Makers with a Mission Spring 2018

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.


M_Y_O_M

Stacie Woosley is creating her own Masters course.

What is your current mission?
I am trying to make my own Masters. I want to do an MA, but I’m unable to fund myself through a course. Therefore, I am going to make my own – creating a community-feel and entirely unique curriculum that evolves directly from the designers who’s work I love. I am taking this year to experiment on myself with the hope that I can grow the course and it’s network over the next year, enabling me to pass the course on to prospective M_Y_O_M_ learners. This could provide an entirely self motivated, self sourced and entirely unique approach to education that is most importantly accessible.

Why is this mission important now? 

Studying a Masters is so out of reach for a lot of people my age – especially after completing a BA course – yet an MA can open up the most amazing opportunities. I feel as a designer I found a problem and this is my had-hock mission to solve it. Also, I continue to meet people who share a similar view – that this kind of approach to education seems to not only be more and more necessary but also more relevant.

What inspires you?
I know the kind of work I would love to be doing, I just need to figure out how to get there. I have found myself in a situation where people are so generously offering their support to help me learn and achieve this, that my main motivation is putting that to good use and finding a way to repeat and repay it.

What is you aim during this residency?
I hope this residency will be my incubatory phase for this course to grow and really figure out what it is. Makeversity is the perfect space as it is like a University for professionals but with the rebel start up ambition that M_Y_O_M_ needs. I also really value having other makers and thinkers around me to learn from constantly. Makerversity feels like it already has a knowledge sharing community which is the entire reason I am doing this.

Website


Tina Gorjanc

What is your current mission?
I am researcher and designer interested in the ethical and cultural implications/questions that will be generated by implementing new technologies into our commercial market and everyday life. My focus is to generate critical debate around the problematics I am exposing and inform/empower the general public to become actors of change themselves.

Why is this mission important now?
As our current society is becoming mostly driven by the aspiration to constantly innovate it is starting to lack the ability to analyze the cultural understanding of what we are experiencing in the process of innovating. Old definition and stereotypes of original and fake, natural and synthetic, alive and dead are becoming obsolete as new discoveries in the field of biological technologies are being made.

What inspires you?
I am inspired by new technologies that are developed everyday around the globe and am curious about how will we as a society adapt to them as well as how will the market forces shape our behaviour towards them. I aim to produce work that summarizes a wide and challenging scientific research into a simplified design output that can reach and engage a wider audience.

Why do you make?

The reason I decided to persuade a design/makers career which is so closely linked to science and technology mainly derives from my passion for drawing and discovering the biological matter and organisms. I started to express my analysis of the current drivers in our society by putting the biological body in different contexts and by doing so I discovered different mediums that have the ability to change our perception of its materiality. Critical design was the branch of design that permitted me to develop concepts with which I attempt to reinvent speculative products and push the boundaries of our current mindset.

What are you hoping to achieve through this residency?

Having an allocated space within a communal area full of different creatives has already enabled me to connect with inspiring people. Furthermore, attending the Makerversity talks, workshops and events gives me the opportunity to learn from other makers which have already greatly benefited my growth as a designer. In the potentially upcoming residency, I would be looking into getting even more involved within all the activities, utilizing all the tools and business support guidance provided to showcase as much potential application of critical and speculative design within our society as a viable practice.

Website


Alex Bygrave

What is your current mission?
My current mission is to help transition living on the canal from one of the most polluting (per m2) to one of the most viable and sustainable modes of urban living.

Why is this mission important now?
I believe this is important now because our epoch is overshadowed by the impending impact of climate change. From the threat land lost to water through flooding and sea level rise to ecological disaster, there is a desperate urgency for us to lower our consumption rates of finite energy and resource.

What inspires you?
As designers we are in part responsible for the ecocide being committed as a result of consumerism, I am inspired by design that facilitates positive social and environmental change.

Why do you make?
I make to explore new ways of doing things, to create and inspire, and to try and have a positive impact.

What are you hoping to achieve through this residency?
Through the Makerversity residency I aim to explore how urban ‘water estate’ might become a space for affordable, viable and truly low impact urban living; both in response to the present-day lack of affordable housing and to a future of land lost to water (or sometimes water) through climate change.

Website


Jacob Boast

What is your current mission?

My mission is to create products that enable users new kinds of interactivity with making. Wable is about more than a single wire forming tool or process. Its about embracing ‘mess’ inherent in human beings as a way to develop innovative fabrication techniques, and deliver inspiring products with exciting and delightful experiences built-in.

Why do you make?
Thinking through making, prototyping and experimentation is an important part of the way I work as a designer and engineer. I love challenging and ambitious projects which are making-led, using original combinations of design and technology. For me making is a very human thing and I believe it can be incredibly positive. Not only does making produce physical results which we need as human beings, it is also a rewarding pursuit which I think everyone should have access to. Through my work with the Wable project, I hope to inspire others to question conventional thinking about the role of humans in today’s highly automated making processes.

