For over 30 years, Oikos’ research into surfaces, colours and materials has been driven by both ethics and aesthetics. Oikos’ manufacturing process uses sustainable materials and re-uses waste products from its own and other manufacturing processes to minimise all forms of pollution. This is coupled with in-depth research into matter, which is seen to bring added value to designs and is a potentially powerful visual and tactile element. This is the basis for a new classification of matter and materials based on the way they interact with light. Using this, Oikos was able to identify seven families of materials: Absorption, Corrosion, Reflection, Stratification, Weave, Vibration and Transparency. The next step was communicating this idea, leading the company to draft seven academic papers that are now part of the ADI Design Index 2012. These explore this classification and, through text, images, lights and colours, reflect the meaning of matter in Oikos’ vocabulary, presenting the creative potential of different textures. In Absorption, Oikos speaks about rough and porous matter that lets light in and captures it, gaining lightness as a result. Corrosion represents the flow of time through the interplay of light meeting matter, cracks, roughness and irregularities, which are seen not as elements of deterioration, but rather an enrichment of form. Reflection is about light meeting matter when the latter acts like a screen, reflecting the light back into the environment, leading to changing views across the day and the seasons. Stratification reveals the overlap of matter and signs, the combination of different levels that multiply the effects of light and colour. Weave is precisely a weave of signs and traces, fibres of matter that acquire thickness under flowing light. Vibration expresses the sense of rhythmic movement and how light vibrates off things. Finally, Transparency is about matter that serves all other matter. It is invisible and without depth, like a veil or sheet of glass. It protects and transforms, giving other matter a new lease of life and multiplying its potential, uses and functions.