Material Directions 2024: Provenance

This story reflects concerns about sustainability, the dangers of greenwashing and a new commitment to localism.

Lack of transparency is a real issue; for a process to be truly sustainable, the entire life of any object needs to be measured and quantified.

This concern for provenance and authenticity sees a flourishing interest in craft, and slow process. But while this is a story about making, it is also highly digital, looking at how technology can aid responsible manufacture.

From these divergent starter points we examine how creatives are utilising everything, from NFTs to blockchain, to transform the way they work.

The labyrinthian journey that most products make to market is obscure. This is where tech comes in, charting circularity from production through to sale and beyond. 

Visually, this story references craft values and localism. Lesser-known fibres and plant dyes are key, while 3D printing and engineering of natural materials exemplifies the marriage of craft and technology.

Provenance was first published in MIX Magazine issue 69, and the following material, pattern and finish directions are explored in more detail in our 2024 CMF Directions.



Naive Block

Patterns follow a cut and paste methodology in naïve compositions. In a capsule collection for Marimekko, Virginie Hucher transforms her abstract paintings into textile prints of collaged and oversized blocks of colour.



This aesthetic is equally successful in hard surfaces, as seen in the Senska vase by HOMMÉS Studio.






Finishes are informed by the textural qualities found in claggy and fermented mud. Rob van Hernen’s traditional coiled beehives are smeared and compacted with cow dung to protect and waterproof the hives’ surface.



Inspired by prehistoric African building techniques, Willem van Hooff’s vessel series appears mud-like through glazed earthenware.


Engineered Composites



The fine-milled composites explored in Clinic (SS 2023) evolve with an emphasis on localism and engineered form. Sep Verboom’s Liveable Platform, part of the ONTketen project combines reeds and grasses from local residual streams with biopolymers to form a new circular material.



The Scalaé light by Marin Thuéry features refined curvatures made from a recycled oyster shell composite.



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Image credits from top: Virginie Hucher for Marimekko | Art to Wear capsule collection; HOMMÉS Studio | Senska vase | ACH collection | Hand painted ceramics; House of Quinn | Lithomancy I for Partnership Editions | Cotton and linen appliqu., hand-quilted collage; Rob van Hernen for Crafts Council Nederland | Beehives | HOW&WOW BASK IT! exhibition | Photo Fan Liao; Willem van Hooff for Galerie Philia | Furi | Glazed earthenware; Sep Verboom | Livable Platform - ONTketen project | Local reeds, grasses, biopolymers | Photo Aaron Lapeirre; Marin Thu.ry for Boutures d’objets | Scala. | Recycled oyster shells composite; Johanna Seelemann | Hortulanus side table | Straw panel, ears of bearded wheat, loam finish | Photo Robert Damisch