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Material Lab Research LibGuide: Digital Resources

Pratt School of Design Research Resources

Digital Resources

Digital resources can encompass anything from websites to databases to blogs (and much more). Here you will find a compilation of resources within those three categories that might be useful in your design research. The databases in the left column can be used for finding information on specific materials, locating research articles, or browsing architectural design-related images. The websites in the middle column are open access, design-based in scope, and include resources on color theory, texture samples, and choosing materials. In the right column is information on sustainable design. 


Material Connexion

Material ConneXion 

Material ConneXion's Material Database is an online compendium featuring visual samples of thousands of materials in the following categories: carbons, cements, glasses, metals, naturals, polymers, and processes. The company identifies itself as the leading materials-driven design resource.


UT Austin School of Architecture Materials Lab

The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture's Materials Lab houses a circulating, ever-expanding collection of 28,000+ material product samples - comprising one of the largest academic collections in the world. The collection allows students, faculty, and other material enthusiasts to discover, research and interact with a wide spectrum of material systems, technologies and fabrication techniques. The online database catalogs all items in the collection. The database is searchable by five categories: composition, form, process, properties, and applications.



Design and Applied Arts Index - Proquest 

Design and Applied Arts Index (DAAI) is the leading source of abstracts and bibliographic records for articles, news items, and reviews published in design and applied arts periodicals from 1973 onwards. An indispensable tool for students, researchers, and practitioners worldwide, DAAI covers both new designers and the development of design and the applied arts since the mid-19th century, surveying disciplines including ceramics, glass, jewellery, wood, metalsmithing, graphic design, fashion and clothing, textiles, furniture, interior design, architecture, computer aided design, Web design, computer-generated graphics, animation, product design, industrial design, garden design, and landscape architecture. DAAI contains more than 212,000 records, with around 1,200 new records added in each monthly update.




Artstor is the most extensive image resource for educational and scholarly use, bringing together media from the world's museums, archives, scholars, and artists, with a specialized suite of tools for teaching and learning with visual materials - all rights-cleared for education and research.




JSTOR provides access to more than 12 million academic journal articlesbooks, and primary sources in 75 disciplines. 

Other E-Resources

30x40 design resources

30x40 Design Workshop - Architectural Materials Resources

This webpage is an online collection of architectural materials resources compiled by the design firm 30x40. It features print sources on specific materials, as well as YouTube videos on material implementation, storage, and design strategies. 


Floor Covering Weekly

Floor Covering Weekly

Floor Covering Weekly’s mission is to touch the lives of our readers in positive ways by bringing them the full range of news and information they need in order to enhance their success in the floor covering industry.  For more than 60 years, FCW has had a positive influence on the industry by providing unbiased and accurate coverage of industry events, changes, etc. as they develop.  For retailers, we convey basic business information, strategies and updates as well as industry-specific news coverage of new product developments, merchandising and sales strategies.  For manufacturers, we serve as a way for them to communicate directly with their retail customers.


Color Matters

Color Matters - Color theory in design

Color plays a vitally important role in the world in which we live. Color can sway thinking, change actions, and cause reactions. It can irritate or soothe your eyes, raise your blood pressure or suppress your appetite. When used in the right ways, color can even save on energy consumption. As a powerful form of communication, color is irreplaceable. Red means "stop" and green means "go." Traffic lights send this universal message. Likewise, the colors used for a product, web site, business card, or logo cause powerful reactions. Color Matters! is website that offers digital pictures of all sorts of materials. We have pictures of fabrics, wood, metal, bricks, plastic, and many more. These images are called textures and can be used for graphic design, visual effects, in computer games and any other situation where you need a nice pattern or background image. You can download up to 15 images for free every day. 

Dexigner blogs


Dexigner is the leading online portal for designers, architects, illustrators, engineers, artists, and creatives of all kinds. Founded in 2001 in New York, Dexigner publishes the latest design news, events, competitions, books, and resources.

Pantone Color of the Year: Living Coral (2019)

The Pantone Color Institute is the business unit within Pantone that highlights top seasonal runway colors, forecasts global color trends, and advises companies on color for product and brand visual identity. Through seasonal trend forecasts, color psychology, and color consulting, the Pantone Color Institute partners with global brands to leverage the power, psychology, and emotion of color in their design strategy.


Pratt CSDS

Pratt Center for Sustainable Design Strategies / CSDS Guide to Understanding Sustainability

The CSDS Resource Center features over 100 of sustainable material samples, including from bio-plastics, sustainable harvested wood products, organic cottons, low-VOC paints, recycled glass and reclaimed lumber. While CSDS interns are always adding new materials to our library, our primary goal is to educate designers on how to conduct meaningful research on more sustainable materials themselves. 


Building Green

Building Green 

BuildingGreen’s independent team of editors has compiled guides to more than 100 product categories, to help you learn what to look for when selecting green products that avoid negative health impacts. You can browse the guide by following the link.




GreenFILE is a free research database covering the environmental effects of individuals, corporations and governments and what can be done at each level to minimize negative impacts. It provides thousands of open access full-text records from scholarly, government and general interest sources.