Congresos de la Universitat Politècnica de València, Systems & Design: Beyond Processes and Thinking

Por defecto: 
Materials to boost companies innovation. Systemic production network and technological crossbreed.
Beatrice Lerma, Doriana Dal Palù

Última modificación: 19-07-2016


The origin of resources and location of suppliers and manufacturers are key elements in environmental sustainability. Equally important are the potential new areas of application and the development of further production. The aim of this article is to investigate how designers can help manufacturing companies and provide them with sustainable solutions that envisage a future beyond processes, by taking in consideration the complexity of a territory and its production system. The creation of “zero-km” contacts network among companies, dealers, producers and suppliers could be useful for SMEs in order to improve their production in a sustainable way. Moreover, developing new products and investigating over new potentials of the currently produced series drive manufacturing companies towards (eco) innovation through envisioning unconventional interpretations for materials, semi-finished products and components alike, through technological crossbreed.

This is the direction in which material libraries should seek to progress: in fact on the one hand today’s materials and production/finishing processes are smart and encase an inner core of performance and functionality that only complex systems could have achieved prior to become available. On the other hand the origin of resources and localization of local suppliers and manufacturers are key elements when it comes to environmental sustainability.

The article presents an analysis of the potentialities of material libraries and the activity of an academic material library, conceived not only as an archive but also as a support to boost companies innovation management. In this last case, the support offered to firms is characterized by a strong design slant and ensures the methodologies and principles of Eco-Design, Exploring Design and Advanced Design paths: following these methodologies, solutions related to firms productive district are defined, taking into consideration materials/semi-finished products that can be renewed by transferring them to different manufacturing cycles.

In material libraries the designers role is to transform the intangible aspects associated with territorial and technological dimensions into tangible solutions. This article will present case studies of SMEs working in different fields such as jewellery, toys, taps and fittings components, automotive, which started to produce new objects and updated their production using new materials and semi-finished products.


Palabras clave

Materials libraries; sustainable strategies; systemic design; companies’ innovation; design research.

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