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  • Federico Trevia
    federico trevia 2.jpg


    Researcher - Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands


    [email protected]

    [email protected]



    Dr. Elvin Karana

    Dr. Jan Carel Diehl

    Federico is currently working on project DELTAP at the Industrial Design Engineering Faculty of TU Delft, in collaboration with the faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences at TU Delft. Project DELTAP focuses on developing an integrative approach for smart small-scale piped water supply in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna Delta. The focus of Federico’s research is on the exploration and use of local materials (both natural and waste-based) in Rajshahi, Bangladesh, as resource for DIY-materials, together with the integration of the water system in the community. Main areas of interest are fulfillment of system requirements, water distribution in the village and social adoption.

    Prior to this Federico received his Bachelor degree in Industrial Design from Politecnico di Milano in 2011 and his Master degree in Design For Interaction at TU Delft in 2013 with a graduation project at Philips Design. After his studies he has been working for different sized companies and industries both in Italy and The Netherlands, spanning from education start-ups and product design studios to industrial groups and advertising agencies.

    Working as a professional designer he gained experience in human centered design, product design and conceptualization, process visualization and project management.

    Materials exploration, use and enhancement has always been at the heart of his projects, in the quest of defining how to convey experiences through shape, form and texture. In his career Federico was involved in projects related to the discovery of textile’s transparency, perception and reflectivity for space design; wood selection, shaping and treatment for public space and interior design projects; aluminum treatment for texture, shape and finishing in luxury product design; paper and cardboard investigation and treatment for packaging design.

    Current Project


    In this project, Federico Trevia explores how (new) materials are experienced in BoP countries, specifically in Deltas in India and Bangladesh; as well as the dynamics of the society and the organization to be taken into account in the development and implementation of DIY material practices for locally produced products. 


    1. Evelien Van de Garde-Perik, Federico Trevia, Adam Henriksson, Luc Geurts and Helle Ullerup (2016). Getting a GRIP at the Design of a Nature Inspired Relaxation Space for Work-Related Stress. International Journal of Arts and Technology, Volume 9, Issue 3. https://doi.org/10.1504/IJART.2016.078612

  • Valentina Rognoli

    PROF. Valentina Rognoli

    Associate Professor - Politecnico di Milano, Italy

    Co-Founder and Co-Head of Materials Experience Lab - Italy

    [email protected]


    Valentina Rognoli is Associate Professor in the Design Department at the School of Design, Politecnico di Milano. Here, she studied, and began her academic carrier focused on Materials for Design. She has been a pioneer in this field, starting almost twenty years ago and establishing an internationally recognised expertise on the topic both in research and education. For her PhD, she undertook a unique and innovative study on a key but a little treated topic that is the expressive-sensorial dimension of materials of Design and their experiential aspects. This research has greatly influenced the teaching methodologies on materials at the School of Design.

    At present, her research and teaching activities are focusing on pioneering and challenging topics as DIY-Materials for social innovation and sustainability; Bio-based and circular Materials; Urban Materials and Materials from Waste and food Waste; Materials for interactions and IoT (ICS Materials); Speculative Materials; Tinkering with materials, Materials Driven Design method, CMF design, emerging materials experiences, and material education in the field of Design.

    At the institutional level, she was involved for the last two year in the Technical and Scientific Committee of the Product Design course as supervisor of the internationalisation process, and part of the Board of Professors of the PhD Programme in Design.

    She participates as principal investigator in a European Project called Made, co-funded by Creative Europe Programme of The European Union, which aims at boosting talents towards circular economies across Europe (http://materialdesigners.org/).

    Moreover, she is the author of over 50 publications. She organised international workshops and events, invited speaker and reviewer for relevant journals and international conferences. Many international scholars recognised in the scientific community follow, inspire and appreciate her research and educational approach.

    Short mission statement

    Raising sensibility and making professional designers and future designers conscious of the infinite potential of materials and processes.


    1. Ayala-Garcia, C., Rognoli, V. (2017) The New Aesthetic of DIY-Materials,The Design Journal, 20:sup1, S375-S389

    2. Karana, E., Giaccardi, E., Rognoli, V. (2017) Materially Yours. In book: Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Product Design, Publisher: Routledge, Ed. Jonathan Chapman, pp.206-221

    3. Parisi, S., Rognoli, V., Sonneveld, M.H.  (2017) Material Tinkering. An inspirational approach for experiential learning and envisioning in product design education, The Design Journal, 20:sup1, S1167-S1184

    4. Rognoli, V., Ayala-Garcia, C. (2017) Material Activism. New hybrid scenarios between design and technology. Cuadernos 70 Journal, Universidad de Palermo, N 70-2018 pp. 105-115 ISSN 1668-0227.

    5. Rognoli, V., Ayala-Garcia, C., Bengo, I. (2017) DIY-Materials as enabling agents of innovative social practices and future social business in: Proceedings of International Congress of Design FORMA 2017, Cuba. (On Press).

    6. Ayala-Garcia, C., Rognol, V., Karana, E. (2017). Five Kingdoms of DIY Materials for Design. In Alive. Active. Adaptive: Proceedings of International Conference on Experiential Knowledge and Emerging Materials (EKSIG 2017), June 19-20, Delft, the Netherlands, pp. 222-234.

    7. Sauerwein, M., Karana, E., Rognoli, V. (2017) Revived Beauty: Research into Aesthetic Appreciation of Materials to Valorise Materials from Waste in Sustainability 9(4), 529. April 2017.

