Materiality & Aggregation


STEPS Research Programme, Lund University

Design, curation, exhibition architecture

Photographer: Kennet Ruona

Graphic design: Daniel Christensen

Materiality & Aggregation

An exhibition born out of a multidisciplinary collaboration between design and academic research.

We need to broaden our conceptions of plastics, with all its challenges and opportunities, in order to shift perspectives on how we design, produce, apply and use the material.

To rethink and re-evaluate to be able to reshape for a more sustainable future.

Kajsa Willner was assigned the mission by STEPS research programme to translate their research report into a curated design exhibition.

Materiality & Aggregation has its starting point in five proposed pathways for how to face society’s major sustainability challenges related to plastics.

The five pathways – reduce use, recycle more, fewer types, bio-based plastics sand biodegradable plastics – are interpreted separately in the exhibition but all together they will be crucial in the transition towards a more sustainable plastic future.

As a visitor you can approach the exhibition at different levels. Starting from the visual expression of the interpretations you can move on to read the exhibition text and reflect over the posed questions. You can also access the complete research report via a QR-code.



REDUCE – How can we put an end to the unnecessary consumption of disposable plastic? 28 disposable/on-the-go plastic articles moulded into bio-based plastic, 100% recycled acrylic sheets.

RECYCLE – How do we create products that are designed from the start to be reused and recycled in new or existing circular systems? The Troxler effect: stare at the point for 30 seconds. Steel, 100% recycled acrylic circle and base. Stare too blindly at details and you will lose sight of the holistic view required in a transition towards a more circular plastic system.

FEWER TYPES – Can we opt out of some of the 1000s of different plastic types available on the market in order to simplify recycling? A patchwork of different plastic granules: recycled, bio-based, and sewn into 117 pockets of transparent fossil-based PEVA plastic.

BIO-BASED – How can we get bio-based plastics to seriously compete with oil-based plastics to reduce our carbon footprint? Bio-based plastic samples by STEPS researchers from various bio-based raw materials. Agar agar textiles and material samples by the designer. Showcase made from 100% recycled acrylic.

BIODEGRADABLE – Can biodegradable plastics be used for specific applications to reduce the accumulation of plastic pollution both on land and in the oceans? Cultures of microorganisms with potential to break down plastics. Box made of 100% recycled acrylic.

Scientists / Producer: STEPS (Sustainable Plastics and Transition Pathways) is a research programme with a vision of a future society in which plastics are sustainably produced using biobased raw materials which are used and recycled in a circular economy. The programme is coordinated by Lund University and funded by Mistra, the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research.

Special thanks to: Johanna Sjögren Duthy & Maria Viweg for input on the text, and Victor Modin & Isabelle Magnusson as interns helping out with the production of the exhibition.

Collaborators/Sponsors: Tarkett | Rondo | General Plastic Scandinavia AB | HF Industri & Marine | Entropy Resins | VINK essåplast Group AB

Form Design / Center:

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