What "Stuff Matters" is about is explained by the subtitle: Exploring the Marvelous Materials that Shape Our Man-Made World.
From this book about “Stuff” you learn that things like glass, plastic, concrete, chocolate and other materials that they are much more than you thought. You can get a pre-look at how excited the author is about these things by the table of contents. Indomitable, Trusted, Fundamental, Delicious, Marvelous, Imaginative, Indivisible, Unbreakable, Refined, Immortal, and Synthesis are chapters that look deeply into the materials they discuss.
The book’s approach seems to be rooted in the authors experience as a young boy standing on a train bleeding from a stab wound. He had been chased, by a person who had just asked him for money, barely making it to the train when his attacker slashed the back of his coat with a razor bade wrapped with tape so that it could be used like a knife.
Later at the police station he had a chance to see the razor knife. He was fascinated that it could have cut through his leather coat and shirt to cut his back. This event became birth of the authors obsession with materials. He noticed steel everywhere. He wanted to know how it was made and what made the razor blade so strong and was fascinated with the miracle of alloys and why hammering a metal makes it stronger.
He claims the he looked deeply into the material word to show that the materials are really complex expressions of human needs and desires. The author said that “In a very real way, then, materials are a reflection of who we are, a multi-scale expression of our human need and desires.”
If your even curious to look closer at things like concrete, glass and foam then he brings some passion and a softer writing style. You will find some surprises. If you’re not so interested, then maybe a book about Stuff Matters isn’t for you
The author received his Ph.D in turbine jet engine alloys from Oxford University, and has worked as a materials scientist in the USA, Ireland and the UK. His focus has been on research that links the arts and humanities to medicine, engineering and materials science. That research lead to the establishment of the "UCL Institute of Making" where he is Director.