Each programme in the School has a distinct identity, informed in part by the inherent differences between the specific materials they focus on. The common thread is in the importance of the qualities of materials in all the objects being created.
Teaching staff in the School have internationally significant research profiles. Their interests range from the physical properties and social dimensions of materials, to the creation of sculptural artworks and commercial goods, as well as the processes of making itself. Both ‘traditional’ established making techniques and cutting-edge digital manufacturing technologies are well represented.
The school leads or is a partner in a range of research, knowledge exchange and innovation projects supported by external funders, including the Arts and Humanities Research Council, EU Commission and commercial partners. Recent and current funded projects include:
- Meissen Fountain Restoration Project (in partnership with the V&A)
- Compassion by Design (part of the AHRC funded Cultural Value Project)
- ArcInTex European Teaching Network (funded through H2020 MSCA)
- Extending the Potential of the Digitally Printed Ceramic Surface (funded by the AHRC)
- The Tetsubin Project (funded by the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation)
- New for Old (funded by the British Council)
The School of Material also engages with the wider academic community, specialist professional groups and the general public by convening conferences, symposia and workshops and holding exhibitions. Recent events managed through the School of Material include:
- I AM HERE (November 2015)
- The Future of Textile Culture (November 2015)
- TALENT! (September 2016)
- S:FUTURE (October 2016)
- Interfashionality (October 2016)
- Research_Alive! (October 2016 and ongoing symposia)
In addition, since 2013 the School of Material has convened a workshop at the biennial Making Futures international research conference. Information about these workshops and the contributors can be found on the following webpages:
- Crafting with Digital Technologies at Making Futures III (September 2013)
- Digital Crafting: defining the field at Making Futures IV (September 2015)
The open access published papers from both the workshops are available from the online Making Futures Journal.
In September 2017 the RCA will be convening another workshop at Making Futures V, entitled: Craft in Industry. For further information about the conference and workshop, including the workshop theme and how to submit a paper, see the Making Futures website.
"Research across the School of Material is supported by a shared ethos of experimentation and innovation in design, studio practice and technology."Dr Peter Oakley
School Research Leader