Stuff Matters by Mark Miodownik (2013)

“We may like to think ourselves as civilized, but that civilization is in a large part bestowed by material wealth. Without this stuff, we would quickly be confronted by the same basic struggle that animals are faced with.”

“Wrapping a present with paper gives it a crispness and pristineness that emphasize the newness and value of the present inside. …The unwrapping of a present is akin to the act of birth; a new life for the object begins.”

“People love books, more perhaps than they love the written word. They use them as a way to define who they are and to provide physical evidence of their values.”

“Silica aerogel, the lightest solid in the world, which is 99.8 percent air.”

“Aerogel were created out of pure curiosity, ingenuity and wonder.”

“…materials are a reflection of who we are, a multi-scale expression of our human needs and desires.”