DIF Studio Materials and Making in the DIF Studio

  • Speakers:
  • Zoe Laughlin

Topics relevant to the session

  • Details About the session
  • Speakers Info about who's talking

Materials are the building blocks of the world around us. They make up the tools we use, the food we eat, and the homes we live in. But most of us never really engage with materials themselves. Instead, they’re mostly seen as a ‘black box’ - the preserve of big companies or a team in a lab, and we just get what we’re given.

But once we learn some of the basics of materials and making, we start to question industrial norms and imagine new ways of interacting with our physical world.

For instance, how do we choose the materials we use? How can we transform them to meet our needs? And how do we value them over time?

In this DIF session, rockstar materials expert Zoe Laughlin will demonstrate how the new era of non-industrialisation means we can use simple tools to engage with materials and making, reclaiming agency over our belongings and surroundings.

This is an abbreviated version of an interview that took place on November 12th. Want to watch the conversation in full? Watch it here:


Zoe Laughlin

Zoe Laughlin

Co-founder & Director, Institute of Making

Zoe Laughlin is a co-founder and Director of the Institute of Making. Working at the interface of the science, art, craft and design of materials, outputs range from formal experiments with matter, to materials consultancy and large-scale public exhibitions and events with partners including Tate Modern, the Hayward Gallery and the V&A. Her work has been shown in London’s Science Museum and is included in the new permanent collection of The Design Museum.


Joe Iles

Joe Iles

Editor in Chief, Circulate

As Editor in Chief of Circulate, Joe’s role is to help deliver leading commentary, news and case studies on the circular economy. Joe is also Digital Architect at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and inputs on a range of programmes with an online element.

Joe’s role at the DIF is to help us draft up our communications messaging and give editorial sign off. He’s also a regular host on the DIF and coordinated the live stream for the 2018 Summit X DIF.

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