GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / BOOK MY PLACE – Mark Miodownik‘s Stuff Matters is subtitled ‘The Strange Stories of the Marvellous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World.
Indeed, some of the stories he tells are strange. Each chapter begins with a photograph of Miodownik sitting on the roof of his apartment with a book, a drink and a telephone. He then, as a materials scientist, tells the story of one of the materials that appears in the photograph.
Each chapter is fascinating. I was particularly drawn to the one called ‘Delicious’ where he tells the story of chocolate and we learn of its history, how it is made and how it succeeds to be a drink of ‘hot chocolate’ in the mouth, a far cry from the rather nasty-tasting beans from which it originates.
‘Trusted’ is the title of the chapter on paper and we meet paper in all its forms, books, toilet paper, wallpaper, receipts, newspaper, photographs, money and ultimately a rather touching love letter. Again it is an enchanting story of how the cellulose of trees is adapted to fill so many of our daily needs.
It is a real delight to see the world around us in the way that Miodownik does.