Material Atlas is an interactive digital tool and ‘living map’ of materials from all over the world. Its first iteration focusses on Sub-Saharan Africa, organised across four primary material categories:
– Native materials are indigenous to the land.
– Local materials are citizens, but are not native to the land.
– Migrant materials are voyagers that are visiting from other lands.
– Cosmic materials are spirits and omnipresent to any land.

Each material’s entry in the atlas – from terracotta, to moss, to high-density polyethylene – combines history, provenance and an author’s personal relationship to the medium. The project seeks to enable designers and researchers to build a deeper, intersectional understanding of material, and to recontextualise the language in which material is typically framed.