31.03.19 – 15.09.19

Coal, coke and pitch

Logo Coal, coke and pitch
Logo Coal, coke and pitch
© Lapatsch Unger; Philipp Weber
Peat, lignite, anthracite, asphalt – naturally formed from wood and other organic materials over millions of years – have long been known as commodities and fossil fuels.

Over the centuries, however, mankind has developed sophisticated processes to transform these basic substances into valuable new fuels and materials. Since the dawn of civilization, birch tar has been used as a glue, and charcoal and soot as pigments, but it was the development of coke and its chemical by-products during the Industrial Revolution that paved the way for the manufacture of new dyes and plastics.

In conjunction with the MATERIAL ARCHIV, the exhibition in the Forum provides key information about these commonplace yet astonishing materials, recounts their history and explores their potential future uses. Current projects by students from the Design department of Berlin University of the Arts are also on display.

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