Page 1

THE JOURNEY OF THE MAKER LIBRARY NETWORK

JOINED

MAKER LIBRARY

OCT 2013

MAKERVERSITY, UK

FEB 2014

I AM U, SA

FEB 2014

THINGKING, SA

FEB 2014

FARM:SHOP, UK

FEB 2014

GRAS, UK

JUL 2014

MACHINES ROOM, UK

AUG 2014

MUSEUM OF AFRICAN DESIGN, SA

JAN 2015

THE MAKERSPACE, SA

JAN 2015

WORKSPACE, SA

FEB 2015

LONDON COLLEGE OF FASHION, UK

FEB 2015

MAKLAB, UK

JUN 2015

ELEGANT EMBELISHMENTS, DE

SEP 2015

UNIVERSITY OF HUDDERSFIELD, UK

OCT 2015

ATÖLYE İSTANBUL, TR

OCT 2015

LABORATORIO PARA LA CIUDAD, MX

FEB 2016

GEEKULCHA, SA

Perspectives on Making


Introduction: Anna Bates 2 Forewords: Sarah Mann 4, Daniel Charny 5

READ A Kind of Paradise: Edwin Heathcote 6 Maker Library Bibliography 12

MAKE Translating Making: Stephen Knott 16 Thinking Through Making 24

SHARE Networking the Network: Andrew Sleigh 28, Tomas Diez 30, Massimo Menichinelli 32 Maker Library Case Studies 34 Maker Library Directory 42 Credits 46


Perspectives on Making The Journey of the Maker Library Network


LABOR LA CIU MEXIC MUSEUM OF AFRICAN DESIGN JOHANNESBURG, SA

THINGKING CAPE TOWN, SA

LONDON COLLEGE OF FASHION LONDON, UK STRANGER LAGOS, NG

FARM: SHOP LONDON, UK

MAKERVERSITY LONDON, UK

WORKSPACE CAPE TOWN SA

I AM U AT 75 HARRINGTON CAPE TOWN, SA


RATORIO PARA UDAD CO CITY, MX

MAKLAB GLASGOW, UK

EAST LONDON PRINTMAKERS LONDON, UK

IZONE KYIV, UA GEEKULCHA PRETORIA, SA

GRAS EDINBURGH, UK MACHINES ROOM AT LIMEWHARF LONDON, UK

THE MAKER SPACE DURBAN SA

HOUSE 33 ABUJA, NG

HUDDERSFIELD UNIVERSITY HUDDERSFIELD, UK ELEGANT EMBELLISHMENTS BERLIN, DE ATÖLYE ISTANBUL ISTANBUL, TR


Introduction

BY ANNA BATES

MAKESPACE

LIBRARY

GALLERY

The Maker Library Network was launched in February 2014 to connect designers and makers in South Africa and the UK, facilitate knowledge and skills exchange amongst professionals, and encourage public engagement with making. It now encompasses 20 Maker Libraries – and has expanded to Turkey, Mexico, Nigeria, Germany and Ukraine. Developed by Daniel Charny and his consultancy From Now On in collaboration with the British Council, each Maker Library combines three elements: a makespace, a library and a gallery. The Maker Library Network offers participants support through means of a toolkit – every Maker Library received a core set of reference books and a kit of parts to make their own library – as well as opportunities for mentoring, travel, exposure and collaborations. Each library is led by a maker librarian who fosters learning through making and creative, social thinking, running a programme of activities and workshops in their space. The librarian is free to adapt the Maker Library Network principles to their local environment and objectives. Some focus on building a community, others set out to increase employability, provide local makers with the latest tools, or foster specialist knowledge. They each engage with different forms of making – be it traditional craft processes or digital technology. The Maker Library Network initiative can be seen as part of the wider maker movement. Just a decade ago, nations such as Germany and the UK had fewer than a handful of what we’ve come to call makerspaces: open workshops – including fab labs, hackerspaces or community workshops – with different tools and equipment, where people can go independently to make something. Today there are around 3,000 makerspaces globally, recognised as sites of innovation. Many of the people investing in makerspaces see them as leading the transition to more sustainable forms of production and consumption, and there are politicians, journalists and educators who believe they could contribute to economic recovery – as the British former chancellor George Osborne implied when, in his 2011 budget speech, he set out his aspirations for a Britain “carried aloft by the march of the makers”. The activity that happens inside makerspaces, however, varies significantly. The purpose of the Maker Library Network is to position making as a cultural activity. The network connects makers with a

