Presented at the Ghent Design Museum from 24 October, the exhibition Fiber-Fixed. Composites in Design shows a wide selection of design projects designed with composite materials reinforced with natural or synthetic fibers.

Fiber-Fixed. Composites in design: a surprising overview of what is possible

The design with composite materials is in the context of current societal challenges: global warming, ecological impact, sustainability, mobility issues, aging of the population and digitization.

The fibers can be synthetic – carbon, glass, etc. – or natural – linen, hemp, jute and silk. Their strength and rigidity, combined with the lightness of synthetic materials, encourage designers to create light and energy-efficient products. Composite materials also offer great formal freedom. Experiments also extend to less usual fibers such as pine needles, banana peel and rice husk fibers, and even mushroom mycelium – for a composite material with organic growth.

Fibre-Fixed. Composites : Flax Chair

 Flax Chair

Among the projects on display is the Flax Chair by designer Christien Meindertsma.

Fiber-Fixed. Composites: the interview

Fiber-Fixed. Composites in Design is a co-creation project in collaboration with the Dutch collective envisions. Exhibition curators Ignaas Verpoest (KU Leuven) and Lut Pil (LUCA School of Arts) focus on the developments of the past five years and present the breakthroughs planned for the years to come. Ignaas Verpoest responds to journalist Frédéric Reux, an interview to appear in the next issue of JEC Magazine:

What idea led to the realization of this project? (the origin, the why, the need …)

In 2002, we organised the exhibition « From Bakelite to Composite », as part of “Composites-on-Tour”, a science communication project for which we won a JEC Award (in 2003) and the Descartes Prize for Science Communication of the European Commission in 2004. Now, about 15 years later, we want to inform the general public again about what composites are, and how designers are inspired by composites to elaborate new concepts and develop new products. The focus of this exhibition has shifted from science communication to provoking a discussion on how designers do address a number of societal challenges, and how composites can help them in finding new, innovative solutions. Hence, the exhibition will show a range of new products in domains such as  sustainable mobility, energy provision or specific products for an inclusive  and ageing society. But we also want to show how designers use in a creative way the emerging  renewable materials or address the issue of  recycling of composites.


Fibre-Fixed. CompositesFibre-Fixed. Composites

Who is this exhibition for?

The Design museum Gent has a strong track record in exhibitions which focus on the interaction between society and design. Recently, an exhibition on how robotics will change our society, “Hello Robot”, attracted 80.000 visitors. Also with this exhibition, we hope to welcome not only design enthusiasts or composite engineers, but everybody interested in what happens at the crossroads of new technologies and the creative industry, and how this will influence our future. We also will have specific programs for schools, and we will organize, during the six month period of the exhibition, several workshops and symposia for a more specialized audience.

What exactly do you want to educate visitors about?

A design museum of course wants to show « nice » products, but with this exhibition, as with previous ones, the museum wants to go beyond this ‘classical’ approach. We hope that visitors will find an answer to these two questions: “how do new and recently developed composites and composite production processes create new opportunities for designers, when they try to find answers to today’s societal challenges?“ and “ how do designers inspire the development of new composite materials/concepts?”. But, of course, we also want it to be a nice, colourful and exciting exhibition, where visitors will discover products and objects they have never seen before!

Plus d’infos :


Fibre-fixed. Composites in Design
26.10.2018 – 21.04.2019
Fees: € 8 / € 6 / € 2

Open every day of the week from 9:30 to 17:30
Open on weekends, public holidays and during school holidays
from 10:00 to 18:00
Closed on Wednesdays

Crédits photos

  1. Studio Bas Froon, Micromoulding Soft Biocomposites tailormade babycarrier stand alone. © Bas Froon
  2. Hemp – Waarmakers & Van.Eko, Be.e (2015 – 2017) © Van.Eko

  3. Carina Deuschl, XTEND (2015). © Studio Carina Deuschl

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