Photo: Benedict Johnson

TATE MODERN // Tania Bruguera // Hyundai Comission // 2018.

Material Evolution Lab // Specialist Materials Application.

Experience a community-driven response to the global migration crisis

The acclaimed Cuban artist and activist Tania Bruguera has created a series of subtle interventions in and around Tate Modern. The work’s title is an ever-increasing figure: the number of people who migrated from one country to another last year added to the number of migrant deaths recorded so far this year – to indicate the sheer scale of mass migration and the risks involved.

Bruguera has brought together a group of 21 people who live or work in the same postcode as Tate Modern. Called Tate Neighbours, they will explore how the museum can learn from and adapt to its local community. They have decided to rename Tate Modern’s Boiler­ House for a year in honour of local activist Natalie Bell. The Tate Neighbours have also written a manifesto which appears when you sign in to the free WiFi.

In the Turbine Hall is a large heat-sensitive floor. By using your body heat and working together with other visitors, you can reveal a hidden portrait of Yousef, a young man who left Syria to come to London. Meanwhile, a low-frequency sound fills the space with an unsettling energy. In a small room nearby, an organic compound in the air induces tears and provokes what the artist describes as ‘forced empathy’.

Tania Bruguera engages with ‘the role of emotions in politics’. Her main concerns are institutional power, borders and migration. Her work spans performance, events, action, film, installation, sculpture, writing and teaching alongside site-specific works. Often, she sets out to cause change through her work. She calls this approach Arte Útil (useful art), in which people engage as users rather than spectators.

BALTIC CENTRE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART // Great Exhibition of the North // Material Driven // 2018.

Material Evolution Lab | Landscape Chameleon // Lichen.

The installation – Landscape Chameleon – ‘Lichen’, is on show from 20th June 2018 – September 2018 at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, as part of the Great Exhibition of the North.

Landscape Chameleon – ‘Lichen’ was created using Yorkshire Sandstone, or Yorkstone which was formed over 300million years ago from silt deposited by prehistoric rivers. Renowned for being hard wearing, this stone has the unusual property of retaining energy better than most stone.
Working with this ancient material, Material Evolution Lab introduce modern responsive ink techonolgy.
Past and present functioning harmoniously, with new science working with the naturally occuring properties of organic material. An evolution in materials that can be used to communicate information visually.

The material reveals lichen patterns blending the surface into natures surroundings as local heat and light levels fluctuate.
The surface has been designed to connect urban areas to nature. As the material responds to heat and light, offering a more visually cohesive approach to urban existence. The material is laced with a photo-luminescent pigment offering a natural solution to street lights. The pigment is energy free as it is
solar charged, emitting light once the sun goes down.

Material Evolution Lab at SCIN Gallery, Hydrochromic tile textured. Materials design and development. Colour change reaction with moisture

ARCHITECTS@WORK London 2017: Landscape Chameleon, Water Series

Created for The Scin Gallery as part of their exhibition at the ARCHITECTS@WORK event in Kensington Olympia. A material which morphs and shifts through changes in environmental moisture levels. This tile has been designed as a reminder that we are living through shifting climate change. The icy, textured exterior depletes and ‘melts’, revealing a stark shift in the landscape of this material. It creates an immersive shifting landscape that is environmentally responsive.

Commonplace Studio: Copper Collection

Commonplace Studio is an award-winning design practice based in the Netherlands, comprised of  Jon Stam and Simon de Bakker. Their Copper Collection installation brings together everyday concepts: eating, telling the time, and daydreaming. Material Evolution Lab developed a means of mixing and applying thermochromic ink to the copper, with a highly textured finish and unique indigo colour. Being a particularly heat conductive metal, the colour change reaction is triggered by heat applied to the underside of the copper, controlled electronically to create a digital thermochromic clock.

Wonderland Magazine

Material Evolution Lab provided the till point for Wonderland’s first UK store. Located in Picadilly Circus, the store sells high-end designer products. The till point counter top needed to reflect the Wonderland quality and style of class with vibrant unusual depth, and so the concept piece Pink Shadows was created. The piece encourages customers to interact with the Wonderland store by revealing vivid hidden colours upon contact with body temperature.

Perrier-Jouët & Bompass & Parr

For Perrier-Jouët’s Fluer des Revês, a Valentines Day special event by Bompass & Parr, Material Evolution Lab facilitated the worlds’ first colour change flower public workshop. Two types of flowers were coated in liquid crystal and colour change ink, to change colour under different conditions, one to the human touch and the other to being set on fire!

Images are property of Bompass & Parr

O2 Arena & CIF

An unusual project to promote the cleaning of the O2 Arena through colour-change urinals. Material Evolution Lab applied a thermochromic solid-colour coating over a base design in the back of the urinals. By sourcing ink to react to specific temperatures, developing the adhesion method, and with a protective outer coating, the final result was high-impact and designed to last for the duration of the three-month installation.


Material Evolution Lab worked with L’Oréal on their summer perfume display at House of Fraser on Oxford Street. The display required a range of coloured liquids to be perfectly matched to Pantone references, and retain its colour indefinitely without separating or leaving a sediment. Being on display in a public place meant there were restrictions on using solvent or alcohol based dyes and liquids, and so Material Evolution Lab successfully sourced alternative methods by applying cutting-edge technology.

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