INTRODUCTION


similar ethos through books, exchanges, residencies, exhibitions, events and a shared online forum. It provides a framework through which to view and understand the activities that take place inside. Within the network, there are Maker Libraries situated within existing makerspaces; there are Maker Libraries attached to a studio – so that the studio becomes a makerspace – and there are mobile Maker Libraries. Maker Libraries have also popped up at institutions such as the Vitra Design Museum in Germany, and at design festivals in London, Łódz and Johannesburg. Collectively, over the course of the network’s three years, Maker Libraries have contributed hundreds of events, exhibitions and workshops. This year the Maker Library Network enters a new phase. In March 2017 the British Council steps back from its management of the Maker Library Network. At a Think-ahead-tank in Edinburgh, members will have the opportunity to discuss what alternative model the network might grow into, without its founding partner. Should the Maker Library Network continue? If so, why, and indeed how? This publication, Perspectives on Making, is put together to reflect on the journey so far, and situate the initiative in the wider maker movement. Divided into three chapters, Read, Make and Share – the core elements of the Maker Library Network – it looks critically at the activities that took place, celebrating what worked, and noting what didn’t, offering future librarians a toolkit of sorts to assist in growing the next iteration.

02 | 03


Forewords

A COMMON LANGUAGE BY SARAH MANN, DIRECTOR OF ARCHITECTURE, DESIGN AND FASHION, BRITISH COUNCIL

The origins of the Maker Library Network lie in Connect ZA, a season of creative exchanges set up by the British Council connecting young urban creatives from the UK and South Africa. With Cape Town taking on its tenure as World Design Capital in 2014, we wanted to explore the relationship between making in both countries and commission a programme that created lasting collaborations beyond a showcase of British design. We were particularly inspired by a project called Fixperts – which asked designers to help the public with everyday problems and challenges – and the ‘Power of Making’ exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum with the Crafts Council, both organised by Daniel Charny. The exhibition celebrated making in all its forms, with everything from prosthetics to Ghanaian coffins. Both projects put forward the idea that making reinforces creative, cultural, social and educational values and skills. We asked Daniel and a group of makers, teachers and architects to travel to South Africa with us. The Maker Library Network idea put forward by Daniel’s consultancy, From Now On, used the principles of open source design to create a toolkit for a space that could be created anywhere, from a studio to a museum – an exciting prospect for the British Council. Openness and willingness to share were the most important qualities we looked for in a maker librarian. The programmes would be driven and defined by the network, supported by us. Once we’d set up Maker Libraries in South Africa, with librarians who shared our ethos, there was demand from our international network, which meant the initial cohort were joined by a number of other countries. The value of building this network of like-minded people and spaces is in the lasting relationships and ideas that have flowed between them. Our work with makers of all kinds is vital. Makerspaces have become places where innovation and collaboration are happening at an incredible pace. Digital fabrication tools mean sharing ideas and designs across boundaries is easier than ever, but most importantly, making encourages exploration, experimentation and making mistakes together, developing a common language we can use to understand each other. We hope the maker librarians will continue to build on this language, continuing to bring new makers into the conversation and expand the network further.

FOREWORDS


IRL (INFLUENCES, REFERENCES AND LONGEVITY) DANIEL CHARNY, CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF FROM NOW ON AND THE MAKER LIBRARY NETWORK

