Research Event: Materials at the Centre

Research Event: Materials at the Centre Research Event: Materials at the Centre Research Event: Materials at the Centre

Friday 19 April 2013 5:45pm - 11:07am

Institute of Making


This workshop brings together researcher from across the arts, sciences and humanities to interrogate the relationship between the cognitive and the material in research. This demonstrative discussion proposes that materials, the act of making and processes of experimentation can fire the imagination in ways that complement language and make possible new ways of thinking.

  • Introduction by Mark Miodownik, Martin Conreen and Zoe Laughlin (Institute of Making)
  • English professor Steven Connor riffs about sugar and soap, substances and states of matter 

Hands-on sessions:

  • Geoarchaeologist Ruth Siddall puts pigments under the microscope. Bring along your favourite cosmetic or tube of paint for analysis, or come and investigate paints from works of art ranging from the Bronze Age to the present day.
  • Sculptor Anja Borowicz makes pastels and talks about powdered clay, its uses as an artistic and industrial medium, and its semantic associations.
  • Engineers Maria Nelson and Helene Jones demonstrate the principles of bio-scaffolding using 3D printed structures and woven dissolvable fibres.

Over tea come and share some of the objects that have caught your attention with artist Hermione Allsopp and Lecturer in Information Studies Anne Welsh - and talk to sculptor Hiroko Nakajima about her materials experiments and interact with her sensory sculptures.

  • Conservation scientist/art historian duo Emma Richardson and Petra Lange-Berndt discuss plastic materials in art, their unpredictability, and the effects that their properties have on the reception, interpretation and conservation of works of art.
  • Historian of science Simon Werrett discusses why lodestones, red inks and adhesives fired the early modern imagination, explores how they are intimately connected to the history of science, and talks about the possibilities of restaging old experiments from physics and alchemy.
  • Science writer Philip Ball kicks off the discussion: time for arguments, questions, suggestions and drinks

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