Consumer perceptions of materials that grow


Hi guys! I’m Charlotte, a Strategic Design master student from TU Delft. I’m currently doing a research project regarding consumer evaluations of products designed with materials that grow. The aim of this research project is to investigate how consumers perceive, categorize and evaluate new products that are designed with materials that grow.

I would like to hear your thoughts on growing design and growing materials. How would you describe growing design? What do you believe, are the most important dimensions regarding materials that grow?

Thank you in advance!


Hi @CharlotteTUDelft

That’s a nice research topic!
Maybe you can start by classifying them under these categories?

Functional dimensions:
Mostly measurable, rational dimensions that enhance performance of an application.
Durability, strength, flexibility, weight, cost, reduced size, recycleability, disposability,…

Emotional dimensions
What a consumer personally feels about grown objects/materials.
Safety, aesthetic factor, entertainment factor (such as surprising movement or feel) , sensory appeal (eg. special smell), healthiness factor,…

Social dimensions:
What a consumer thinks the grown object communicates towards other people.
“Badge value “(such as communicating your sustainable lifestyle), pride, social currency (such as having an interesting story around it, to tell others), tribe factor (makes you belong and identify to a certain subculture,…

Some dimensions will gain more weight in some context. Wearing eg. Kombucha-leather clothing has the sour smell in it (scoring bad on emotional appeal). But in public it can also communicate belonging to a niche lifestyle, desireable or not.


Here is some research related to your question:

If I’m not mistaken @Siemon_K is also working on this topic.


Thank you so much! I’m gathering as much information as possible, so this is great.
I will keep you updated about the further developments of the research.
And I find it very interesting you mention the tribe factor and the badge value, I believe this is indeed will play a big role r in the consumer acceptance of this material.


Hey @CharlotteTUDelft
Consumer perception is one of the most important topics for the foreseeable future I think! While widespread use of the material is still on its way, these insights can help a lot.

@michiel_wierinck and @JanisDeVogelaere have been doing their own research on the topic. Maybe they can share a thing or two they’ve found :slight_smile:

Are you taking a certain application or field as a starting point?