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MaterialDriven Bioplastics Workshop

Saturday, June 22, 2019
Opening Hours: 
The Nunnery, 181 Bow Road, London E3 2SJ

A creative and unique family-friendly workshop on how to make Bioplastics with MaterialDriven, a design consultancy and materials library, in Bow Arts’ covered outdoor courtyard. 

This workshop will introduce two interesting concepts: bio-plastic and food waste as an ingredient for material making. Participants will make their own spoon using banana peels and a few more grocery-store ingredients which they will then be able to take home with them. This will be an immersive workshop that allows attendees to make their own banana bioplastic and understand the science and art behind material making. There will also be a chance to explore an interactive display of bioplastics made by companies and designers that are pushing the boundaries of this material.

Plastic was the great material innovation of its time. Plastic as we know it has only really existed for the last 60-70 years, yet in that time has transformed everything from clothing, cooking and catering, to product design, engineering and retailing. It is light, easily shaped, strong, and inexpensive.

One of the key advantages of plastic at its inception was that it was designed to last, for a very long time. In fact, nearly all the plastic ever created still exists in some form today. And this is now a problem. By 2015, an estimated 8.3 billion tonnes of virgin plastic will have been produced, leading to 6.3 billion tonnes of waste. The race is now on to find solutions for all the plastic that ends up in landfills, as well as find alternatives to fossil fuel-based plastic.

Bioplastic is a material that holds great promise for our future. It comes from natural resources and can biodegrade back into nature leaving little impact on our planet. Larger manufacturers and innovative designers are finding exciting and practical ways to develop this material and bring it to a wider audience.

Tickets £3/5 (concession rate applies to children/under 18s, students, over 65s and Bow Arts artists)

Book tickets here


MaterialDriven is a design consultancy and materials library. They focus on innovative materials, the processes of making, and the creators behind them. Working with both established manufacturers and individual makers, we help bring technically advanced and specialized materials to the design industry, and support emerging materials to evolve from prototype to product. Our educational arm delivers curated exhibitions, talks and workshops on material innovation, while our commercial arm provides consultancy for designers, brands, hospitality and manufacturers. Our past projects include exhibits and talks at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, the Design Museum in London, the Royal College of Art, University for the Creative Carts, The Woolmark Company, London Design Festival, the Disruptive Innovation Festival, and Somerset House.

Raw Materials explores the forgotten industrial history of plastic in east London around the River Lea. The exhibition reveals the story of east London's central role in the invention and early development of plastics, showcasing some of the very first plastic objects alongside newly commissioned artwork which tell the story of this material’s remarkable journey. Read more about the exhibition here.

Raw Materials: Plastics has been made possible through the generous support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the project’s academic partner UCL.


Access Information

Bow Arts Courtyard has step-free access throughout from street level, including to the accessible toilet and is service animal friendly. This venue does not have a hearing loop system.

Accessible parking is not available on-site but blue badge parking can be found 500m away on Fairfield Road.

If you have any questions regarding accessibility at this venue or event, would like to make us aware of any access requirements that you have in advance of visiting, or would like this information in an alternate format including Easy Read, please email or call 020 8980 774 (Ext. 3)

Travel Information

Opening hours: Tues-Sun, 10am to 5pm
Address: 181-183 Bow Road, London, E3 2SJ
Nearest station(s): Bow Road (District and Hammersmith and City lines) is a 6-minute walk away, and Bow Church (DLR) is a 3-minute walk away.
Bus: 205, 25, 425, A8, D8, 108, 276, 488 and 8 all service the surrounding area.

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Photo credit: Rob Harris