Design Academy Eindhoven postgraduate Matthias Borowski explores the dormant potential of basic materials with The Importance of the Obvious project. Experimenting with different production methods, he was able to discover how even the most banal woods, plastics, and textiles can have unique attributes. These characteristics strongly influence the way designers develop new projects.

Fascinated by the differences and similarities between food preparation and material production – comparing chefs to designers  – Borowski created a series of candy-like compositions. Colourful layers and visceral textures achieve a unique aesthetic. Strips of wood wrap around plastic filling like hardened crusts. Foam is either used to resemble cake filling or treated to look like powdered sugar.   

Within his research, Borowski was able to identify 10 principles within a manifesto that redefines how we perceive, use and combine materials.

1. Every material stimulates the sense.

2. The material must be identifiable in the object with its sensory components.

3. There is always a better material.

4. All materials can be combined with each other.

5. Natural or artificial – we don’t care.

6. Ask the material what it wants to be.

7. There is no right and wrong – just do it!

8. Every production process transforms the character of material.

9. The starting point for an object is the material – not the other way around!

10. The cost of the material does not reflect the value of the material.  

Images courtesy of Matthias Borowski