The Institute of Making was founded by Zoe Laughlin, Mark Miodownik and Martin Conreen in 2010* in order to celebrate and explore the relationship between materials and processes. It became part of University College London (UCL) in 2012, and opened the current space on Malet Place (London, WC1E 7JE) in March 2013.
At the heart of the Institute of Making is the Materials Library – a growing repository of some of the most extraordinary materials on earth, gathered together for their ability to fire the imagination and advance conceptualisation. A place in which makers from all disciplines can see, touch, research and discuss, so that they can apply this knowledge and experience to their own practice.
The Maker Mile (www.makermile.cc) was mapped by Machines Room a FabLab just down the canal on Vyner Street; a cobbled cul de sac filled with wharfs and warehouses home to taxi mechanics, sign printers, and London’s oldest umbrella maker. Instigated by Clear Village and with support from Human Cities, Maker Mile launched during London Design Festival 2015 with Open Mile. For one night 12 spaces opened their workshops and the public could get involved with hands on making and behind the scenes tours of workspaces. Over 600 people collected a map, made locally at East London Print Makers, followed the trail on a rainy Monday night and experienced the thriving community, that many, including those already working there, hadn’t realised was on their doorstep.