material world


housing everything from delicate fulgurite structures created by lightning strikes to an ultra-dense ball of silicon nitride which can dent concrete, the Institute of Making is home to some of the world's most wondrous substances. tomorrow, after years in an increasingly-crowded university basement, the collection and its curators are moving to a bigger, brighter more public space where you'll be able to handle samples, experiment with new materials and create stuff in a state-of-the-art workshop

“Making as a way of thinking is fundamental," says co-director Mark Miodownik. "Engineering has been dominated by the internet and the digital sphere for the past 20 years, but people do not live a virtual life; they live in the real, material world. Material science is now coming up with the goods and showing how to remake the world a completely different way”

to celebrate the grand opening, we're giving you the chance to win a copy of co-director Dr. Zoe Laughin's material bible – Material Matters – and a sample of gallium, an incredible metal which melts in your hands! co-authored by material scientist Philip Howes, the book divides over 200 materials by chemical composition (Metals, Glasses, Ceramics, Polymers, Composites...) and explains what makes them tick, drip, melt, squash, bend and shatter. handily, it also lists manufacturers and suppliers, making it an essential handbook for artists, designers of all descriptions, architects and makers

congratulations to Nina May, who won our 'Material Matters' competition and will receive a copy of the book and a sample of gallium metal!