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Transmaterial: A Catalog of Materials That Redefine our Physical Environment 1st Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1568985633
ISBN-10: 1568985630
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Editorial Reviews

Review

... a catalog and exploration of some 200 global eco-techno hybrids, an emerging field that has the attention of designers and scientists alike. -- Fast Company, Nov. 2006

A must-have for designers of all walks. Transmaterial's attention to the increasingly blurred lines between art and material. -- res magazine, march/april 2006

Colorful and stimulating, and you don't have to be an architect to appreciate it. . . there is endless inspiration here. -- New Scientist (UK), Februaury 2006

Truly innovative . . . will be of interest to all involved in the design arts who seek a greater understanding of emerging materials and to all who are committed to expanding the traditional classifications of materials within the building industry. -- Journal of Architectural Education, Nov. 2006

"From fully recyclable architectural resin panels to self-cleaning glass, Blaine Brownell has pretty much seen it all when it comes to sustainable building materials. " --Building Design and Construction

"(Transmaterial) identifies products that make a difference - aesthetically, environmentally, socially, and, yes, structurally." -- Architect

"From concrete that absorbs carbon dioxide to scratch-and-sniff wallpaper, the innovations compiled in this book are transformative, multi-functional and ultra-performing. . . . The pages that fill Transmaterial cover 10 categories in the conversational yet informative tone of a material fanatic." -- Azure

About the Author

Blaine Erickson Brownell is an architect and an associate with NBBJ, with eight years of experience working in Tokyo, Houston, Nagoya, and now Seattle.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; 1 edition (December 29, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568985630
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568985633
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,181,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As a profession, architects and designers are obsessed with understanding and appreciating materials. When materials are better understood and better utilized, architects and designers typically produce better projects.

Recent innovations in material technology, design and use have come to the forefront of architectural design and have begun to question the very way in which we fabricate our built environments.

Blaine Brownell's recent book Transmaterial looks exclusively at recent material innovation in an attempt to "redefine our physical environment". Based upon Brownell's email digests and website of the same name, Transmaterial is a materials reference book subdivided into sections with material images, descriptions, and contact information for the products. The format is easily accessible, and the content is concise. Due to its ease of use and readability, the palette of materials available to the reader/designer/architect encourages current and future project introspection.

For example, why use just basic concrete when you could use translucent concrete instead? How about utilizing a collapsible, reusable textile brick system in lieu of a traditional stud and drywall partition for a project? The possibilities for integrating different, new, and innovative techniques are endless for almost any design project.

As evidence of the book's success, Brownell has already begun work on a follow-up to Transmaterial as more materials or innovations become readily available.

A resource such as Transmaterial provides more than just innovative materials for our use, but encourages potential for innovation for the environments that architects and designers create.
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A very useful book for those interested in material science or looking for design inspiration. The manufacturer resources are incredibly useful and although information on each material is fairly concise, all the right information is there and presented in a consistent format.
Other than a materials library subscription this is likely one of the next best (affordable) options; use the contact information for each material to find needed samples.
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Format: Paperback
Although some of the items listed seem to be artist's projects that are in no way commercialized or buyable, this book is a treasure of inspiration and a good catalogue of new technologies.

It can make your project come true. I don't know how often it is put out, but I can imagine that it is very quickly outdated.
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The subtitle of this book is "A Catalog of Materials That Redefine Our Physical Environment" and a catalog it is, albeit a very interesting one. The book is divided into 10 sections: Concrete, Mineral, Metal, Wood, Plastic-Rubber, Glass, Paint/Paper, Fabric, Light, and Digital, and each product's entry contains a brief description that reads like a press release. There is some basic information such as applications, sizes, etc., and contact information which includes websites.

The introduction describes seven "trends" which may apply to a given product. Some of the trends are self-explanatory (i.e. "ultraperforming" and "repurposed"), while others are less familiar (i.e. "transformational", and "interfacial").

I enjoyed the photos and the fact that every time I pick up the book, I learn something new. I do wish, though, that the photos were much bigger; there is but a single band, approximately 2" x 6" , reserved for the products' photos. A few manufacturers split the space in two; most squeeze in 3 or even 4 pictures, which is impossibly small and left me yearing for a larger format for the pix.

Overall, I found this to be a worthy reference, providing a terrific review of up-to-the-minute materials and technology.
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By Yunior on November 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
introductory book on materials. catalouge basically! no precise details. just brief information about surfaces
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Format: Paperback
All the entries in the book were clear and well-presented. I particularly liked the format with different sections relating to types of materials. Colour photos of most products were useful in evaluating the materials and their possible uses. In fact, they were very inspirational in their potential for artwork. It was also good to have contact details for each product - the only disappointment being that some companies did not respond to our email enquiries (which is not the fault of the book).
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Format: Paperback
I love this book! This is a great resource for anyone who works in a creative industry. It's not only a beautifully designed masterpiece, but it successfully brings the worlds of technology, materials, and design together in an easy to understand, helpful and above all else, inspirational and fun way. A must-have resource.
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Wish that there was more information on some of these pages. You see an interesting material and you get an address. And little else. Perhaps some inkling of the cost would be useful. Or add another little picture? Not sure what the best use of the space is, but blank areas are probably not it.

Still, the materials in here are a revelation. Perfect for any architect and for many artists.
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