Explore the Material Samples Collection, a hands-on resource created to provide inspiration, inform design thinking, and foster innovation.
The Material Samples Collection is the result of a collaborative effort between Gabriella Karl-Johnson, Architecture Librarian, and Willow Dressel, Engineering Librarian, who investigated options and content, creating a collection that is specific to the needs of University faculty, students, and visiting scholars. The presence of a materials collection at peer institutions is on the rise.
As Gabriella Karl-Johnson, Architecture Librarian, explains, "Material sample collections have been a staple in architecture and interior design firms for many years, but similar collections are increasingly being created in educational institutions that support architecture, design, studio arts, and even engineering. The Architecture and Engineering Materials Collection is intended to facilitate a foundational understanding and appreciation for basic materials used in design and construction, as well as to promote research insight from exposure to more complex and innovative materials. The collection is intended to educate and to inspire everyone who will use the collection.
Gaining a thoughtful understanding of available material types and their applications will enable students to make appropriate and critical choices when they reach the professional world. Both the Architecture and Engineering Materials Collection and the supporting literature available through the Architecture and Engineering Libraries will help to educate students on many aspects of building and design materials, including the research origins, innovation potentials, and economic and environmental impact."
Samples in the collection have been curated by Material ConneXion, a global firm headquartered in New York City that specializes in the provision of innovative materials from global manufacturers. Each material sample is accompanied by a detailed entry in the Material ConneXion Database with information about properties, possible uses, and the manufacturer. Access to the database can be found in the materials collection libguide