Meet the Makers with a Mission

By Liza Mackenzie

Makers with a Mission

Supporting makers has always been at the heart of what we do. Our Makers with a Mission residency gives early stage creatives and start up’s an opportunity to explore their practice on their own terms. Whether they need time to explore and test material processes, iterate designs or develop a business model. This residency is an opportunity to get started as a professional maker without committing to high overheads. 

Our focus is on Makers who are value driven and are looking to challenge society’s ideas and behaviours through the things they make. They might be exploring disruptive manufacturing processes, design for climate change or innovating within healthcare. All projects have an ethical, sustainable or social agenda at their core.


Chip[s] Board® LTD 

Chip[s] Board LTD are developing materials using waste from potatoes.


What is your current mission?

Chip[s] Board’s core objective is to find value where others see waste. Conceiving, developing, producing, and marketing environmentally friendly materials from industrial by-products that have a positive impact on our planet’s ecosystem.
We are committed to working with industry to reimagine traditional linear production models and find new use for waste products as viable alternatives to toxic, unsustainable materials currently in use. We believe in creating products that enable companies and individuals to achieve sustainability goals, without having to sacrifice on cost or performance.

What inspires you?

What inspires us is meeting likeminded creatives across multiple disciplines from chefs to farmers, product designers to entrepreneurs there is a growing community of people looking for a new less destructive way of living and consuming. Hearing the variety of ways people apply design thinking to problems they are facing inspires new projects or collaborations.

Why do you make? 

I make because my aim is to create significant beneficial change to the environment and society we are a part of, hoping to improve sustainability through design thinking and strategic intervention. If we can lead by example and show other makers there are alternatives to every day materials such as MDF we can inspire a new generation of makers to experiment and develop the materials of tomorrow.

What is you aim during this residency?

Our primary mission is to launch Chip[s] Board® as a materials, series of products and a collection of makers ready to show the rest of the world new ways of approaching products, interior and industrial design. Makerversity will help us expand our network of designers and provide the base operations for product and material development throughout our residency. I also hope to run a few side projects focusing on other social and environmental issues, such as a cycle safety system for city riding.

Website


Petit Pli

Petit Pli creates clothing that grows with your child.

What is your current mission?

My mission is to push against the vast amounts of waste and unethical practices resulting from fast fashion by making garments that push the ability of humanity through their second skin, whilst retaining ethical considerations and reducing the negative impacts of the fashion industry.
I’m designing childrenswear from the ground up, not miniaturised adult clothes; which is why I’m crafting technical garments for children and their parents by combining technology & fashion. I see children as extreme athletes and Petit Pli encourages them to explore whatever the weather. Petit Pli aims to work at a psychological level too, instilling slow-fashion values in growing children and new parents who are both at a new stage of life where they are open to alternative ways of thinking.

Why is this mission important now?
The industry is moving towards cost cutting and a disposable model where consumers are essentially streaming fashion. This has resulted in severe competition around cost & turnaround time, and this is leading to unethical practices and hindering innovation in an industry that all of us are a part of. There is ample innovation occurring in so many industries, but that is not being reflected in what we wear – for instance, our clothes are still handmade in the same archaic methods.

What inspires you?
Two things: people and problems.

Why do you make?
There’s nothing better than translating an idea in your mind into a tangible creation – it’s like solving an equation, but the answer is manifested in a sensorial experience. Making is an intimate process which requires time, thought and skill; each making experience teaches you the true value embodied in a product. I believe making can come in any form, from making a conversation to making dinner to making an aeroplane fly. Making is creating value from nothing.

What you are hoping to achieve through this residency?
People inspire me more than anything. The community at Makerversity is like a distilled concentration of engaging designers and problem solvers – it’s really exciting to be joining that community.

Website // Instagram


Sabina Weiss

Sabina Weiss has developed hardware that scans drawings and turns them into vector files, lowering the barrier to digital embroidery.

What is your current mission?

My mission is to use robots to evolve craftsmen! My work encompasses the dynamic interplay of craft and technology, hybridising the disciplines to create interactive experiences that challenge the established standards.

Why is this mission important now?

We use automation to advance the craft discipline. It also means human redundancies and discontinuity of manual skills transfer. We now work hand in hand with the collaborative robots, but who really is the master? – are we to keep up to the pace of the machine or to dictate it? This is the question i’m interested in answering.
The advancements in technology offer a new opportunity as long as we learn how to use it to our advantage. This new environment in which robots are becoming part of our lives, rather than the intimidating should be seen as an opportunity for the exponential growth in manual skills acquisition. The conductive learning environment for evolving traditional discipline, for humankind to surpass itself.

What are you hoping to achieve in this residency? 
My aim is to collaborate with the other makers here, I’m interested in how they can evolve and experiment with the possibilities of my Re-Master machines to create new opportunities. I’ve already run a number of workshops here and I  hope to continue to engage with other makers and members of the public.

Website // Instagram // Twitter


Vie

Vie is developing a health tracking scanner that monitors your health and identifies early stage issues.

What is your current mission?

Vie empowers people to prevent 80% of the most common chronic diseases by leveraging technology to make health monitoring seamless.

Why is this mission important now?

In 2020 around 40% of the population will have at least one chronic disease and that number will keep growing. The reason is we are struggling to educate doctors as fast as the population is growing, so doctors have more patients, less time to see them, and less headspace to keep track of the early signs and trends of chronic illness.

What inspires you? 
Anyone defying the status quo to build something with a positive impact in this world is what inspires me. This venture is also personal for my co-founder and I; From cancer to genetic diseases we have experienced first hand the lack of support for people who want to take control and prevent serious diseases that ultimately reduce life expectancy and wellness.

