Deep in the bowels of King's College London there is a space that is home to a collection of some of the most extrodinary materials on Earth. A chunk of Aerogel from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA that, at 99.8% air, is the worlds lightest solid; a tile of aluminium nitride that conducts the heat from one's hand efficiently enough to cut ice as if it were butter; a vial of a totally inert fluorocarbon liquid into which one can place any electronic equipment while continuing to operate it, without any ill effects. These materials are gathered together not only for scientific interest, but for their ability to fire the imagination and advance conceptualisation. Our hypothesis is that not only do technical details enhance aesthetic experience but that in generating physical encounters with matter, one provides an often forgotten way into this technical knowledge.
The library is a physical archive of more than 500 new materials and is growing every month. We specialise in new and advanced prototype materials collected from research labs all round the world. The ideal of the library is to provide a intellectual and sensual intersection between the arts and sciences. We are not trying to create a comprehensive materials collection, instead we are trying to create a thinking space for the Materials Research Group. Read more about the background to our approach.