Trace Material explores the convergence of our lives and the lives of the materials that surround us. Each season we dig into a material you might find in your interior environment to discover what it can tell us about our history, our culture, and our bodies.
This season, we’re telling stories from the plastics age. How did we get here? We explore the living history of the wonder material, from Bakelite radios in the family room to Tupperware in the kitchen. We talk to politicians, lawyers fighting big business, and environmental justice advocates about how plastic has transformed our lives––for better and for worse.
Season one focuses on hemp––one of the two main ingredients in the superstar healthy material, HempLime, often called Hempcrete. Although it seems much of the US has gone hemp crazy, Trace Material thinks about hemp critically. We look into the history of American agriculture, the 2018 Farm Bill, and hemp’s potential to right some of the social and environmental wrongs of the country’s past.
Season 2: Plastics
Uncovering the human stories behind a synthetic material
Trace Material Season 2 Trailer
Episode 01: The Fourth Kingdom
Episode 02: Mi Sueño Tupperware
Episode 03, Part 1: The House of Documents
Episode 03, Part 2: Out of the Factory
Episode 04: Dance Against the Incinerator
Episode 05: The Guilt Eraser
Episode 06: Our Plastic Future
Episode 07: The Social History of Plastics
BONUS: Trace Material Live! with Pete Myers
Season 1: Hemp
Diving into hemp’s complicated history and exciting future
Trace Material Season 1 Trailer
Episode 01: Hemp in the Bluegrass
Episode 02: Pot’s Benevolent Cousin
Episode 04: The Green Path
Episode 05: Growing Pains
Episode 06: Build Local
Episode 07: The Natural Building Omnivore
Episode 08: Talking Shop with Mattie Mead
Episode 09: Talking Shop with Cameron McIntosh
Episode 10: Talking Shop with Blake Eagle
Episode 11: Talking Shop with Alex Sparrow
Episode 12: A New Dawn in New Castle
Join Our Academic Network
Get Access to our carefully researched and curated academic resources, including model syllabi and webinars. An email from an academic institution or a .edu email address is required. If your academic institution does not use .edu email addresses but you would like to join the network, please contact email@example.com.
Already have an account? Log in