Material 2018

A conference exploring the concept of the Web as a material

Friday, November 16th, 2018 — Reykjavík, Iceland

Get your Early Bird Ticket

20+ years of the Web and we are still at the very beginning of understanding and implementing digitization. For the first time we are facing a generation that never got to know the offline world. By nature they are riding the wave without ever having touched the ground. We might have unlearned our ancestors' knowledge about materials and crafts, it's easy to overlook the intrinsic characteristics of the Web in favour of the newest framework or boilerplate.

Let's re-explore the material Web and evaluate what we have learned so far. Join us in Reykjavik, Iceland, for a trip through history, views and cultures.


The conference will be a day long mix of presentations and fun little side-shows from both international and local speakers.

Photo of Charlotte Dann
Charlotte Dann

Charlotte Dann — Integration of artistry to the web

Charlotte Dann is a designer/developer based in London, working across a wide spectrum of disciplines ranging from electronics to fine glasswork; she has not yet found a craft she does not wish to master.

While undertaking an MA in Computational Arts she created Hexatope, a combination of her two central vocations of jewellery design and web development. Hexatope allows anyone to design their own jewellery by intuitively interacting with a hexagonal grid entirely in the browser. Designs are then produced in precious metal using 3D-printing technology and traditional metalwork.

Charlotte's going to talk about the integration of artistry to the web and how practical design techniques can evolve with computational thinking.

Photo of Matt Jones — photo by Joi Ito,
Matt Jones (photo by Joi Ito)

Matt Jones

Former Principal at BERG, now working at Google in London on various top secret projects as Principal Designer in Google Research & Machine Intelligence. Matt Jones' talk will look at some of the ideas around raw computing. If the Web were a material, he'd brute force his way to the best answer, maybe without even understanding how he got there — and that's OK.

Get your ticket!

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. We're getting organized and you should too. Start to book your travel plans now as flights and hotels may be at a premium closer to the event.

The Web as a material

For centuries we've worked with wood, metal, glass, ceramic, paper, textiles. More recently, new materials have emerged; plastics, fiberglass, silicon, and more. We understand their limitations, their affordances. We can fold, heat, manipulate and warp some of these materials. But the Internet and the Web are still very new to us. We don't fully understand them as a material.

What does this mean for the Web? What are the properties of the Web as a Material?

We have lost the apprentice / master relationship in the digital world. Spending years getting our hands dirty with an expert, learning slowly and really understanding the material rather than the framework. We need to be asking ourselves what sacrifices should we be making for the convenience of our customers rather than shortcuts for ourselves.

What properties of materialness exists in the Web is what this conference is meant to explore.

Visiting Iceland Slack Team

To help you planning your stay in Iceland, we've set up the Visiting Iceland Slack Team where you can meet other attendees, exchange experiences and team up with others to find shared Airbnbs, hotel rooms and similar. To request an invite to this Slack team please enter your email address below:

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