Matières Spécifiques is a series of environmentally-friendly designs by Maxime Louis that seek to revolutionize home appliances. The current age of modern home appliances is complicated designs of high consumption that become obsolete in a few years. These designs offer no insight into their inner workings; Matières wanted to change this notion of household devices. He intends to use simple physics to create sustainable, transparent, passive appliances that are easy to understand and do the same work as modern appliances without relying on electricity. One of his most significant designs is the woven air-conditioner. A woven air-conditioner that doesn’t require any power.
The woven conditioner is a weave made of thermal conducting tubes filled with a special material that absorbs heat. The weave can be hung from any wall and works using Phase Changing Material (PCM) to absorb heat energy and lower the temperature in a room. The most crucial part of this design is the unique ability of PCMs. PCMs are bio-based acids that turn from solid into a liquid while absorbing large quantities of heat from their surroundings. The material of the tubes is a high conductivity yarn which helps multiply the effect of the device. The design of the wall works by absorbing heat and turning the PCM fluid. As the PCM turns fluid, it changes parts of its colour to blue, which adds a layer of aesthetic design to the weave.
The weave weighs 10 kgs and is weighted by two aluminium rods at the bottom. The weave requires no electricity and is an entirely passive machine. As soon as you unfurl and hang it, it begins working and absorbing heat from the surrounding. The PCM begins its conversion from a surrounding temperature of 25 degrees. This design was made possible by the work of Damien Mathis, an engineer who has specialized in understanding PCMS. His insight into the material helped them create a viable design which can be hung up and viewed.
The weave is inspired by traditional tapestries, which would hang in houses and help in insulation. Those traditional tapestries were also used to decorate, and the weave’s design continues that trend with its simple, pleasing design. The weave is also modular and can be rolled and fitted in many ways. Lou Durance, a Textile Design student at ENSCI, helped design the aesthetic fabric design of the weave.