Blaine Brownell

TAGS:Design, Environment, Futurists, Innovation, Sustainability

Blaine Brownell

These days, a savvy knowledge of materials is increasingly critical in design work. Keeping up with the constant flow of new materials is an increasingly difficult and time-consuming task. Blaine Brownell, author of Material Strategies and Transmaterial, is known to thousands of web users for his "product of the week" email service alerting designers to new materials that are reshaping our world. As founder and director of transstudio for transformative material research and design, he skillfully discusses the critical material trends that are redefining our physical environment.



  • Sustainability: Transforming the Way We Build Buildings and Design Products

    The landscape is changing at breakneck speed. Innovation threatens to outpace architects' and designers' working knowledge of materials thereby limiting their applicability. To create innovative design from concept to completion, a knowledge of the uses, properties, and sources of new materials is integral.

    The study and practice of architecture and construction of buildings, until recently, has largely focused on a few core materials while ignoring the better part of a lot of the innovative materials and products that we're seeing developed for buildings.

    Architectural education, until recently, in this country especially, has been focused a lot on theory and on everything from French philosophy to various formal explorations. Certainly a lot of structures and nuts-and-bolts stuff as well, but not necessarily on this larger understanding of materiality and energy and resources in our worlds, and how architects can help to shape and respond to various problems or situations with regard to the greater material picture.

  • Material Strategies: Innovative Applications in Architecture
    In the increasingly speculative world of digital design and online architecture, Blaine Brownell is a bricks-and-mortar kind of guy. As founding principal of Transstudio, Brownell heads a firm dedicated to emergent materials research, specializing in the development of architecture focused on innovative uses of concrete, glass, wood, metal, and plastic. And in Material Strategies, the author of the Transmaterial series offers another necessary corrective to the fields digital enthusiasts: It's an ode to buildings blocky and chalky, friable, brassy, and glassy. Material Strategies is intended not just to reacquaint architects with the nuts and bolts of architecture, but to insist, in the face of the fields digital enthusiasts, that innovation can come not just from a drafting program but from the latent potential found in concrete, glass, masonry, wood, metal, and plastic.MORE →

    Transmaterial 3: A Catalog of Materials that Redefine our Physical Environment
    Since the 2006 publication of his best-selling first volume of Transmaterial, author Blaine Brownell has become the undisputed master of new materials, inspiring architects and designers looking to transform the structure, spaces, and surfaces of their projects with the latest high-tech and environmentally friendly products. The third volume in the critically acclaimed series presents over two hundred emergent materials, products, and systems that have significant potential to transform the constructed world... MORE →


  • Transstudio
  • Video: Material World
  • NY Times Op-Ed: "The Age of Concrete"
  • Other Books by Blaine
  • @blainebrownell: Follow Blaine on Twitter