Borrowed Matter / Materia Prestada

Reflecting on the extractivist processes of the logging industry in Chile, ‘Materia Prestada’ is a sensory installation highlighting novel ways of working with wood cellulose as a bio medium. The installation features seven suspended bio-textile works made with natural fibres and cellulose sheets, the largest of which will gradually degrade during the exhibition to reveal hidden layers of information for visitors to discover.

The economic development of Chile has been based on an extractivist model; the overexploitation of natural resources used mainly for export. In particular, the forest industry and its activity, which covers 4% of the national territory. Based on the monoculture of introduced species, such as pine and eucalyptus, forestry has generated various socio-environmental problems. These include increased rates of fires, lack of water supply, the acidification of soils and a decrease in biodiversity.

‘Materia Prestada’ proposes new uses and formats for the most abundant biopolymer in the world, cellulose – a renewable, biocompatible, and biodegradable material, commonly used to produce paper and textile fibres, of which Chile is the tenth exporting country worldwide.

This work proposes new ways of producing and using cellulose, with a local and cultural vision. Using a weaving technique as a means of visual communication, the pavilion will explore the identity of Chile as a territory. Following a slow manufacturing process that involves the human body, a contemporary reinterpretation of the textile is presented, using graphics and colours to evoke transformation and movement.

This fabric will be a reflection of the production, distribution and collaboration chains in three geographical locations: Finland, where research on biomaterials and textiles is carried out by designer Sofía Guridi; Chile, the origin of the cellulose to be used; and London, the place of the exhibition and degradation of the pieces. This installation reflects on global issues, with a critical look at extraction and production processes, promoting collaboration between actors and a decentralisation of resources.

Fint out more about the installation at:

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Sofía Guridi


Juan Pablo Vergara


Gracia Fernández

Graphic Design

Víctor Leyton

Audio visualist

Karla Riquelme


Diana Becares

Production assistant

Vertti Virasjoki



Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage, Government of Chile

Ministry of Foreign Relations through DIRAC-Division of Cultures, Arts, Heritage and Public Diplomacy, and ProChile, Government of Chile

Collaborating Institutions:

Embassy of Chile in the United Kingdom

Aalto University Bioinnovation Center

School of Design Pontifical Catholic University of Chile

Anglo Chilean Society

Media Partner:

Revista Materia

2023 Exhibitors