A few years ago, I unearthed a treasure trove of innovative materials while writing a research paper about Litracon.
Transmaterial is the companion site for Blaine Brownell's book Transmaterial: : A Catalog of Materials That Redefine Our Physical Environment (buy it here). Judge this book by its cover (and title), it delivers exactly what it promises. And the website is even better.
Transmaterial's writer Blaine Brownell curates a collection of cutting edge products. According to the website, "Transmaterial online is intended to be a clear, concise, accessible, and carefully edited resource that provides information about the latest and most intriguing materials commercially available." Their mission is to bridge the gap between the fast paced progression of technology and architect's & designers knowledge of materials.
The website is easy to navigate, materials are organized into categories: biomaterials, ceramics, digital, light, metals, and polymers. Each material post includes photographs, technical properties, describes how it works, typical applications, includes links to similar products and most importantly, provides a link to the manufacturer.
Subscribe, Subscribe, Subscribe, to the Material Newsletter. Once a week, I get a lovely email featuring a new mind blowing product. My heart starts pounding, my mind beings to race and those creative juices start flowing... Oh, I'd die for a client wiling to drop the cash on translucent concrete, scratch and sniff wallpaper, or an interactive building facade.
Browse at your own risk! You are sure to spend hours up on hours exploring scads of inspirational materials!