my interior designing friend alex showed me a site the other day which is basically a directory of all kinds of futuristic smart materials.
they have all kinds of amazing architectural glass, plastics that can change colours and shapes, but the most interesting one i stumbled upon was
'In 2001 the Hungarian architect Áron Losonczi invented LiTraCon™, the first "transparant concrete" capable of transmitting light. LiTraCon™ is a concrete material that turns out to be light conducting thanks to embedded glass fibres. Light passes through the block, from one side to the other, without significant loss, so illuminating the darker side of the block. Shadows are transmitted and appear clearly outlined on the surface remote from the light source. In principle it is possible to precast this type of concrete in any size.
LiTraCon™ blocks and slabs have exactly the same technical characteristics as ordinary concrete blocks and slabs. The mixture can be adjusted to suit the requirements of the project with which the architect is involved. At present fibres are available in glass or plastic and in diameters ranging from 2 micrometres to 2 millimetres. Finally the technique used to make LiTraCon™ blocks or slabs can be altered to produce the aesthetic effect desired. Should the effect be slightly diffuse or is the requirement for a particular type of grid or even a logo? These and other kinds of effects can all be achieved after proper advance discussion of your project.'
you have to register your email address to be able to search through the materials, and i'm sure it might be more interesting to me (a product designer) and alex (an interior designer and architect) than it might be to someone who isn't, buts it's defitnitely worth a look!
link to materia.nl