    8. Parisi S., Rognoli V., Ayala C. (2016). Designing Materials Experiences through Passing of Time, Material Driven Design Method applied to Mycelium based Composites. In: Proceedings of 10th International Conference on Design & Emotion, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, September 2016 pp.239-255.

    9. Rognoli V., Ayala C., Parisi S., (2016). The emotional value of Do-it-yourself materials. In: Proceedings of 10th International Conference on Design & Emotion, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, September 2016. Pp. 233-241.

    10. Rognoli, V., Bianchini, M., Maffei, S., & Karana, E. (2015). DIY Materials. Special Issue on Emerging Materials Experience. Materials and Design, vol. 86, pp. 692–702; DOI 10.1016/j.matdes.2015.07.020.

    11. Rognoli V., (2015). Dynamism and imperfection as emerging materials experiences. A case study. In: Proceedings of DesForm 2015 - Aesthetics of Interaction: Dynamic, Multisensory, Wise. 9th International Conference on Design and Semantics of Form and Movement, Politecnico di Milano, IT; 10/2015.

    12. Rognoli V., Karana, E. (2014). Towards a New Materials Aesthetic Based on Imperfection and Graceful Ageing. In: E. Karana, O. Pedgley, O., & V. Rognoli (Eds.) Materials Experience: Fundamentals of Materials and Design (pp. 145-154). Butterworth-Heinemann: Elsevier, UK.

    13. Rognoli V., (2010). A broad survey on expressive-sensorial characterization of materials for design education. Metu, Journal of the Faculty of Architecture, vol. 27; p. 287-300. DOI 10.4305/METU.JFA.2010.2.16

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • Anouk Zeeuw van der Laan


    Ph.D. Candidate - Dyson School of Design Engineering at Imperial College London

    [email protected]


    Dr. Marco Aurisicchio

    Dr. Elvin Karana

    Dr. Valentina Rognoli

    Anouk is a PhD Candidate at the Dyson School of Design Engineering at Imperial College London. She received her BSc. and MSc. in Industrial Design Engineering at Delft University of Technology. Anouk developed an interest for materials and why materials that can last centuries, are often selected for disposable products used for minutes. Her MSc thesis was material-driven and aimed to investigate opportunities for the use of waste materials, such as waste coffee grounds [1]. After her graduation Anouk continued to work with a Material-Driven Design approach in the development of new materials in collaboration with Innventia. To better understand the mismatch of material lifetime and product lifetime, Anouk joined the Kraft Heinz Company to learn about materials in the fast-moving consumer goods industry. She worked in continuous improvement, packaging procurement and packaging R&D. 


    1. 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, 9(2), 35-54. 

    2. Zeeuw van der Laan, A. and Aurisicchio, M. (2017) ‘Planned Obsolescence in the Circular Economy’, in PLATE conference 2017, pp. 446–452. doi: 10.3233/978-1-61499-820-4-446.

  • Prarthana Majumdar

    Prarthana Majumdar

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

    P[email protected]

    [email protected]



    Dr. Elvin Karana

    Prof. Dr. Jo van Engelen

    Prarthana Majumdar is a PhD candidate in the department of Design Engineering at Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands.

    Prarthana graduated as the highest performer in Mechanical Engineer from Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IIT) and later received her Masters Cum Laude from Stanford University, USA. She worked at Apple, Inc. for two years wherein she fell in love with good design. She has interned in the field of Sustainable Management for small scale handicraft industries in India. She has also been leading two projects for the development of portals that promote connectivity among students and alumni in IIT's.

    Her areas of interest are: Materials, Innovation Strategy, Technology Do-it-yourself.

    Project (2016-17)


    Her project as a PhD scholar focuses on promoting Do-it-Yourself material practices in the Base of the Pyramid, primarily India and Bangladesh. She focuses on Social Innovation and Materials Experience to understand how local eco-materials and  recycled materials can be used for prosumption products in such developing countries. The project aims at bridging concepts and technologies like 3D printing and crowdsourcing to the realm of Design for Base of the Pyramid and contributing towards democratization of innovation and manufacturing in this segment that constitutes 70% of the global population.


    1. Majumdar, P., Karana, E., Ghazal, S., Sonneveld, M.H. (2017). The Plastic Bakery: A case of material driven design. In Alive. Active. Adaptive: Proceedings of International Conference on Experiential Knowledge and Emerging Materials (EKSIG 2017), June 19-20, Delft, the Netherlands, pp. 116-128.                                                       
    2. Majumdar, P., & Banerjee, S. (2017). The Challenges to Sustainable Growth of the Micro Scale Kuhila Craft Industry in India (6th International Conference on Research and Design, iCoRD’17).

    3. Majumdar, P., Ji, S., & Banerjee, S. (2017). Disconnect between Consumer Preferences of Young-Urban Buyers and the Value Proposition of the Rattan and Bamboo Furniture Industry in Assam (6th International Conference on Research and Design, iCoRD’17)

  • Joren Wierenga

    Joren wierenga

    BioLab Technician – Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands.

    [email protected]

    [email protected]


    Prof. Dr. Elvin Karana

    Joren Wierenga is a research technician for the BioLab at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering. Joren holds a BSc and MSc in Biology and Marine Sciences respectively, both from Utrecht University. In 2016 Joren started a PhD at the University of Geneva in microbial ecology. During his PhD Joren focused on how environmental factors affect the interaction between phytoplankton and parasitic fungi. To this end he gained experience in prototyping and building several experimental set-ups and growing different types of micro-organisms under varying conditions. After finishing his PhD at University of Geneva he wanted to expand his horizons to work on more diverse projects. Joren joined the group to run the new BioLab and to support the PhD-students with their projects.


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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