We love hearing about new materials coming to market, as they offer so much potential to change the way we build, make, or even feel within an environment. Remember Light Transmitting Concrete? The Energy Curtain? Thank goodness for Blaine Brownell. A Seattle based architect, he has been researching and logging the coolest new materials for the last five years. 200 of his finds have been compiled into a book, Transmaterial, which was just published in December.


Those who have been fans of Blaine for a while know that he has been writing about new materials regularly on his blog for some time now, keeping architects and designers excited about the possible applications for corrugated glass, or image-emitting plastic mesh. Typically high tech and often environmentally friendly, the materials that Blaine profiles are not merely trends, but are those which have the potential to transform structure, space, and surface alike.

Recently interviewed in Business Week, Blaine discussed the diverse material innovations that have occurred due to technology, necessity, and curiosity. This same curiosity for the wide range of available products, in contrast to their limited use, has propelled Blaine to keep on looking for and sharing new ideas.

In addition to his Transmaterial site, Blaine also keeps a blog reflecting on the possibilities for environmental, social, and economic change through design. We pretty much think he’s found an answer to a lot of our problems; it’s just up to us to do something about it.

+ Transmaterial
+ Transstudio
+ Business Week interview with Blaine Brownell via Archinect