Silicate Research Unit

Institute of Creativity, Communities and Culture (ICCC)

The Silicate Research Unit is firmly rooted in Ceramics. However, its research extends beyond materials that purely fit within the 'standard' classification of ceramic materials.

Research interests involve related materials such as Glass, Refractory Concretes and Concrete itself. The common or unifying ‘sub-material’ found within all these materials is Silica – hence the term 'Silicate Research'.

The Silicate research unit was established in 2006 by David Binns and Alasdair Bremner. Through testing Binns and Bremner found their individual research not only had similar philosophical elements, but technical compatibility. Both areas of research involved the use of silicate-based materials and have since been the starting point for several collaborative ‘live’ projects, combining the functional and aesthetic properties of a wide range of silicate-bearing materials; ceramic, glass and concrete. Projects are often interdisciplinary, employing design, material science, sustainability, waste management and conservation.

The broad aims of the unit are to combine materials and processes, craft and industry, in order to challenge existing narratives of form, surface and material, thereby extending the aesthetic and functional repertoire of these materials.