Materials matter. Designers use biological materials to solve trade-off problems (e.g., strong and light-weighted chair). Consumers buy transparent products. When students join the Master of Product Design and Development program in the Segal Design Institute, Northwestern University, they should take Materials Selection course in the beginning before learning about accounting, negotiation, strategy, decision making, and market research.
In the DDP, Seoul Korea, I met a section dedicated for materials. I saw the same section when I visited TCDC, Thailand Creativity and Design Center. I expect the material section enable general public to develop the knowledge about and the taste of different materials so that they think more creatively.
Bangkok is well-known for Kao San Road, Pad Thai, and foot massage. Like other Asian cities, however, it has an upscale design center. Thailand Creative & Design Center (TCDC) is located on the top floor in the Emporium shopping complex, a luxurious shopping mall in Bangkok. As this center is located at the heart of the city (Phrom Phong BTS station) and provides a wide variety of learning resources, it was crowded with young Thailand students who read books, discussed group projects, and participated in exhibitions about, for instance, 3D printing.
Interestingly, a huge red board stands in front of the TCDC and it contains many business cards. This board might play a role as a market; people who look for their partners or who need help, they can contact with other experts such as manufacturers, suppliers, traders, investors, consultants, etc.