Materials Libraries & Publications


Building Centre, London
Information and inspiration about the built environment, architecture and construction.

Centre for Sustainable Design
University for the Creative Arts at Farnham
Information and expertise on sustainable innovation and product sustainability.

Open educational resources in materials science and engineering

Free product/finish materials selection tool for interior design specifiers or suppliers.

Granta Design
Software tools, materials data, and materials database solutions for industry and education. Based Cambridge, also Germany and USA.

Institute of Making
University College London
Resource, laboratory, studio, workshop, and playpen for the material-minded.

Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining (IOM3)
UK-wide technical materials enquiry and library service for industry, academia and the public. Membership of IOM3 may be required for some services.

Chris Lefteri Blog
Materials-related research and project blog (to 2011)

Material Lab
Architectural and design resource studio in London where people can explore and be inspired by materials such as ceramics, glass, wallpaper, wood, carpet tiles, eco-resins and fabrics.

Materials Council
Specialists in the research, comparison and selection of materials for architectural applications

Materials & Products Collection (CSM)
Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, London
New CSM Library at Kings Cross brings together a range of innovative materials representing current trends in design and manufacturing.

Materials & Products Collection (LMU)
London Metropolitan University
Manufacturers’ catalogues & brochures, samples of materials, journals, reference books and directories to help students source products and materials

Kingston University, School of Design, Product and Furniture Design Department
Sustainable materials library and online resource, offering innovative material solutions to artists and designers

SCIN Studio
Materials, surfaces and finishes for architecture and design

Surface Matter
Surface Matter works with some of the most exciting materials out there, and we love collaborating with creative people to push the boundaries of architecture and design.

Sustainable Product Development
Bournemouth University, School of Design, Engineering and Computing
Sustainable design E-Learning Toolkit 


The Netherlands
Sharing practitioners’ knowledge of materials

Design Insite
Designers’ guide to manufacturing materials and processes

Hello Materials Blog
Leading experts from around the world share their knowledge about developments in the field of materials and design. Created by the Danish Design Centre  and edited by Maria Hørmann.

The Netherlands
Technical & environmental information about materials, processes and components.

Paris, France
European physical and online resource centre for innovative materials

LP Fashion Studio
Milan, Italy
International view of the trends in leather of the past and the future: an experimental workshop where materials can be viewed and studied to prepare future collections.

Barcelona and other locations, Spain
Information on materials including manufacture of eco-friendly products, use of active materials and application of nanotechnology. In spanish only.

Material Bibliothek (Library of Materials)
Stockholm, Sweden
Materials and processes collection, aimed at Scandinavian architects and industrial designers

Materia Inspiration Centre & Material Explorer
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Stimulates and inspires architects, designers and producers to apply new materials to their designs

Material Stories – Blog by Aart van Bezooyen
The Netherlands
Dutch optimist and motivator for materials in design

Paris, France
New and innovative material samples, online database, team of global experts.

Milan, Italy
Datbase of materials and processes (Italian only)

Padova, Italy
Research into new materials and new technology for product innovation.

EcoMaterials Library dedicated to environmentally sustainable materials and to their use in the industry, architecture and design.

Online materials store

Architectural materials database (German only)

Selecting Materials
University of Aveiro, Portugal
Research into digital tools for materals selection by Pedro Ramalhete

TU Delft Materials Library
Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
Inspires and informs students, staff and visitors to establish a link between the (future) creative industry and the material (and manufacturing) industry.


IDES Prospector
USA & global
Database of plastic and metal data sheets and suppliers

Chicago, USA
Online hardware & materials store for designers

New York, USA (also Bangkok, Beijing, Cologne, Daegu, Istanbul, Milan, Seoul)
Material expertise and access to global material sources – identify today’s   material solutions and provide insight into tomorrow’s opportunities

New Materials Resource Center
California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA, USA
Meant to inspire designers to focus on the materiality of things, rather than on obvious practical applications

Minnesota Building Materials Database
University of Minnesota, Center for Sustainable Building Research.
Online tool for selecting sustainable materials.

Materials Lab
University of Texas, Austin, USA
Stimulates and supports the integration of materials in the design curriculum

Blacksburg, USA
Searchable database of material properties

RISD Material Resource Center
Rhode Island School of Design, USA
A place to explore materials and discover new methods and processes which can lead to new sources of inspiration and creativity.

Transmaterial online
Information about the latest and most intriguing materials commercially available – a companion to the Transmaterial books written by Blaine Brownell and published by Princeton Architectural Press.

The Wood Explorer
New York, USA
Database of commercial wood species


Thanks to Jessica Lertvilai at Central Saint Martins Materials & Products Collection and Hilda Kaune at the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining for their contributions to this listing.


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