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About the work

< ρ materials

Low density materials enable high density packing, which is necessary due to restricted luggage space.

space = money = 42 cm x 32 cm x 25 cm = 34.400 cm2

Designers and artists will have to take high density packing into account in their making process. Which will affect the way they prioritize materials and the aesthetics they can create.

ρ = m/V

Foams are a substance that is formed by trapping pockets of gas in a liquid or solid, which creates a <ρ-material (low density material). The lower the density of the foams the higher the compressibility. Having a high compressibility enables high density packing. It safes space, it safes money.

Foams can create a different aesthetic, playing with its volume and softness. They are confusing to the hand and surprising to the eye. Its compressibility is fascinating. Foams give create opportunities for high density packing due to its high compressibility, plus an interesting aesthetic.







Tamara Hoogeweegen

MA Material Futures student, Central Saint Martins, University of Arts London


To get to ‘< ρ materials’ as an outcome for this project I started with defining what I wanted to design for. I got to questions like:

  • What is the economization of space?
  • How do I visualize the ‘Aesthetics of Prioritizing’?
  • Is it just about visualizing the process of choosing, selecting, deleting and refining?
  • How does the economization of space influence the concept/ approach of artists and designers?

But as soon as I started to brainstorm about the answers to these questions, I realized the questions weren’t narrow enough. I had to link it more to personal interest. This led me to choose a focus: materials. Materials also play a role in the prioritizing process. How will that affect the art and design works? With this more specific question in mind and my personal curiosity for foams and their aesthetic, I started to play around with foams and their compressibility leading to ‘< ρ materials’.

sketch by Tamara Hoogeweegen

sketch by Tamara Hoogeweegen

sketch by Tamara Hoogeweegen

sketch by Tamara Hoogeweegen