What is the Material Lab

material lab

The Material Lab is an open access work space for material research that has been built in conjunction with the OD&M project and operates an open design methodology. The bookable lab provides a messy space for experiments that don’t suit a kitchen or studio environment. Our material lab is for strictly non-toxic material exploration that is pushing to tackle issues of sustainability and limited resources.

Quick link: Online booking

How to become a Material Lab Member

To be able to use the material lab you must first become a material lab member. Membership means that you can book sessions to use the material lab and it’s facilities.

To become a member please fill in our membership form – membership costs £36 per month.

Once you have filled in our form you need to book a Material Lab induction – This 1 hour induction is £20 and is compulsory for all members.

A member of the team will walk you through the lab, explain the booking system, induct you on available equipment, run through the lab code of conduct and terms of use and health and safety.
This will also include some time to discuss your project/research with the team to gain some feedback and discuss possible ideas and any help they may be able to offer.

To make the lab as accessible as possible we offer 3 levels of membership

Level 1:
Membership 1 provides access to the Material Lab and level 1 equipment. This equipment is more accessible and only requires a basic induction. If you are unsure which level equipment you require you can always become inducted to level 2 at a later date

Equipment included in Level 1:
Hob
Toaster oven (mini oven)
Digital pressure cooker
Pressure cooker
Blender
Digital thermometer
scales
Kettle

Level 2:
Membership 2 provides access to the Material Lab and level 1 & level 2 equipment. Level 2 equipment is more specialist and will require a more advanced induction to make sure the equipment is used safely and in a controlled manner

Equipment included in Level 2: (you also have access to all the equipment for Level 1)

Water bath
Orbital shaker
Micro Centaur centrifuge
3D food printer

Level 3:
level 3 is for educational institutions that wish to pay for there students to have access to the space. If you are a university, college or school please get in contact to discuss this option further with the Material Lab team.

The Material Lab has 3 work spaces:

Bench 1:

Stainless steal workbench with access to 4 plug sockets. Heating and electrical appliances may be used at this bench.
This bench comes with the following equipment:
Mixing bowl, large pan, small sieve, small mould tray, 600ml measuring jug, 50ml measuring cup, large plastic container, small plastic container, large knife, wooden spoon, wooden spatula, teaspoon, medium spoon, lab spoon, glass stirring rod, cutting mat

Bench 2:

Stainless steal workbench with access to 4 plug sockets. Heating and electrical appliances may be used at this bench.
This bench comes with the following equipment:
Mixing bowl, small pan, small sieve, small mould tray, 600ml measuring jug, 50ml measuring cup, large plastic container, small plastic container, small knife, wooden spoon, wooden spatula, teaspoon, medium spoon, lab spoon, glass stirring rod, cutting mat

Prep Bench:

Stainless steal workbench in the wet area of the lab. This bench has immediate access to the sinks and is more ideal for messy work that doesn’t require any access to electricity (there are no plug sockets for this bench)

Practical info

Opening hours
Monday – Friday
10am – 5pm

Sessions
Morning session 10am – 1pm
Afternoon session 2pm – 5pm

Membership
£36 per month
Access bookable material lab sessions
Small storage space for ingredients/ equipment etc
Free access to monthly #openhouse events
Access to our Material Library
Inclusion of your samples in our Material Library (subject to assessment) – showcasing your work directly to industry
Profile on our Material Lab/Library webpage
Access to hot desking during your booked session (subject to availability)

Induction
£20

Level 1 session – 3hrs (basic equipment) – £25
Level 2 session – 3hrs (advanced equipment) – £40

Material Lab – terms of use
Material Lab banned substances