What do you do at Makerversity?
I work across Learning and Special Projects, so broadly my work involves anyone who comes through the space who’s under twenty–five, or anyone who wants to work with our community or members.
In a fuller sense, it’s opening up a door to what goes on here. Mostly this means I’m either producing one–off collaborations and projects, or designing and producing learning workshops with our community. This means I get to work with all kinds of people and show them materials or projects or ways of working – ones they’d never normally get to see but that hopefully inspire them.
But it’s hybrid, the whole team does so much here and happily for me, the whole place is quite fluid. I think if a job was deeply repetitive then I could zen out to it but mostly I like things to be fast if not instant – I’m very all or nothing. So project to project it flows between some laptop things, physical making, curating, facilitating, writing, lots of conversations …
I also manage the Under 25s programme, which I love.
What are you most looking forward to in 2019?
Who are your heroes?
Not hero heroes but I like Agnes Martin. Her work is beautiful, meditative, mystical, ritualistic. And she disappeared from New York in the 60s to live a mostly hermetic existence in the desert – and that’s essentially the escape plan once we’re done with London. Also Georgia O’Keeffe with the desert thing. And Jane Goodall – I love her. Any kind of escapism.
What do you do outside of work?
Developing a strong yoga practice at the moment – I wanna get handstands. Also, horoscopes.
Tell us about a member project that particularly excites you?
Had so much fun working with Harry Grundy recently. Coming from a more arts background, I like the way he thinks and approaches things. When we asked him to give a fifteen minute talk to some graphics students, he hired two professional actors to play him and present his work, and to talk, as him, about the duality of ideas in his work. And I like his zen golf–bunkers.
What would your one piece of advice for a young person who doesn’t have a clear direction be?
Always keep yourself moving forward in some way, even if that is something really small. Don’t get sucked into your own head. Do things you like to do and try things – you might find out you really like doing them, and do something small every day. Create momentum because it always builds.
How do you find the inspiration for learning programme content?
Mostly from members or patterns of things happening in our workshop spaces. Last autumn, we had Something + Son casting braids and profile reliefs of residents in Jesmonite for the launch of the new Peckham Palms site, Sensible Object casting hundreds of little polar bears for early backers of their Beasts of Balance game, and Out Of Order Design were in Ethiopia building workshops and teaching women with HIV to make candle moulds for recycling waste beeswax (a by-product of local honey wine) into a sustainable income. So we ran a week–long course in December on mould–making and casting.
Finding inspiration here is so straightforward – member projects are always super compelling. The harder part is forming ways to engage with them and make them accessible for someone who’s never thought about design at all, ever.
What excites you about Makerversity?
There aren’t very many spaces where you can work with so much freedom and push your ideas forward. That’s true for members but I meant more for the team. There’s real momentum at the moment and that’s super exciting. And then members are always working on such cool interesting projects so it’s busy. Also walking through the courtyard arch in the morning – the light is always different but especially in the winter, is beautiful. That’s not that exciting but I love it.