Martin Conreen - Director of Making
Martin Conreen is an artist and designer. He received his BA from Goldsmiths College in Fine Art/Sculpture in 1984. His interest in materials and making led him to work in numerous design fields, including silver-smithing, set building, furniture design and shoe making. In 1994, Martin became a visiting lecturer at Goldsmiths. From 2002 to 2005, Martin was the Head of the Design Department. Since 2008 he has been a Senior Lecturer. Martin's research has focused on new and emerging materials, crafts, material culture, contemporary art, and manufacturing. He currently has a growing interest in Rapid Prototyping/Manufacturing along with their materials and their relationship to digital technologies. He has contributed to the development and delivery of several new BA and MA Design programmes including a new degree programme with the Engineering Department of Queen Mary University of London, to bridge the gap between engineering, art and design. He undertakes materials consultancy with the prospecting and Innovation Studio (PI Studio) at Goldsmiths and lectures worldwide about design and materials. From October 2005 to October 2006 he was appointed a visiting senior Research Fellow at King's College London, and in 2006 he was made a fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce (RSA).
Zoe Laughlin - Creative Director & Curator of Materials
Artist and maker Zoe Laughlin is a co-founder/director of the Institute of Making and the Materials Library project. She holds an MA from Central Saint Martin's College of Art and Design and obtained a PhD in Materials within the Division of Engineering, King's College London. Working at the interface of the science, art, craft and design of materials, her work ranges from formal experiments with matter, to materials consultancy and large-scale public exhibitions and events with partners including Tate Modern, the Hayward Gallery, the V&A and the Wellcome Collection. Her particular areas of interest are currently The Sound of Materials, The Taste of Materials and The Performativity of Matter, with outputs ranging from theatrical demonstration lectures to the making of instruments and features on both radio and television.
Mark Miodownik - Director
Mark Miodownik is an engineer and materials scientist. He received his PhD in turbine jet engine alloys from Oxford University in 1996. Before joining UCL in February 2012 he worked in engineering research institutions in the USA, Ireland, and in the UK. His research areas include smart materials and psychophysical properties of materials. This work has resulted in collaborations with designers, architects and artists, as well as many museums, such as Tate Modern, Hayward Gallery and the Wellcome Collection. Prof Miodownik is a broadcaster and writer; he gave the 2010 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, and regularly presents BBC TV programmes on materials science and engineering. He was included in the The Times 2010 list of the top 100 most influential people in science.
Ellie Doney - MakeSpace Manager
Ellie Doney is an artist and and co-founder of multidisciplinary art & design studio Manifold. She makes things which explore the nature of transformation and the mutability of stuff, noticing the sensual and psychological undercurrents within matter and the way it behaves. A continual student of materials and experimental making, she graduated from MA Ceramics & Glass at the Royal College of Art in 2010, and is engaged in ongoing collaborative research.
Phil Howes - Associate Researcher
Phil is a materials scientist and researcher. After reading physics as an undergraduate, he undertook a PhD in nanotechnology at King’s College London, completed in 2010. He has a keen interest in interdisciplinary science and has worked on a diverse set of materials research projects, from psychophysics to biomedical engineering. His work with us is on the sensoaesthetic properties of materials, a project that draws on range of scientific and creative disciplines. Apart from his academic papers and book chapters, Phil co-authored the book Material Matters: New Materials in Design with Zoe Laughlin, and is a regular at our public engagement events.
Sarah Wilkes - Research Project Manager
Sarah is a PhD student from the Material Culture Group of the Department of Anthropology, University College London. She is currently doing ethnographic research with members of the IOM3 (Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining), her collaborative partner. This research explores the many factors that cause different materials - like PVC, steel and bioplastics - to be classified as sustainable or hazardous, and questions what this can tell us about how the global concept of ‘sustainability’ is put into practice in the context of the UK materials industry.
Supinya Wongsriruksa - PhD Researcher
A materials scientist, jeweller and university lecturer from Bangkok, Supinya Wongsriruksa is currently pursuing her PhD in Mechanical Engineering at King's College London. Supinya's current research is centred around the senso-aesthetic properties of materials for jewellery and decorative applications, with a specific emphasis on the feel of materials.
Elizabeth Corbin - Intern
Elizabeth is a maker and designer studying MA Material Culture & Design at UCL. Her work explores the material world's relational, perceptual and experiential influence upon our sense of being in the world. She is writing her thesis on the importance of making and the re-shaping of craft within today's digitized environment. She is currently joining us on an internship.
Richard Gamester - Technician
Richard is a ‘creative engineer’ and designer who is always up for a challenge. Coming from a long line of engineers and shipwrights, making is in his blood. After leaving art college in '98 he pursued a long career as a modelmaker, building props for photographic shoots, films and videos. He also worked in precision engineering before recently studying for a degree in goldsmithing, silversmithing and jewellery design. Richard enjoys looking for new ways to combine traditional and unconventional materials to create objects whose form and function work together in harmony. Designing things, making things and solving problems are what makes him happy; the bigger the challenge the better.