The Institute of Making conducts and supports multidisciplinary research on the topic of materials, materiality and the made world. As well as having our own in-house team of researchers, we also offer the wider research community a place to engage, investigate and explore matter and processes of making. Listed below are some of our current research activities.

Current research projects

Design-Led Materials: Online Course

Take our new, free online course about how to develop materials as part of an interdisciplinary team. More

Hands of X

Exploring materials and prosthetic hands with amputees, designers and makers. More

Material Anxieties

Research Manager Sarah Wilkes was recently awarded a three year Wellcome Trust Medical Humanities fellowship for Material Anxieties. This project follows both new and familiar materials being developed for healthcare applications: from their inception in laboratories and manufacturing facilities to their selection in design studios and finally to their everyday use in formal and informal healthcare environments. More

Self Healing Cities

We are part of a pioneering five year EPSRC-funded project investigating the use of robotics to maintain and repair city infrastructure. More

The Open Workshop Network

The Open Workshop Network (OWN) is an ongoing research project led by our PhD student, Liz Corbin, into the larger making community of London. More

Scrambled Messages: The Telegraphic Imaginary 1857 - 1900

The Institute of Making are involved in a research project with King's College London and The Courtauld exploring the Telegraphic Imaginary. More


Institute of Making members are involved in an exciting collaborative research, making and citizen science project aimed at making low-cost Atomic Force Microscopes out of LEGO. More

Nature-Inspired Materials

Prof. Mark Miodownik is a theme leader in the exciting new Centre for Nature Inspired Engineering at UCL. More

Archived research projects

PhysFeel: Mapping Material Properties Onto Emotions

This collaborative pilot project, funded by the UCL Grand Challenge for Human Wellbeing, aims to explore how physical properties can be used to communicate emotions More

Community-Building for Design-Led Materials Research

The Institute of Making are delighted to have awarded EPSRC small grants to five teams for community-building activities that focus on design-led approaches to materials. More

Dangerous Diaries: Octagon Gallery

An interdisciplinary group of researchers, makers and materials enthusiasts from around UCL and beyond have put together the ‘Dangerous Diaries’ exhibition at the Octagon Gallery. More

Wearable Assistive Materials

The Institute of Making are involved in an EPSRC-funded project that aims to develop the materials for a wearable exoskeleton that can act as a walking support system. More


This collaborative EUFP7 research project brings together product designers and material researchers to develop a new generation of materials that respond to touch with luminosity. More

Bridging the Gaps

Between 2011 and 2014, the Institute of Making ran an EPSRC-funded initiative aimed at bridging the gaps between the internal communities of University College London and King's College London, through the topic of materials and making. To this end, we facilitated and supported activities designed to invigorate innovative materials-related research through research grants, summer studentships, workshops and research forums. More

Sensoaesthetic Materials

At the Institute of Making, we are actively conducting research into developing a sensoaesthetic theory of materials. Materials science concerns itself with the physical characterisation of materials, while artists and designers are generally much more interested in the aesthetic side of materials. Applying scientific methodology to the study of the aesthetic, sensual and emotional side of materials – their sensoaesthetic properties - may improve our understanding of how people interact with materials, and may lead to more innovative and multisensory design. In developing a sensoaesthetic theory of materials we aim to forge links between these two material domains. More

Upcoming Events

Festival of Stuff

4th Jul 2017 10:00pm - 8th Jul 2017 5:00pm


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