Since it is now clear that in the future many raw materials will only be available to us in limited quantities, scientists have for some time been conducting intensive research into possible alternatives. Sustainability is the order of the day and the magic word for a better future in politics and industry. Moreover, environmental consciousness and a penchant for thinking in terms of material cycles have caught on with consumers : the use of environmentally compatible materials and production methods is desired, even taken for granted by the client. Designers and architects thus have a special role and responsibility. For they are the ones who decide what materials will be used on their projects and thus wield enormous influence on the sustainability of our product world. At the same time, we are dealing with a flood of new materials, which calls for specialized knowledge of their properties, their possible use, and their handling. Materials Matter bridges the gap between research and industry on the one hand and designers and architects on the other by offering a systematic overview of the currently available sustainable materials and providing the reader with all the information he or she needs to assess a new material s suitability and potential for a given project. Along the way, it examines natural and biodegradable materials, while also presenting materials with multifunctional properties and the potential for diminishing energy requirements.