What you are hoping to achieve through this residency?
My aim is to take the project to the next stage and this residency would give me the opportunity to develop it into something which could be beneficial to the wider maker community and society. This residency would help me personally in cultivating my voice within the making community. I am very keen to join the vibrant Makerversity community and would love to pursue collaborations with others at Makerversity.

Website


Ronan McDonald

Ronan is an A level physics teacher with twenty years of teaching experience. He came to teaching after several years working as an engineer. He currently teaches in two state schools and on a university foundation course.

What is your current mission?
I have designed a number of novel pieces of laboratory equipment which have been prototyped and tested by A level students in three schools during the last two years. The focus of my mission is to take my designs to the production stage.

Why is this mission important now?

Recent changes in the A level science curriculum require students to carry out a portfolio of ‘Core Practicals’ which is then assessed to give a ‘Practical Endorsement’ alongside their A level grade. Core practicals must be carried out by students, not just shown as demonstrations. Some had previously only been carried out as teacher demonstrations because the equipment is not robust, needs considerable interaction to achieve good results or multiple sets are not available because of cost. For a few of the core practicals, schools have no suitable equipment to carry them out fully and reliably. Hands on experiments are an important part of the learning process for school science students. Practicals that students must do as part of their coursework must work reliably, and give results that are credible.

Why do you make?

I make things. I have always looked at things and asked, “How does this work? How could I make it work better?” As a teacher, I want to give my students the best learning experience, the chance to use equipment that gives accurate results and to see how it works. I am teaching the next generation of engineers. I want to inspire them with good design. It is complicated to make something that looks simple, that can be used intuitively, that is robust and reliable. It looks simple because so much thought has gone into the design. For a design to evolve, prototypes must be made and tested repeatedly.

What are you hoping to achieve in this residency?
During my Makers with a Mission residency I will have the opportunity to use the fantastic workshop facilities of Makerversity to take my designs to the production stage. I will make short production runs of various apparatus, and get these into a lot more schools to try. I have lots more ideas to support physics teachers, but one thing at a time!


Isabel Fletcher 

Isabel Fletcher joins us from the Princes Trust Enterprise Scheme and is a proactive self starter. 

What is your current mission?
“Clothing is the most powerful way of inserting art into the fabric of everyday life”.  This phrase, which I read at a Giacomo Balla exhibition, resonates.  As a material sculptor, I create immersive clothing installations that bridge different craft forms, and encourage viewers to build a connection with the clothing they wear on their bodies. My pieces constantly refer back to their creation, emphasising the craftsmanship involved and heightening the wearer’s appreciation of this.

My mission is to curate immersive exhibitions and make functional works of art that cause people to see the importance of such objects in their life.  For example, these functional artworks may be a coat, a cushion or a teapot. I want people to value the craftsmanship and artistry involved in making these functional objects that should be viewed as works of art dotted through our day-to-day lives.

Why is this mission important now? 
My mission is important now to make a stand against fast fashion and mass manufacture.  We should no longer settle for convenience, as this is what caused the current environmental and ethical issues. Inserting art into daily life through the design of beautiful functional objects will also allow people to find small pockets of creativity and joy in a world where we are confronted by so much negativity in the news.

What inspires you? 
I am inspired by the challenge of making something of creative value, from something considered to be waste or an overlooked material.  This makes the design and making process harder, but these limitations force creativity and a different way of thinking. This different way of thinking is essential if we are to succeed in changing the way we live our lives.

Why do you make? 
I make because it is my mission to change people’s attitudes towards fast fashion and mass manufacture by valuing everyday objects as works of art. I make because I love the satisfaction of creating something unique and unexpectedly beautifully out of an obscure material or object.

What are you hoping to achieve through this residency? 
During my residency at the Makerversity, I hope to use the facilities to expand the breadth of my creative output for my third exhibition.  I also hope to develop a range of key products which encompass my ethos and will become signature designs. I also hope to collaborate with other likeminded creatives across different industries who are also actively making a difference to the world we live in.


Design Club

 What is your current mission?
Helping children and young people become design thinkers. We believe that the future needs people-centred designers to help make the world a better place. We want to nurture empathy, collaboration, and problem-solving skills in children and young people everywhere.

Why is this mission important now? 
The world is changing. The World Economic Forum published its Future of Work report in 2016, saying: “65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don’t yet exist.” It’s more important than ever to nurture empathy, collaboration, and problem-solving skills so that our children are ready for the future workforce.

What inspires you? 
The empathic and creative capacity of children. In our workshops, we’ve had kids prototype solutions to inclusion and world-peace, completely unprompted. Seeing kids make and test an idea within 2 hours is also inspiring. I tell them that it takes many organisations 2 months to make and test a prototype, often more.

