The Maker Movement
The Foundation is committed to supporting the Maker Movement, through helping makers build collaborative networks, such as the Maker Assembly – www.makerassembly.org - a cross-UK series of gatherings that, from 2015 – 2017, is bringing together makers, academics and the public to encourage critical discussions about maker culture: its meaning, politics, history and future.
The first Maker Assembly was held in October 2015 at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and has been followed by events in Belfast, Sheffield and Manchester with more to come. These provide an opportunity to share the exciting developments in makerspaces around the country and the world and to consider some of the issues that are arising.
The November 2016 Assembly was held at MadLab in Manchester and addressed three distinct themes.
Learning from International Making Cultures was the first and we were lucky enough to secure presentations from Shenzhen, China; Paris, France and Cape Town, South Africa. This was followed by a presentation from Laura James of Field Ready showing how they are developing maker capabilities to help in areas needing humanitarian relief. People attending joined workshopping groups to contribute ideas to how this might be developed further.
The third session looked at The Role of Making in Wider Civic Infrastructure considering issues of scaling-up from small makerspace initiatives including the experience of the RCA project on Re-Distributed Manufacturing.
Many hopes rest on these centres of innovation and collaboration, some of which are a ferment of activity producing product ideas and bringing learning experiences to hundreds of people. Whether they will lead to large-scale manufacturing developments remains to be seen.
More can be seen on the website at makerassembly.org