Mixing it up with design, innovation and craft

November 15, 2017 | Latest News, Libraries, Young People | 1 comments | Author:

Last month we were lucky enough to be commissioned by the Craft Council to run a workshops as part of their Make: Shift: Do festival. Working with Liverpool Libraries, we rocked up at Toxteth Library with a whole load of crafty creative and above all, smart, materials with the idea that whoever drops by can use the materials to create whatever they want to…

IMG_2053The workshop focused on using smart materials combine with traditional craft practices and materials to create artistic pieces. Smart materials react to changes in their environment. In essence, their properties can be changed by an external condition such as heat, light and other variable factors. For the Make:Do:Shift festival. the workshop focused on creating artwork that explores wellbeing through the use smart materials such as:

  • Colour-changing materials: Thermochromic materials change colour as the temperature changes and photochromic materials change colour according to different lighting conditions.
  • Shape memory alloys: If an SMA is bent out of shape, it can go back to its original shape when certain contexts are applied.
  • Electroluminescent materials: These give out light when an electric current is passed through them.

As part of this workshop, participants – from toddlers to adults – worked individually, in small teams or as a whole group to create pieces of arts that explore wellbeing. This included creating sun prints, experimenting with UV paints and pens, designing structures with 3D pens, creating magnetic mood boards, creating some e-textitle pieces and much more.

IMG_2061The Smart Materials – Design, Innovation & Craft workshop is part of wehearttech CIC’s Innovation Hub programme. Our Innovation Hubs are great ways for groups and teams to work together to generate, plan and discuss ideas for new projects, approaches and processes. The hubs use technology (in all forms) to unlock people’s ideas, embracing curiosity, collaboration and creativity. They are great ways to bring people together for team-building or to kick-start something new. Underpinning the delivery of these hubs is the 7 C’s of a character curriculum – confidence, curiosity, collaboration, communication, creativity, commitment and craftsmanship – as outlined in the education manifesto, Educating Ruby.

If you’d like to find out more about our Innovation Hub workshops, or book a smart materials workshop for your school, library, education centre or youth club… then just get in touch and let’s see what we can craft together!


  • New Year techie plans January 3, 2018 at 1:22 pm | Reply

    […] some of the new workshops and areas that we tepidly entered into last year, including running more smart materials workshops and innovation hubs, getting involved in more ‘maker’ style activities and working with […]


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