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Design Through Making

Andrew Scott

Andrew Scott is a London based creative Product Designer currently enrolled in the Product Design MA program at the Royal College of Art.

His practice centers around design through making and there is a focus on utilizing different craft processes to transform overlooked materials and giving them a new life through different objects.

London Design Festival, New Contracts, Fall 2021

London Design Biennale, Design in an Age of Crisis, 2021

Work in Progress Show, Royal College of Art, 2020

Venice Design, Venice Biennale, Provoke Unlearn Change, 2019

Kenyon College, BA Studio Arts and Classics 2011

RCA CHS Dissertation: Digging up the Future / awarded with distinction (2019)

Chip Shop Set:

A set of steel furniture made from discarded cooking oil barrels. I was drawn to investigating how I could transform this material from one which is easily malleable into something structural and functional, thus giving it value again.

By Light and Night and the Half Light:

A continuation of the previous project, I focused on the lamp and the mechanisms involved to allow it to move through space and balance in place. Made from materials in my surroundings such as the cooking oil barrels and other scrap metal but also downed branches from the park and plastic containers from the local market. Instead of relying on global supply chains and dimensional materials which have been shipped around the world, I created this body of work out of the materials which I could find locally.

London Waste Orchestra

In line with the theme of resourcefulness and tapping into the material bounty around us, I created a group of wind, string and percussion instruments which were made from overlooked materials and objects I'd gathered from around the city. This project is a collaboration with composer Hangrui Zhang from the Royal College of Music who created musical compositions from the instruments which I designed and made. With this project I aimed not just to have playable instruments and concerts or performances, but also to point out how we may not only live more sustainably but also more joyfully and cohesively if we begin to question long held beliefs such as what we consider to be "trash." This material intelligence can help us to make better choices about how we live on the planet.

These pieces were made from discarded cooking oil drums collected from neighborhood chip shops and other scrap steel. I'd get the empty drums, clean them and cut them into strips which I could bend and weld together into volumes. I was drawn to how this normally weak material could be transformed into a sturdy, load bearing volume which can function as an element of a piece of furniture.

Questioning where I am sourcing my materials from is very important to me as a maker and with a keen and curious eye in my surroundings I am able to find and work with a material which is functional can be given a second, more long lasting life. Because there is a back and forth between it and myself, this making process utilizing found materials often yields more interesting results than if I were to have used the standardized, store bought alternative.


I continued with my investigation of this material but focusing on the lamp as an object. I was drawn to the potential of this object more than others to be able to move, become animated, and stretch and reach implausibly across a space. Carefully created but simple mechanisms are used in the lamps' construction which enable them to balance, cantilever, and be easily adjusted. Instead of relying on global supply chains and standardized, dimensional material I tapped into the material streams in my immediate surroundings to create these lamps. I gathered discarded cooking oil barrels and other scrap steel, branches from the park and various plastics from the local market.

Through different processes of making I am able to both transform the materials as well as work with their inherent properties and tendencies in a type of give and take. Instead of using hardware to keep the lamps in place I am taking advantage of forces like gravity and friction to allow the pieces to move freely when adjusted and to stay in position when they are set.

"An object can only be good for someone. Its "goodness" is not essential to it, but rather arises through the relationships that it brings into being. Thus the real test of an object's worth lies not in its efficiency, novelty, or even beauty (which in any case, is in the eye of the beholder), but whether it gives us a sense of our shared humanity." -

Glenn Adamson

A series of playable instruments from waste and overlooked materials and objects from my surroundings. In collaboration with composer Hangrui Zhang and other musicians from the Royal college of music where original compositions and movements are created and played using these instruments which I design and construct. I also ran workshops which showed how some of the instruments can be made using commonly found objects and materials.

With this project I am hoping to draw attention to what we consider to be trash and showing how we are surrounded everyday by an overlooked and material landscape that not only can be put to use again but can be used to bring about joy, wonder and a sense of togetherness.