D. Dantas1, C.A. Bertoldi1, B. Del Curto2

1Univertisy of São Paulo (BRAZIL)
2Politecnico di Milano (ITALY)
Over the past 10 years, Design and Architecture courses such as in Italy, Brazil and France have explored both physical and virtual materials collections to present to students the diversity available in the market for a new and appropriated use in project. Campos and Dantas (2008) demonstrated some of these collections and showed different approaches for their construction, pointing out difficulties in terms of a consensus on the type of information provided, the organization of the physical space, the existing system of classification and cataloguing, as well as information availability free of charge.

According to Del Curto and Dantas (2009), distinct objectives are defined in academic initiatives and also in the commercial ones. Furthermore, there are specificities on the use of these materials collections regarding project tools in teaching, which can cause the consensus conflicts mentioned above.

The international cooperation between Materiali e Design , the material library of Politecnico di Milano and LabDesign from FAU USP (Brazil) resulted in the implementation of the project “Materialize: Materials collection for the design and architecture”, in virtual and physical version.

The main challenge of this partnership was to converge the vast experience accumulated over the last 15 years of Materiali e Design and to respect the requirements of course of architecture and urbanism as well as the design (product and graphic) course in the context of free public higher education in Brazil. To achieve that goal, the following procedures were taken into account:
- Compatibility of technical terminology of materials, properties and production processes, in Italian, English and Portuguese;
- Use and expansion of the decimal system of classification of materials from Materiali e Design, due to the demand for the inclusion of sub-categories required for the profiles of FAU USP courses;
- Availability of on-line information on materials developed in Brazil for international access and dissemination.

The aim of this paper is to explain which methods and tools have been used for the realization of the Materialize database and to underline the importance of this collaborative experience that has proved to be effective at meeting the demands of the institutions involved, allowing for information exchange possibilities for future research and implementation.