A design studio can be a magical and powerful place. When teaching design I’ve always tried to promote a kind of studio mood, which encourages peer learning between students and invites external stimulus to raise ambition. My experience is that with the right studio culture things happen and good work will follow. That thought became the seed for the Maker Library Network. The initial British Council brief was to connect between young creatives in South Africa and the UK. Exploratory research revealed opportunities and real need. The scope of reference and influences on young practitioners are becoming similar, and the historical and geographic scope of work called on for inspiration seems to be narrowing. Many of these dynamic, energetic and talented young people are geographically remote and critically under challenged. What if, in this digital era, we could enable conversations and stimulate ambition as if they were bouncing off each other in the same space? Coupling Stewart Brand’s American counterculture magazine the Whole Earth Catalog – which championed a “do it yourself” attitude – with homemade Minecraft tutorials as inspiration, and learning from the decentralised FabLab model, the Maker Library Network proposition was a skeleton, a framework for access and exchange: a set of instructions to collect, display and share books; and an invitation to open mini galleries and connect through digital platforms. Animating this skeleton would rely on disparate people seeing its value, and we hoped that it could go beyond a straightforward exchange of skills to raise a level of critical debate. It could create a studio culture without borders. The Maker Library Network is not open and not big, and never aimed to be – it’s a small network established by the British Council. But it has grown beyond its initial intent and fulfils needs other networks have also identified. At this point, as it opens, grows or merges into other networks, it faces the challenge of breaking away from its founding partner. But networks, like families, sometimes evolve in unexpected ways as life moves on and kids grow up. This publication is intended as a kind of family hand-me-down, with stories and recipes for the next generation to pick up and make their own.

04 | 05


READ:

A Kind of Paradise

Architecture and design critic Edwin Heathcote – editor in chief of Reading Design, an archive of critical writing about design – assesses the role of the library as a physical and cultural framing device both within the Maker Library Network and as part of the wider public arena. “I have always imagined,” wrote Argentinian writer, Jorge Luis Borges, “that paradise will be a kind of library.” A kind of library. It sounds a civilised place, because that’s what libraries are. They set the tone of knowledge and respect, and openness to learning – the shelves of books acting as the building materials to contain and define a room in which culture is valued. The idea of a Maker Library isn’t one that makes instant intuitive sense. We still think of making as something that happens in the functional setting of the workshop, framed by the tools on the walls, by machines and a floor subtly dusted with the residues of the process – sawdust, metal filings, shavings and perhaps the occasional stain of oil, ink or tea. It’s exactly this rather simplistic, rather anachronistic image that this project was trying to address. The makerspace or fab lab might be a familiar concept to what is now called the metropolitan elite, but it is still a very new typology. Unlike the workshop, the studio or the library, we have no real picture, no archetype of how the makerspace should look, at least beyond the ubiquitous machines that are themselves often so oddly blank – boxes containing technology we can barely comprehend. If this new space is to be characterised by that odd combination of tech and fab, by the unseen machinery of microchips, the internet and servers, the mysterious contents of big boxes and laptops, how might a space emerge that would give a cultural as well as a practical framework? How can it be integrated into the wider world rather than enclosed as a privileged space for a privileged few?

BRITISH COUNCIL LIBRARY Singapore

That was the fundamental concern of Daniel Charny, the initiator of the British Council’s Maker Library Network. Books do furnish a room, as Anthony Powell titled one of his novels, but they also create a context – the intellectual framework that is so often lacking from a world in which technology can be seen as an end rather than the means. In choosing to employ the term library, and in using the device of a collection of texts to be at the conception of each of these new spaces, Charny achieved an intellectual and cultural framing of the project and also created a thread that could unite the (inevitably) disparate international network of Maker Library makerspaces. Introducing the idea of the library also refers obliquely to arguably the most successful

