Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Exploring the potential of materials to 'fire imagination' and 'advance conceptualisation'

My fellow MA Graphic Media Design student, Andy Dalle Laste, and I have been tasked with conducting an interview exploring key issues that are shaping current and future design practices.


We are both interested in the theme of social transformation (in relation to completely different fields: genome editing / and econosociolegal peace-building respectively).

We decided to approach Zoe Laughlin, co-founder and co-director of the Institute of Making of UCL who combines extensive expertise in both design and materials science together with a palpable enthusiasm for sharing and learning.

Our intention is to use the interview as the basis for a short film exploring the potential of materials as speculative design tools: to 'fire imagination' and 'advance conceptualisation' (two elements of the Institute's strapline).


We prepared for the interview by attending an onsite open day run by Zoe, reading her published work and watching her media appearances.

We then choose a selection of items from the Materials Library that seemed relevant to the theme of social transformation. Finally we storyboarded the shoot.


Totally tempting display of materials

Our favourite four

We first asked Zoe some more general questions about how she thinks and feels about materials (her intellectual and emotional relationship with them), the importance of curiosity and the meaning of transformation in the material sense.

We then asked her to speak about four materials from the collection. Below are some extracts from each discussion.

Muscle wire

Bioactive glass scaffold

Self­-healing concrete


Watch the space for updates as we turn the interview into a short film.

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At 23 August 2016 at 14:18 , Blogger Bec said...

Great work guys! Really looking forward to seeing the final result! :-)


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