advanced Engineering Materials, In press.

    4. Mantelli, A., Romani, A., Suriano, R., Diani, M., Colledani, M., Sarlin, E., Turri, S., Levi, M. (2021) UV-Assisted 3D Printing of Polymer Composites from Thermally and Mechanically Recycled Carbon Fibers. Polymers, 13, (5):726. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13050726

    5. Romani, A., Levi, M. (2020) Parametric Design for Online User Customization of 3D Printed Assistive Technology for Rheumatic Diseases. In: De Paolis L., Bourdot P. (eds) Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Computer Graphics. AVR 2020. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 12243. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-58468-9_14

    6. Romani, A., Mantelli, A., Suriano, R., Levi, M., Turri, S. (2020) Additive Re-Manufacturing of Mechanically Recycled End-of-Life Glass Fiber-Reinforced Polymers for Value-Added Circular Design. Materials, 13, (16): 3545.  https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13163545

    7. Romani, A., Orlando, G., Convertino, R., Zappalà, F.,  Baldassin, R., Pisu, M.G., Lorè, A., Digioia, S., Brambilla, E., Marcato, G., Agresta, I., Basciu, F., Fausti, V., Ravalli, G., Mantelli, A., Levi, M., Donati, C. (2019). CoDesign, Stampa 3D e Medicina per la Progettazione di Prodotti personalizzabili d’Uso Quotidiano. In: Reumatismo, 71:286-93. Società Italiana di Reumatologia (SIR), Rimini. (Invited)

    8. Romani, A., Mantelli, A., Levi, M. (2019) Circular Design for Value-Added Remanufactured End-of-Life Composite Material via Additive Manufacturing Technology. In: Segalàs, J., Lazzarini, B. (eds) Proceedings of the 19th European Roundtable for Sustainable Consumption and Production – Circular Europe for Sustainability: Design, Production and Consumption, Book of Papers (1): 491-512. Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona.

  • Bahar Barati

    BaharEH Barati

    Ph.D. Candidate - Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

    [email protected]



    Dr. Elvin Karana

    Prof. Dr. Paul Hekkert

    Bahareh is currently working towards her Ph.D. degree on the topic of creative design with underdeveloped smart materials. In the context of Light.Touch.Matters, a European Union FP7 project (2013-2016), she has explored the situation of designing in “upstream” collaborative projects to enable “design-driven” material innovation.  Her work acknowledges that looking at product design as an ad-hoc wrapping for some pre-determined material characteristics overshadows the importance of making and realizing in “negotiation with the material”. Giving power to this overlooked voice in discovering new possibilities with underdeveloped materials, her research put forward a number of theoretical and practical design supports (Hyperlink to the LTM design tool). The design supports particularly focus on characterizing and communicating the temporal and experiential aspects of these underdeveloped smart materials, as the development team explore the unique potentials of material-product development. Prior to this PhD research, Bahareh acquired her M.Sc. (cum laude) in Integrated Product Design from Technical University of Delft in 2012. In collaboration with Phillips Research (Eindhoven, the Netherlands), she developed a probe set for sensory evaluation of textile materials for her graduation project (Hyperlink to graduation project). In 2013, she was nominated for UfD-Royal HaskoningDHV Best Graduate Award. Bahareh is an alumnus of the University of Tehran and has maintained her contact with this university, through providing guidance and recently a workshop on interaction design (hyperlink to the news).

    Current Project


    February 2013 marked the start of Light.Touch.Matters, in which designers and material researchers joined forces to develop a completely new generation of smart materials that can sense touch and respond with luminescence. The base technologies are novel piezo plastics and flexible organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). Being thin, flexible and formable, these ‘light touch materials’ promise to revolutionize product design by integrating luminescence and touch in such a way that eventually the product becomes the interface (Project Link).

    In this project, Bahareh’s reserach aims at supporting a more profound understanding of underdeveloped smart material composites and their potentials. To that aim, she developed functional demonstrators that instantiate the design space, physical probes that explicate the (material-related) design variables, and a hybrid tool that allows for higher fidelity experiences of these underdeveloped smart materials. Together these components constitute a design toolkit


    1. Barati, B., Karana, E., Foole, M. (2017). Experience Prototyping’ Smart Material Composites. In Alive. Active. Adaptive: Proceedings of International Conference on Experiential Knowledge and Emerging Materials (EKSIG 2017), June 19-20, Delft, the Netherlands, pp. 50-65. 

