Re:flex is a material that can be reprogrammed using heat

Dutch product designer Karlijn Sibbel says she and her team wanted to create a material that adapts to changes the way nature does.

Royal College of Art graduate and product designer Karlijn Sibbel took to the Antenna 2019 stage to present her project Re: flex, which is a material whose shape can be reprogrammed using heat.

Sibbel and team members Pierre Azalbert (electrical engineer) and Benton Ching (political philosopher) were inspired to create a material influenced by nature's ability to adapt.

With Re: flex they are able to replace static objects for products that are adaptable to different people and different situations. The material consists of two parts: a colourful core that functions as a skeleton and a transparent shell that is made out of elastic skin.

 “At room temperature the core is rigid and you cannot change the shape of the material. However when heated up the core becomes soft, which allows you to bend and shape it in any way that you want,” she explains.

In 2019, Re: flex was selected as one of the finalists in the tech category for the Mayor of London’s entrepreneurship competition.

Her talk is part of the third antenna conference, a collaboration between Design Indaba and the Dutch Design Foundation, which recently took place as part of Dutch Design Week. She spoke alongside 19 other young designers.

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