Why do you make? 
To enable others to do more, to learn more, and ideally to make more themselves.

What are you hoping to achieve through this residency? 
Have space to work and think and make. Use the workshop and tools to prototype and develop new learning resources. Be part of a vibrant community of designers and makers, to share, learn, and grow.

Website


AIRWATCH

What is your current mission?
My mission is to make it possible to see and understand what is invisible to the human eye.  My first step is allowing visualisation of real-time indoor air quality. The AIRWATCH project allows us to understand environmental data as a consumer lifestyle.

Why is this mission important now? 
Indoor air quality has not been researched sufficiently, and we have limited access to understand this data and its impact. Now is the perfect time to create the interaction point so we can all understand and control our environment for our health and well-being.

What inspires you? 
Air is the most consumed resource we have, its like water, we cannot live without it. I’m obsessed with the idea of uncovering invisible information and creating engagement and changes in human behaviour.

Why do you make? 
I am an innovation design engineer. Throughout my career, from RCA/Imperial College in London to Samsung and beyond I have developed my unique skill set to inform human centric technology. My experience as a maker weaves together many critical trends that are emerging in technology and hardware, with an ever greater focus on design thinking.

What are you hoping to achieve through this residency? 
My mission is to launch AIRWATCH to the public and receive actionable insights from users.

Website


Juta Shoes

What is your current mission?
Juta’s mission is to create good shoes. We make train and employ women who face barriers to work to handcraft shoes from reclaimed leather, make DIY shoemaking kits, and run shoemaking workshops. We have three purposes: we support socially and financially excluded women in London by providing supported, flexible, well-paid creative work; we use reclaimed, recycled, and circular materials; and we empower people to make their own shoes without expensive equipment or toxic glues.

Why this mission is important now?
Women in London, especially those from minority backgrounds, are less likely than men to be in paid work, or if they are in work they are more likely to be low-paid. Globally, 80% of fashion workers are women between 18-35, the majority of whom live in poverty, and two-thirds of major UK brands think there’s a likelihood of slavery in their supply chains. A typical pair of sneakers is made of over 50 materials and requires hundred of processing steps, just 2% of the final price of the shoes goes to the person who made them, and less than 5% of post-consumer shoes are recycled. (Trust for London, Better Shoes Foundation, Fashion Revolution).

What inspires you?
I’m inspired by circular economies, modular construction, and post-human anthropology.

Why do you make?
We believe everyone should be valued for their skills and contributions, and that craft is powerful work that can connect and empower communities. We believe in fair fashion; that everyone should be able to know where their shoes come from, how they were made, and the footprint they create. We believe in making beautiful and useful things from reclaimed, sustainable, and regenerative materials, and being an active participant in the world.

What you are hoping to achieve through this residency?
We want to test and prototype a new sole that we can make in London that will allow us to create a more robust, modular, and circular shoe. I’m excited to learn more about the technologies and facilities, to get feedback, ideas and support from the Makerversity community, and share our ideas with the public. We also want to take part in the wider Makerversity events, including the learning programmes for young people, and to find out what other members are working on and share experiences.

Website


Benjamin Perrot

What is your current mission?

El Warcha is a collaborative design studio and Makerspace that I initiated over the last two years in the medina of Tunis. It aims to promote hands-on education and civic actions through the making of temporary urban furniture and art installations working with young people. I want to test how this project could be implemented in London. I am interested in collaborative approaches to art and design and in exploring how we can develop spaces that foster creativity and alternative forms of social interaction.

Why this mission is important now?

I think there is not enough room for experimentation and play in the city, especially at a time when we aspire for social and political change. It is often argued that the pubic realm should be a space of experimentation, but to experiment one needs to be able to make a mess. I see El Warcha as an opportunity for people to be messy in constructive ways.

What inspires you?

When I founded El Warcha in Tunis, it didn’t take long for it to be taken over by children. While adults could only dedicate limited amounts of time to El Warcha, the children were ready to play, always. Play is often the starting point and the end product of my work, and it is the state of being that inspires me most.

Why do you make?

I grew up in an educational system where manual work was often disregarded and devalued. Going on to study architecture opened up new streams of interest for me, especially to do with social and political issues, but it also left me feeling a bit unfulfilled, as we rarely produced anything physical.

Making is a creative process that allows for other forms of communication and social interactions involving direct physical outcomes. My hope is that important social changes could happen through collective making.

What you are hoping to achieve through this residency?

Makerversity is a great hub that brings together creative people, giving them the tools to develop ideas at the heart of the city.  It is a unique context to develop a project with similar aspirations.

Website

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

Want more news from Makerversity?

sign up to our mailing list and receive inspiring updates, hot off the press
(less updates than Windows 10)
SUBSCRIBE
Posted By Liza Mackenzie
Free WordPress Themes, Free Android Games