Why do you make?
I’ve always been a maker, since I was 8 years old I was dismantling toys to make better stuff, like things I saw in movies! Seeing and using an object that I have created brings me a lot of satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment especially if I’m learning something new. That’s probably why, crafting, baking, cooking and playing music are all things that make me happy.

What are you hoping to achieve through this residency? 
By the end of this residency I hope to transform our cardboard prototype into a viable product that can be tested with our customers and be ready for manufacturing.

Website // Twitter


Imogen Piper

Imogen Piper has created an automated musical instrument that encodes air strikes in Syria and outputs them as drum beats.


What is your current mission?

I have recently been investigating ways of preserving politically sensitive information within analogue cultural forms, as a new form of political activism. As more information is solely stored digitally and governments fabricate increasingly stringent censorship strategies, politically sensitive information can find itself susceptible erasure if not inline with government narrative. In my collection of work ‘Encoded Revolt’ I developed a system of encoding air strike data within music notation, subsequently outputting this in an installation and various performances held at The Imperial War Museum.

What do you hope to achieve through this residency? 

During this residency I intend to continue to progress the project ‘Encoded Revolt’, whilst also experimenting further with the sculptural form as a means to convey quite intangible concepts and connections in more tangible mediums.

Website // Instagram


Happenstance Workshop

Happenstance workshop create plastic recycling machines and use them to create sustainable circular products from second hand plastic waste.

What is your current mission?

Our Current Studio mission is Stew. What is Stew? An adventure into cradle-to- cradle manufacture created by Happenstance Workshop in London. We take two forms of materials into the workshop for our grounding of the products, used plastic, which is a technical material, and wood, an organic material. Products are created with our own machines, designed for this specific project, we have freedom within our own playground to create and build. Our only proviso is that the product created allows those two types of materials to be separated without contamination at the end of their life span. Once the products are done with, they can be returned to us, for reconditioning or for reprocessing. Wooden parts are biodegradable, plastic parts are reground and melted into more products. This is a system that can have gross benefits to the way we consume; it means we don’t have to feel guilt for buying as long as we buy responsibly.

Why is this mission important now? 

We only need to look to our environment to understand how important it is to adopt a Cradle-to- Cradle model. Most Manufacturing adopts a cradle to grave approach; we must set an example of how a Cradle-to- Cradle business model can be sustainable and effective both environmentally and economically.

What inspires you?

Cradle-to- cradle is a concept developed by Prof. Dr. Michael Braungart and William McDonough. The concept is the foundation of the way we see future manufacture, where everything created has a full life cycled designed before it is produced. The death is as much as important as the life of a product; this conscious thinking has lead to the creation of Stew our series of home items that apply theses systems in a small-batch, craft environment.

What do you hope to achieve through this residency? 

Our current aim is to Develop STEW through new machines, new products, and new relationships.

Website // Instagram // Twitter


Yun-Pei Hsiung

Yun-Pei Hsiung has created a lo-fi smart megaphone that connects to your phone and broadcast messages in various locations at the same time.

What is your current mission?

My interest started by looking and researching how design can be part of bringing people closer in politics and to build a community.  Social media seems to be a key component of all in our age. A tool to share, link and participate. My mission is to create an eye catching physical object which can be used in making your voice heard (In my case, it is the Megaphone) and linked with an application which enriches the experience in this social media age. 

Why is this mission important now? 

To be honest, at beginning i was not sure if I want to do another cell phone related internet of things project, it seems too obvious. However, the more i worked on this piece, the more i know that this little smart device is really part of our everyday life, and it works.  Therefore  I came up with this concept of One-Megaphone. It is still in a very early stage of process in terms of building a proper APP, but yes it used a bluetooth speaker which linked to each one’s cell phone, and the cellphone connects to the internet. Therefore a network of speakers with no distance limitation is created. Therefore the idea of global protest become possible.

The idea of a global protest is to link protests in different locations. For instance, the protest i created in May in front of Chinese Embassy in London is about protesting for the right of Taiwan to join WHA. therefore, in a scenarios like this, It would be great to link our One-Megaphone to events in Taipei and in Geneva where the WHA take place. Same function can apply on Woman’s march or other kind of campaign which involve multiple locations.

I believe, to be a designer to design engaging products for facilitating event such as a protest or public demonstration, on the surface, it may seem like a practice for a greater division. but in the core, it is not. It is about building a platform to call for an unity by open up and share information from all ends. i think designers should get more involved in this kind of social sculpture practice.

Website // Instagram


Sanne Visser 

Sanne Visser creates ropes and yarns out of human hair waste.

What is your current mission?

Human hair is a huge waste problem in London. As the human population continues to rise, so will the amount of human hair waste that piles up in landfills.  Instead of leaving hair in the environment to slowly decay, I believes it can be harnessed as a renewable resource and made into useful new materials. I have created a system whereby yarn and ropes are developed thats derived from human hair waste. I then turn this into useful products by using ancient craft techniques such as spinning and rope making. My mission at Makerversity is to design and create machines that simulate the making process of this human hair yarn and rope. I believe its important to use this combination of innovative design and old craft skills, while working with an extremely renewable resource that has the potential to ‘grow’ on a bigger scale.”

What do you hope to achieve through this residency? 

Makerversity is for me a perfect location to push these ideas, but also share thoughts with other makers. I hope through this residency I will be able to develop the project further, share and gain feedback from other creatives and potentially show several outcomes during events hosted by MV.

Website // Instagram

 


 

Want to find out more about Makers with a Mission residency? See here for details on how to apply.

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Posted By Liza Mackenzie
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