This is the "Material Resource Center" page of the "Materials & Materiality" guide.
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A guide to locating physical materials as well as print and online sources on materials and their properties
Last Updated: Nov 11, 2013 URL: http://risd.libguides.com/materials Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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About the Material Resource Center

Materials Collections beyond RISD

Materials collections located in art & design schools and other academic institutions.

  • Art Center College of Design (Pasadena, CA)
    CMTEL is the Color, Materials and Trends Exploration Laboratory at the Art Center College of Design.
  • California College of the Arts (San Francisco, CA)
    The New Materials Library showcases new and innovative materials with a focus on eco-friendly, sustainable, and technologically smart products.
  • Harvard University (Cambridge, MA)
    The Harvard Graduate School of Design Materials Collection is a physical and digital collection of materials, ranging from innovative, new materials to those found everyday in the constructed environment. The collection allows for both intuitive, tactile browsing, and non-linear searching of various database categories.
  • Pratt Institute (Brooklyn, NY)
    The Center for Sustainable Design Studies houses a comprehensive case studies and materials library, provides access to life-cycle assessment tools and organizes professional development workshops in sustainability.
  • University of Houston (Houston, TX)
    The Materials Research Collaborative (MRC) at the University of Houston College of Architecture serves as a materials resource for material discovery, innovation, instruction, and research.
  • University of Texas (Austin, TX)
    The University Co-op Materials Resource Center in the School of Architecture maintains one of the largest and most comprehensive material collections of its kind at any college or university in the country, if not the world, standing at 27,000 + material samples and corresponding product literature (manufacturer catalogues, brochures, multimedia, etc.).
  • University College (London, UK)
    The Materials Library is a collection of some of the most wondrous materials on earth, gathered from sheds, labs, grottoes and repositories around the world. It is a resource, laboratory, studio, workshop, and playpen for the material-minded. It is a place for truly interdisciplinary inquiry and innovation, in which makers from all disciplines can see, touch, research and discuss, so that they can apply the knowledge and experience gained to their own practice.
  • iMatter, Materials Library of the Design Museum (Holon, Israel)
    iMatter, The Materials Library, services professional Architects, Designers, Engineers and Industrialists with updated information regarding the latest innovations of the Material World. The library opened to the public early 2008 with the support of the Municipality of Holon and the Ministry of Industry, Trade & Labor, as part of Design Museum Holon. This is a unique and one-of-its-kind project in Israel.

Visit the Material Resource Center - 2nd floor room 204


above: 2009-2012
below: 2012-present

Mon - Thu   8:30am - 8pm
Fri              8:30am - 4:30pm
Sat             closed
Sun            5pm - 9pm

Up to 30 material samples may be borrowed for 14 days

For class visits or more information, contact
Mark Pompelia
, Visual + Material Resource Librarian
401 709-5935
Office Hours:

Mon-Fri 8:30am-4:30pm

After 4:30pm and on weekends
contact the Picture Collection

MRC in the News
core77 article


Images courtesy of d. seliger, core77

Special Collections at RISD's Material Resource Center

  • Inventables, Inc.
    A one-hundred item Innovation Center (pictured above) donated by Inventables, Inc., The Hardware Store for Designers.
  • ActiveMATTER
    A quarterly delivery of fifteen materials hand-picked by Material ConneXion that provide an insider’s view into the current state of materials innovation.
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