Image by Jennifer Morrow
The Institute of Making , a project based at King’s College London, describes itself as
a multidisciplinary research club for those interested in the made world: from makers of molecules to makers of buildings, synthetic skin to spacecraft, soup to clothes, furniture to cities.
All sorts of materials, ranging from the lightest solid in the world (aerogel) to a material that can smash concrete without getting damaged (a silicon nitride ball bearing), are kept at the Institute. The aim is to explore the scientific properties of physical objects, but also to look at how the materials themselves inspire creativity and innovation. The Institute recognises the significant amount of information that can only be gathered physically.
The Institute is a result of the growth of the Materials Library,
an interdisciplinary collaborative team that make objects, events and exhibitions that foreground materiality.
While most of the research happens in the lab, the Institute (and Library) have gained international attention. It regularly receives samples from around the world, and have participated in various art installations. It also has a presence on Facebook and Twitter.
While the Institute of Making and That’s Not Online! have different reasons for being interested in exploring the physical world, it is great to know that there is someone else out there who recognises the importance of physical information.