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Experiments in multidisciplinary materials research

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Ms Helen Gardner.

Please note that this is a Mechanics Colloquia

In March 2013 we opened the Institute of Making, a place dedicated to promoting the study of materials and making with University College London. The institute is a multidisciplinary research club for those interested in the made world: from makers of molecules to makers of buildings, synthetic skin to spacecraft, soup to diamonds, socks to cities. We believe that materiality is central to all disciplines and activities, and our role is to be a central node in the university where discipline specialists can meet and collaborate. We recognise that a university is more than a just community of scholars, and staff of all kinds are both interested in research and can contribute to it. Thus membership is free to anyone in the university from students to professors, and from cleaners to finance directors. The institute contains a workshop, materials library, a full set of tools from mechanical to electronic, from textile and digital, from playful to exact. We run seminars, master-classes, research sand pits, but most importantly allow our members full use of the space to conduct their own research projects. Since opening more than two thousand members have joined from all parts of the university from architecture to materials science, from anthropology to chemistry, from archaeology to medicine. In this talk I discuss the research and the community that has grown up in this new experimental space, the kind of research that gets done, and I reflect on our successes and our failures.

This talk is part of the Engineering Department Bio- and Micromechanics Seminars series.

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