Bridging the Gaps
Between 2011 and August 2014 the Institute of Making ran an EPSRC-funded initiative aimed at bridging the gaps between the internal communities of UCL and King's College London, through the topic of materials and making. We facilitated and supported activities designed to invigorate innovative materials-related research through research grants, summer studentships, research workshops and forums.
This project began from the premise that all materials innovation benefits from a system-wide multidisciplinary approach involving the arts, humanities, social sciences, physical sciences and health sciences. It provided a focal point for developing our understanding of how materials, materiality and material culture affect the human realm; be it in the form of a new type of artificial limb, the development of a discourse or a new material to change the world.
The project involved a variety of communities at University College London, including research, administrative and technical staff. It focussed on changing the overall culture of universities to build and strengthen connections between disciplines, departments and staff, and to celebrate outstanding expertise and innovative functions for research.
Until August 2014 we created opportunities for staff and students at UCL to develop innovative ideas and research projects that engaged with materials, materiality and the made world.
The funding for the Bridging the Gaps programme has now ended, but if you are interested in being involved in interdisciplinary materials or making-related research at UCL please get in touch, get involved in one of our research events, or come and join the Makespace to meet collaborators from all around UCL.
Our research workshops were designed to bring together researchers around UCL from multiple disciplines working on topics to do with materials and making to see where common research interests might lie.
These workshops gathered together a range of speakers on a theme to give an idea of the breadth of research going on at UCL and to encourage new research projects, with funding to support these incipient collaborations.
This series is also part of an ongoing project exploring interdisciplinary interactions. Starting from the observation that discussions stimulated by objects, materials and the making process have the ability to encourage conversations across disciplinary boundaries in a way that a purely verbal conversation cannot, we are exploring how different combinations of presentations, demonstrations, material explorations, discussions and making tasks contribute to a successful workshop.
Research workshops, discussions and forums at the Institute of Making have included:
Materials Library Meets Art History
Science and Technology Studies 'Ad Hoc' Reading Group in the Materials Library
Materials Library Meets Digital Humanities