Zoe Laughlin
Zoe Laughlin - Director

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
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.

Martin Conreen
Martin Conreen - Director

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 silversmithing, 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 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).


Necole Schmitz
Necole Schmitz - Makespace Manager

Necole is an artist who is interested in materiality and the tactile experience of objects.  She has a diverse making background and uses a variety of materials from thatching wheat to dancing to steel to textiles in her work.  She studied painting and history of art at Boston University before moving to London and completing an MA in fine art at Chelsea College of art, where she became interested in foundry work and the excitement of molten metal.

Her training is in mould making, lost wax metal casting and other foundry work as well as metalwork and fabrication.  She has a studio in London as well as an ongoing collaboration with an artist run foundry in Dorset. Currently, when not at the Makespace, Necole is fabricating a cupola furnace for smelting iron.

Darren Ellis
Darren Ellis - Technician

Darren is an enthusiastic and creative potter who enjoys learning and sharing skills, from kiln building and layout to the molecular structure within clay and glaze material. This has had a profound influence his approach to throwing - he specialises in the potter’s wheel - and this knowledge of traditional methods feeds his problem solving skills. He is trustee to the charity AaP,  set up in response to many ceramic department closures throughout education, the  ever growing programme’s aim is to fund learners to take apprenticeships within clay.

Romain Meunier
Romain Meunier - Technician

Romain is an artist, designer and creative technologist. His work takes the form of interactive installations, product design or window display developments and draws inspiration from people’s relationship with technology and its rapid evolvement. He likes mixing a variety of digital and analogue technologies; his work tries to reconcile the virtual and the physical world, bringing together data flows and human senses.

Growing up with a dressmaker mother and a mechanic dad working in carpentry, Romain has always been surrounded by craft and he considers himself an artisan of new technologies.

George Walker
George Walker - Makespace Assistant Technician

George is a creative technologist, sound engineer and graduate of the Music Informatics BSc course at The University of Sussex. He has worked on a broad range of digital projects from physical music controller hardware to generative software art. He is also part of the teams behind the Eyeduino workshops, the robot Ohbot and the band Fatlion Hi-Fi. He is interested in music, programming, crowdfunding and of course making, and joins the team as an Assistant Technician with particular responsibility for the digital tools in the mezzanine.


Sara Brouwer
Sara Brouwer - Events Coordinator

Sara Brouwer is a ceramicist with a background in Learning and Talent Development programmes in the craft sector. She throws asymmetrical pieces on the wheel (on purpose) and specialises in sculptural and textural ceramics. Before this, Sara attended Camberwell College of Arts where she specialised in drawing, stop-frame animation and video art, and then took the Museum Studies MA at UCL. Sara has experience showing and selling handmade work in shops and at craft fairs as well as working with galleries. She joins our team as events co-ordinator.

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Beth Munro
Beth Munro - Research Manager

Beth is an archaeologist who specialises in the recycling of ancient materials and Roman villa architecture. She received her PhD in Archaeology from Oxford in 2010. She has worked as a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer in archaeology, and is currently a Research Associate at the Institute of Classical Studies, London. Her research focuses on the transformative processes and economics of glass, metal, and stone recycling in the late Roman period. Prior to joining us, Beth worked in doctoral training and research development.  She also holds an MPhil in Classical Archaeology from Oxford and a BA in Archaeology and Ancient History from the University of British Columbia, Canada.

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Sarah Wilkes
Sarah Wilkes - Research Fellow

Sarah is Research Fellow at the Institute of Making. Her Wellcome Trust fellowship project, Material Anxieties, develops a novel combination of methods to examine how materials used in healthcare applications mediate clinician and patient experiences in positive and negative ways. Sarah has previously been post-doc researcher and manager on a variety of collaborative, interdisciplinary projects including Hands of X (EPSRC), PhysFeel (UCL Grand Challenges) and Light.Touch.Matters (EUFP7). Sarah has a PhD in Anthropology from UCL, completed with industrial partners the IOM3. This work looked at ethical practices in the UK materials and engineering industries, focussing on the relationship between the physical properties of materials and their social perception as 'sustainable'. She also has an MA in Material Culture from UCL and a BA in Archaeology and Anthropology from the University of Oxford. 

s.wilkes [@]

UCL profile:

Liz Corbin
Liz Corbin - Researcher

Liz is a doctoral researcher at the Institute of Making. Corbin’s expertise lies within participatory and open design, material culture and redistributed manufacturing. When not at UCL, she can be found at the Royal College of Art where she is a tutor in Design Products, co-leading the Exploring Emergent Futures platform. Corbin is a contributor to the Fab City Global Initiative, collaborator on the Future Makespaces in Redistributed Manufacturing project, and co-founder of Materiom. She holds a BA in Design, an MA in Material Culture and Design, and is currently completing a PhD programme in collaboration with the Institute of Making. Corbin’s doctoral research explores the emergence of open and decentralized manufacturing networks in Britain; investigating the materials, processes and cultures of practice indicative of this ever-fluid sector, particularly in relation to networks of local/global production. This work has included founding the Open Workshop Network as well as co-founding Maker Assembly, and has helped to shape the debate around the future of manufacturing in Britain.

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Ellie Doney
Ellie Doney - Researcher

Ellie Doney is a doctoral student at the Slade School of Fine Art, and the Institute of Making. Her practice-based research explores food and transformation by experiments in cooking and eating with people across disciplines, to travel the borders between human and non-human matter. Her research activity is driven by her enthusiasm for unwrapping the many layers of properties within (other) matter, and finding out how we interrelate.
A continual student and teacher of materials and experimental making, she has a BA in Wood, Metal Ceramics & Plastics, and an MA in Ceramics & Glass from the RCA, and she is co-founder of multidisciplinary materials studio Manifold.

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