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Dr Zoe Laughlin is an artist, engineer, material scientist and broadcaster. She’s co-founder and Director of the Institute of Making at University College London. Her mission is to explore ALL ASPECTS OF how things are made, what they are made out of and how these materials have changed the world. Zoe’s work is all about the art, CRAFT, SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING OF ‘stuff’.

Zoe can often be found conducting ambitious experiments with infectious enthusiasm. She became the first resident scientist on ITV’s This Morning and you can see clips of her exploits here.

Zoe has featured in a number of landmark BBC documentaries. In the explosive Fireworks for a Tudor Queen (BBC4) Zoe investigated the fascinating history of fireworks, using 400-year-old documents to recreate one of the most spectacular fireworks displays from the Tudor period.

As a regular on The Big Life Fix (BBC 2) Zoe, along with other leading inventors, created ingenious new solutions to everyday problems and life-changing solutions for people in desperate need.

In the RTS-nominated The Secret Life of Landfill (BBC4) Zoe chronicled the history of rubbish and explored how what we throw away tells us about the way we live our lives. You can see a clip of Zoe conducting an autopsy on a smart phone whilst on the landfill site here.

For the The Secret Story of Stuff (BBC4) Zoe went on a journey to discover innovations in materials and manufacturing that are set to change the world, such as ever-lasting teeth, 5D memory glass, pineapple leather and mushroom heat-shields. Zoe has also appeared on University Challenge’s Christmas Special.

On radio, Zoe is a regular panellist on BBC Radio 4’s The Kitchen Cabinet and an occasional contributor to the Today Programme. Zoe hosts and produces the hit podcast “The Things That Make Us”.
 
Zoe’s work ranges from experimental research to large-scale public exhibitions and events with partners including Tate Modern, the V&A and the Wellcome Collection. Her work has also been shown in the Science Museum and the Design Museum. 

Zoe appears regularly at science and arts festivals. She is a trustee of the Crafts Council and works with Speakers 4 Schools.

Her qualifications include a PhD in Materials from the Division of Engineering at King’s College London and an MA in Scenography and Sculpture from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. She’s a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts and has written a book entitled “Material Matters: New Materials in Design”.

When she’s not making and inventing, Zoe is a successful amateur poker player and less successful electric guitarist.

 

SPECIALIST AREAS

ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN

FOOD & DRINK
Regular panelist on Radio 4’s The Kitchen Cabinet

HISTORY
Fireworks for a Tudor Queen (BBC4)

SCIENCE
Co-founder and Director of the Institute of Making at University College London