Clowning for engineers


Helping engineers rediscover a sense of play in their work and interactions with design teams.

Delivered online 7pm – 9pm 1st June 2020.



Engineering is often thought of as being super rational. Playfulness goes against everything we have been taught in our engineering education and in the behaviour that is expected of us. But to quote clowning expert John Wright,
‘To have fun with something invites invention and gives us even more licence to do what we want. The sensation of playing is empowering and liberating.’

In this experimental new workshop, Oliver will be teaming up with director, performer and clowning practitioner Robyn Hambrook to find ways to help engineers rediscover a sense of play in their work. Over the course of two hours we will get into things like:

  • creative contact with ourselves and others
  • playfulness as a state of creative flow
  • finding problems and embracing mistakes

Our aim is that by the end of this workshop you will feel empowered to bring more play into your thinking to hep unlock the creative potential of you and your colleagues.

About the trainers

Robyn Hambrook

Robyn is a New Zealand performance artist, director, teacher and producer based in the UK. With over fifteen years’ experience, her passion lies in physical theatre, circus and street arts. Participation has formed the centre for her work, whether by involving community & artists in the creative process or creating work that asks the audience to become involved. Robyn enjoys the power of the arts to inspire and for people to be active participants in theatre, empowering them to realise their own creative potential.

Robyn’s portfolio of work has taken place across the globe, from New Zealand and Australia to the UK and Europe, from Central and South America to the islands of the Pacific.

Oliver Broadbent Oliver is an expert facilitator and trainer in design thinking for the built environment. With a background in civil engineering and teaching, he specialises in designing high-impact training that has a lasting effect on the learner.

He is Founder and Director of engineering training consultancy Constructivist. There he leads the development of Constructivist’s programme of design training for design consultancies. He also works with universities including Cambridge, Bath and Imperial to develop innovative approaches to curriculum design and delivery. For eight years Oliver was Director of Think Up, the education arm of the Useful Simple Trust.

Oliver has co-authored a series of good practice teaching guides for the Royal Academy of Engineering on experience-led learning, e-learning for engineers, effective industrial engagement in engineering education and how to teach sustainability.

He is a Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor at Imperial College, London.