Materials and Products Collection

  • Samples of materials, including ceramics, textiles, glass, paper, metal, plastics and much more.
  • Reference books, including books about materials and directories to help you source products and materials.
  • Getting ideas and inspiration.
  • Sourcing the latest developments in materials and products.
  • Finding technical information and how innovative materials can be used.
  • On the third floor of Aldgate Library: room CM3-N03.

There are products and materials relevant to:

  • Architecture & Spatial Design
  • Design
  • Fine Art
  • Furniture Making and Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Illustration
  • Inclusive Design
  • Interior Design
  • Musical Instrument Making
  • Product Design
  • Silversmithing and Jewellery
  • Textile Design
  • Everything is for reference only and can only be used in Aldgate Library.

Look through the collection to see what inspires you.

For more information about the samples, look at the label. This tells you:

  • The date the sample was added to the collection.
  • The name of the material.
  • The name of that company that made it.
  • Their web-address.
  • Eco-friendly materials have green labels.

The samples are shelved using a classification system called CI/SfB, a system used specifically for the classification of construction materials.

If you know what type of material you want to use for your design project, and would like to see some samples of it, you will need to use the Subject Index. This is in a ring-binder kept on the table in the Materials and Products room.

The index is arranged in alphabetical order, with the name of the product or material on the left, and the (made up of letters, numbers or both) telling you where the samples are kept.

There is a small collection of reference books in the Materials and Products Collection that you can use to:

  • Find out about materials.
  • Get ideas and inspiration about how materials can be used.
  • Learn about manufacturing processes.
  • Find out where materials can be sourced.
  • Hello Materials Blog
    News about innovative materials posted by materials experts from around the world.
  • Material Explorer
    Allows you to search for materials by properties. Can also search by keyword. Links to information about suppliers. Registration required - registering is free.
  • Transmaterial
    Blog by architect Blaine Brownell. Each week a new material, product or process is highlighted with links to manufacturers' websites and contact details. An archive of the previous 6 months product features is also available.
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