Part 3 of The Material Age series is all about slime. If you have been around kids in the past year, you probably have not been able to ignore this trend. A somewhat surprising phenomenon in the digital age, it has now grown so big that there are already negative incidences such as children dealing EU-banned chemicals (Borax) on social media to create the most desirable slime texture. Despite that, the slime trend is still growing, and both children and kidults are exploring it.
Recently, Viewpoint Magazine featured the slime phenomenon in their “Tactility in the digital age” issue.
According to the magazine, tactility is the cornerstone of humancentric behaviour, and finding multi-sensorial stimulus in a digital world is the next big step for technology.
Even in the digital world, touch and tactility has become something of a ‘holy grail’. It’s ‘clicks to bricks’ as more and more companies that started out as online-only enterprises have started to open physical stores when they recognize that human interaction and/or physical touch is hard if not impossible to replace. Bloomberg recently reported, that Amazon is planning to open 3000 new Amazon Go stores within the next three years. Human interaction is lacking in them, but it is still a very interesting move towards the physical from the online retailer.
In a rather short period of time, various visual and tactile sub-genres of the slime phenomenon have already been identified. Here is a brief introduction to slime:
Pressed: Gives a great texture inspiration beyond the sensory satisfaction of pressing and squishing it for additional products such as accessories, even for the home.
Galaxy: Slime appears to be as sleek as oil with a metallic shine achieved from multiple metallic acrylic paints.
Floam: A crackle and pop sound effect with a crunchy texture.
Clear base: Transparent color from clear school glue. It’s the most fun to add other materials to such as micro toys, glitter, and even food coloring.
Fluff: The texture is similar to bubblegum or taffy.
Fishbowl: Similar to Floam, but contains larger fish tank-like beads and green or blue food coloring, giving the illusion of water and sealife.
For some young slime-makers the popularity of slime is big business. Youtube and Instagram stars such as Radslime or Karina Garcia have millions of subscribers and are said to be making tons of money extending their business to books and other areas.
This inspiration can also be seen in fashion and design. Here are some of our picks from recent collections.
The Material Age is an ongoing series of articles here on Around that focuses on innovative and interesting materials and trends within material design. The aim of this series is to challenge our readers to re-think about the materials surrounding them. Click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2.
Thanks to rawpixel for the main image.