Tools for Material Explorers What do you want to explore? Who do you want to take with you? What kind of physical, amplifying and destabilising tools do you need to develop your own expedition to explore the mat(t)erialities of your local territory?

Physical tools Physical tools help you get your hands dirty! They are needed for exploring local environments, taking samples and working with matter or materials in-situ. The basic toolkit here will vary depending upon the aim of your expedition. There are general tools useful in many situations: for example, switchblade, mini-shovel, geological hammer, compass, flashlight, mountaineering or carpenters’ tool belt, scissors, secateurs folding ruler, gloves, bags for samples, plastic containers for liquids, etc.

Amplifying tools Amplifying tools help reveal things we human beings cannot “see” but other living things are constantly being affected by or responding to. Examples include: litmus paper for testing the pH i.e. the acidity, neutrality or alkalinity of liquids; a thermal imaging camera that can be attached to a mobile phone e.g. SEEK Thermal Camera; a balloon-kit fitted with camera to enable DIY aerial photography e.g. Balloon Mapping Kit

Destabilising tools Destabilising tools encourage you to adopt fresh perspectives and try out new behaviours in order to build new mat(t)erial relations with our more-than-human world. For example:
Consider a world where plants have a constitution and rights — Stefano Mancuso´s Nation of Plants,
Take ten steps towards our more-than-human world with Natasha Myers.

Humans are constantly inventing new materials, especially synthetic non-degradable materials. Looking at 10,000 years of material usage, what direction do we want to take next? World leading material scientist Michael Ashby’s unique timeline diagram challenges the next steps we take, while his material property charts help us reflect on how materials are classified according to their properties. How will climate warming affect our material worlds. Check out the data for Europe here.
We are getting hot!

Miscellaneous An A-Z of other interesting archives of matter & materials, material recipes and more:

  1. Below the Surface
  2. ChemArts Cookbook
  3. Feral Atlas
  4. Forensic Architecture
  5. Future Materials Bank
  6. Material Atlas by Ma-tt-er
  7. Objects of the Forest
    8.Syntropic Materials

Contact us with your tools, weblinks and more:, marking your email for the attention of the Archive of Vibrant Matter.