Makers with a Mission Autumn 2019

By Esther Ellard

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 startups 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.

Read more about our latest cohort here…


Shelley James

– What is your current mission?

I am a glass artist fascinated by optical illusions. I am also a trained electrician and lighting designer.
My mission is to grow my fledgling research-led service for creative professionals that offers innovative solutions and practical support from concept to production and testing. I am also determined to reduce the pointless waste generated by single-use lighting and electrical components.

– Why is this mission important now?

Our understanding of the vital role that light plays in our physical and emotional well-being is growing every day. We are also in the middle of an incredible revolution in our ability to generate and control light, with an almost overwhelming flood of new products and ideas – many of which promise to reduce our impact on the environment. At the moment, many creatives have to rely on chatting to friends, trawling through the internet and buying one-off samples from ebay, wasting time and money. I take some of the legwork, guess work and environmental impact out of this process, researching trends, products and regulations so that clients can experiment with new ideas before buying kit-and be confident that their work is safe. I am also setting up an online network to encourage reuse and recycling.

– What inspires you?

I am inspired by the power of light to transform the way we see and feel.
I am inspired by the people I meet to try new ways of thinking and working to make the changes that I want to see.

– What are you hoping to achieve through this residency?

This residency will make it possible for me to support existing clients, build new relationships and continue to develop my creative practice through access to equipment, facilities and space. I am excited to be able to offer a forum for suppliers to demonstrate the latest products and to develop new ways of working in conversation with scientists and creative audiences.
The chance to be part of such a great community of innovative makers will spark new ideas and collaborations that I have not even dreamt of yet.

 

Read more about Shelley here

 


Studio Lara

– What is your current mission?

Studio Lära is the start of a movement; to design friendly materials that can teach any child key future skills. (Lära is Swedish for Learn.) Our first product, Larvi, focuses on encouraging critical thinking and creativity. Larvi is specifically designed to grow with the child, in order to teach children and young people from 3-18 years. Larvi is for any child. It is an educational product that doesn’t discriminate or choose who to teach, by being friendly and approachable in its design, its material, and in its functionality.

– Why is this mission important now?

Many current educational products are very focused on teaching practical skills, while they miss teaching creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration. Studio Lära aims to prepare today’s children to be able to succeed and contribute in a future society, where innovative problem solving will help develop the leaders of tomorrow.

– What inspires you?

Niki’s work as an educator inspires her to design better products that will motivate all children to learn about tech. Seeing the lack of inclusive educational products today also encourages her to create something that will make a difference for future generations’ designers and makers. Our products motivate children with different interests, children who may have been told they cannot learn about technology because of preconceived notions or outdated stereotyping.

– What are you hoping to achieve through this residency?

For the next 6 months as a Maker with a Mission, we are hoping to develop a more diverse perspective from knowledge sharing with other creatives and entrepreneurs at Makerversity. The opportunity to scale up our production with use of world-class and industry leading tools will be important for the initial early stages of Studio Lära’s growth. At the end of the residency, we hope to have a solid production method set up, to have expanded our network by engaging with interesting and encouraging people across all fields.

 

Read more about Studio Lara here

 


The Shellworks

– What is your current mission?
The Shellworks creates sustainable plastic alternatives from food waste. Our aim is to bring these plastic alternatives to market, and so we’ve invented a series of scalable manufacturing processes tailored to the material. Unlike many bioplastics, our materials are compostable at home, as well as being antifungal and antibacterial. This makes them attractive to the packaging industry, which is where we think we’ll have the most impact.

– Why is this mission important now?
Global awareness of the plastic problem is higher than ever, but we still have a long way to go. We urgently need to find sustainable alternatives; single-use plastic bans are fast approaching, and we need industrial scale processes to meet the coming demand.

– What inspires you?
We’re all makers at heart, and are inspired by all kinds of art, design and engineering. We make sure to surround ourselves with other enthusiastic inventors, and we’re constantly inspired and challenged by the growing community of materials focused biotech developers.

– What you are hoping to achieve through this residency?
The residency will help us to develop our machines, materials and processes as we begin to scale up as a business. We’re looking to learn as much as possible from our peers at different stages of growth – both at Makerversity and Somerset House.

 

Read more about The Shellworks here

 


Ursa

– What is your current mission?

Ursa Robotics is building self-driving vehicles for collecting waste. Since we believe that dirty work must not be done manually, our mission is to make the process of waste collection entirely automated.

– Why is this mission important now?

Today the progress in self-driving car industry reached the level that is not yet enough to launch self-driving taxis or trucks, but is already enough to provide the driverless waste-management solution. According to the London Environment Strategy presented by Mayor Sadiq Khan in 2017, pollution is one of the main challenges for today’s London, and we believe that our project can help to solve this problem.

– What inspires you?

We are inspired by the greatest entrepreneurs and innovators of the present and the past who were not afraid to be the first ones to bring the changes in their industry. It always takes a lot of courage to be the pioneer, but it is the pioneers who push the progress forward. Our greatest inspiration is the image of a cleaner, healthier London, the true home of innovation.

– What are you hoping to achieve through this residency?

Residency at Makerversity will allow us to finish building the prototype of the self-driving vehicle, in order to start testing it under real-life conditions, and to present it at the country’s largest waste management exhibition. We also hope to learn from other makers’ experience as well as share our knowledge.

 

Read more about Ursa here

 


Jordan Draper

– What is your current mission?

I am confronting consumer culture and high end design together at once through a critical lens.
My mission is to create a new process that will take local paper waste, turn it into a pulp, and create a beautiful end product (in this case a game exploring paper).
If I am successful this will be a launching point for others to develop similar ideas through local sourcing/manufacturing.

– Why is this mission important now?

We are at a critical stage in global development and scaling.
I find that our relationships with the objects we purchase and cherish are diminishing.
The potential beauty that can be found in elegant material reuse is a positive step for consumer culture.

– What inspires you?

Mass. Everything in the world that has a potential to simplify our lives, or bring joy and beauty.

– What are you hoping to achieve through this residency?

I hope to create a new local manufacturing process, machinery, and end product that is crafted through community engagement.

 

Read more about Jordan and his projects here

 


Cassie Quinn

– What is your current mission?

Currently, we are developing a bio-material deriving from seaweed for use in the textile industry. Seaweed is a material that is readily available and can be extracted from its environment easily. We are also building a 3D printer pen for use with the bio-material. Our business involves the research and development of biomaterials as well as creating products from the materials we develop.

– Why is this mission important now?

The fashion industry is the second-largest polluter in the world and we are seeing the impacts our waste is causing. It is key we start changing the systems of production we have in place to become more circular with how we design.

– What inspires you?

I am inspired by the possibilities of change. There is so much innovation occurring in every industry and I feel hopeful we can make impactful changes.

– What are you hoping to achieve through this residency?

During this residency, I hope to push the research that we have been conducting to create a line of environmentally conscious products. Also taking advantage of possibilities of collaboration with the other businesses at Makerversity.

 

Find out more about Cassie here

 


 

See all of our members here

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Posted By Esther Ellard