    2. Barati, B., Karana, E., & Hekkert, P. (in review, available upon request). Understanding The Experiential Qualities of Light Touch Matters: Toward a Tool Kit. Journal of Artifact.

    3. Jansen, K., Claus, S., Barati, B. (2017). Designing of a semi-transparent Electroluminescent Umbrella. In Proceedings of Smart System Integration.  

    4. Barati, B., Karana, E., Jansen, K., & Hekkert, P. (2016, February). Functional Demonstrators to Support Understanding of Smart Materials. In Proceedings of the TEI'16: Tenth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction (pp. 386-391). ACM. 

    5. Barati, B., Karana, E., & Hekkert, P., Jönsthövel, I. (2015, November). Designing with an Underdeveloped Computational Composite for Materials Experience. In Proceedings of EKSIG 2015: Experiential Knowledge Special Interest Group.

    6. Barati, B., Karana, E, Hekkert, P. (2015, October). From Way Finding in the Dark to Interactive CPR Trainer: Designing with Computational Composites. In Proceedings of DesForm 2015.

    7. Barati, B., Karana, E., Sekulovski, D., & Pont, S. C. (2015). Retail lighting and textiles: Designing a lighting probe set. Lighting Research and Technology, 1-22.
    8. Karana, E., Barati, B., Rognoli, V., & Zeeuw Van Der Laan, A. (2015). Material driven design (MDD): A method to design for material experiences. International journal of design, 19 (2) 2015.

  • Yask Kulshreshtha


    Visiting researcher - Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

    PhD candidate -the Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

    [email protected]

    [email protected]


    Prof. Dr. Elvin Karana

    Dr. Henk Jonkers

    Dr. Phil Vardon

    Dr. Nelson Mota

    Prof. Mark van Loosdrecht

    Yask Kulshreshtha is a visiting researcher at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering and a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences. He is conducting research on building affordable, durable, and desirable homes using locally available mud and biological resources.

    After finishing his bachelors in Engineering from BVM Engineering college in India, he moved to Delft and started an MSc program in Civil Engineering. In his master thesis, he developed a corn starch based material (named CoRncrete) and continued researching on it after graduating (with honours) in 2015. Yask moved back to Inda in 2016 to embark on a nine months-long backpacking trip in India. On this trip, he spent time learning the traditional building construction methods and used this knowledge to write a PhD proposal that took him back to Delft in 2017. Since then, Yask is carrying out multidisciplinary research at the intersection of materials sciences, civil engineering, geosciences, architecture, and design. He is fascinated by cow-dung and investigating the science behind its well-known water-resistant properties. He was recently awarded a grant from the Dutch science foundation (NWO) to extend his work on cow-dung and explore its application as an ecological brick that can regulate the indoor climate of buildings. Within this project, he is actively involved in research with the materials experience lab.

    Current Project


    The project aims at creating an installation that transforms from one form to another by gradually disintegrating under the influence of rain and wind. This installation would be built on a biological cow farm in Delft. The installation aims to invoke people to re-think natural building material as an eco-friendly alternative to concrete and fired brick construction.


    1. Marsh, A. T. M., & Kulshreshtha, Y. (2021). The state of earthen housing worldwide: how development affects attitudes and adoption. (Aceepted in Building Research & Information)

    2. Kulshreshtha, Y., Mota, N. J. A., Jagadish, K. S., Bredenoord, J., Vardon, P. J., van Loosdrecht, M. C. M., & Jonkers, H. M. (2020). The potential and current status of earthen material for low-cost housing in rural India. Construction and Building Materials, 247, 118615. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2020.118615

    3. Kulshreshtha, Y., Schlangen, E., Jonkers, H. M., Vardon, P. J., & van Paassen, L. A. (2017). CoRncrete: A corn starch based building material. Construction and Building Materials, 154, 411–423. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2017.07.184

    4. Paassen, L. van, & Kulshreshtha, Y. (2017). Biopolymers: Cement Replacement. In Cultivated Building Materials. Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783035608922-013


Material is a Medium. It communicates ideas, beliefs, approaches; compels us to think, feel and act in certain ways; enables and enhances functionality and utility. Materials Experience emphasises this role of materials as being simultaneously technical and experiential.


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