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Materials library collections as tools for interdisciplinary research

Wilkes, SE; Miodownik, MA; (2018) Materials library collections as tools for interdisciplinary research. Interdisciplinary Science Reviews , 43 (1) pp. 3-23. 10.1080/03080188.2018.1435450. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper examines how materials libraries are used as tools for interdisciplinary collaboration in 3 research projects that inhabit a disciplinary triangle between materials research, design and user needs: PhysFeel, which explores how materials collections can be used in psychological therapies; Light.Touch.Matters, a design-led project to develop new smart materials; and Hands of X, which uses materials collections to develop a bespoke prosthetics service. The paper analyses and contrasts these case studies to better understand the affordances and limitations of materials collections when used as research, translational and design tools. We conclude that in collaborations between materials researchers, designers and end users, tensions arise as a result of the primacy that each partner gives to creativity, the development of new knowledge and to solving societal problems. The use of a materials library addresses many of these issues but is not a panacea for all the problems associated with interdisciplinary working.

Type: Article
Title: Materials library collections as tools for interdisciplinary research
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/03080188.2018.1435450
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/03080188.2018.1435450
Language: English
Additional information: © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Materials libraries, interdisciplinarity, materials research, social science, design research
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Mechanical Engineering
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10045880
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