The Role of Design in the Development of New Materials: Interview with Elvin Karana

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Elvin Karana
Valentina Rognoli
Rubén Jacob-Dazarola



Elvin Karana is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering at Delft University of Technology, where she founded and co-directs the Materials Experience Lab. Giving emphasis to the role of materials in design as experiential, and yet deeply rooted in their inherent properties, Elvin Karana explores the productive shifts between materials science and design to materials and product development in synergy. In 2019, she founded the creative bio-design research lab Material Incubator, which aims to the design of materials that incorporate living organisms and to explore their potential to foster an alternative notion of daily life. Material Incubator brings together researchers and practitioners from Avans University of Applied Sciences and Delft University of Technology. In this interview, Karana talks about the emergence of the concept of ‘experiential characterization’, the need to expand our prototyping capabilities with emerging materials and the challenges involved in establishing the particular role design could play in materials development.


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Karana, E. ., Rognoli, V. ., & Jacob-Dazarola, R. . (2020). The Role of Design in the Development of New Materials: Interview with Elvin Karana. Diseña, (17), 46–55.


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