READ: A KIND OF PARADISE


element of the British Council itself – its truly global network of centres that revolve around a library. Although in the internet age the importance of these spaces might have waned, the British Council’s network of libraries was once a critical web that used books in a very particular manner – a combination of soft power, self-education and a pure love of language. If books were to be used to frame the space and the potential inherent in these new Maker Libraries, then they themselves would demand some kind of physical frame. This was provided by designer Alon Meron. The result was an intriguing piece of furniture that manages to simultaneously embody the idea of a library, an exhibition, a shop window, an introduction and a device that frames both the space and the ambitions of the project. This was an open source design that could be freely downloaded and that was flexible enough and modular in nature so that it could be tailored to fit almost any space. Meron’s design is a hybrid and it certainly isn’t a conventional bookshelf. It’s precisely in this ambiguity that its real characteristics – and the essence of the idea – appear. In London’s Machines Room, for instance, the unit appears beside a shelf that is set into the depth of the wall – suggesting that the texts are embedded in the very structure of the building. With less responsibility to accommodate all the books, Meron’s piece of flexible furniture allows the librarian or the space’s inhabitants to set out their current preoccupations. Books are selected to display a particular view or a critical point. Some focus on fashion, some on philosophy, others on sustainable urbanism, for example. They are juxtaposed with the products emerging from the makerspace and the working models and ideas of the designers using the machines. The key texts are displayed alongside the products so that writing and reading become the foundations for making. When the Maker Library appeared in Cape Town, South Africa, as part of the launch of the city’s status as World Design Capital 2014, the units appeared as a fully fledged system, rolled out to create a framework with which to understand the project – a series of units extensive enough to create and define their own architectural space. They are hinged vertically so can also be folded at any angle to tailor the space and the flow around them. Alongside shelves there are boxes, frames and sloping surfaces so that books, magazines, drawings or almost anything else can be displayed. In this way the units

06 | 07

MAKER LIBRARY SHOWCASE South Africa


WORKSPACE MAKER LIBRARY South Africa


become both exhibition and shop window, a cocktail of the cultural and the commercial and a way of legibly communicating the purpose and the output of the makerspace. In all these settings the juxtaposition of the texts and the physical evidence of the stages of the process places the products in the world of words – and in a global culture of thinking about making. This is fundamental to the project, and so it was natural that at the foundation of each of the Maker Libraries should be the aspiration to begin with a series of specific suggested texts, which were set out in a bibliography at the outset of the project. Charny suggests that the minimum requirements, the Alpha to Omega of the project, were Stewart Brand’s Whole Earth Catalog and the computer game Minecraft. Within these two very different extremes of contemporary culture we have the underpinning of the idea that making is global and foundational and that through the pleasure in building, in real or virtual worlds, we can communicate and share information and knowledge. The suggestion here is that making is itself a means to understand the world – just as writing is. Homo Faber sits down for a cup of tea with Homo Ludens and through the pleasure of making and playing we create a world that is good to be in and which we can adjust. There was an initial list of titles provided by Charny’s consultancy, From Now On. These included Martino Gamper’s 100 Chairs in 100 Days and its 100 Ways, Bruce Sterling’s Shaping Things and Neil MacGregor’s A History of the World in 100 Objects. But each centre and each librarian was asked to add to the list so that it eventually encompassed everything from sci-fi and urbanism to tech texts and philosophy. The breadth of the range of books is what defines the ambition of the project. Science fiction is no less tangential than Richard Sennett, as the scope of what is done here is limited only by the imagination. At the very heart of the Maker Library is the idea of design, thinking and making as a way of making a mark, making a difference.

WHOLE EARTH CATALOGUE by Stewart Brand

If the basement hackerspace is a mess of cables and routing, the makerspace, which in many ways so closely resembles it, must be one of communication within as well as outside the room. Computer hackers may revel in an almost autistic intensity, but for making to realise its potential it demands a greater engagement, with community, with materials and with culture more broadly. And this is what the spaces, the furniture, the idea of the library and the global network attempt to do. If the makerspace is still largely unformed, an emerging typology that has yet to define its ultimate form and its status in society beyond a very specialised milieu in the hippest parts of cities, it needs to understand what its ambitions are. This is a fraught moment for libraries, a time of intense antiintellectualism in which municipalities in the UK and around the world are struggling to maintain the budgets, the networks and in some cases the very existence of libraries that were so hard fought for over a century ago. As text and information migrates online and the physical infrastructure of culture is forced to justify its existence in purely commercial and educational terms – in a culture where the commercial is increasingly seen as the only yardstick – is there an opportunity for makerspaces to reframe themselves as successors to – or at least critical adjuncts of – the more traditional library as a pivotal space in the public arena?

READ: A KIND OF PARADISE


The inclusion of texts in the context of these spaces is intended to place this new typology of the Maker Library in the public realm, a civic space that takes in the city but also the world beyond. If these spaces are to be truly inclusive they have to aspire to the conditions of universality and accessibility that the municipal library once did. They have to be for everyone. The makerspace is burgeoning today as the library did at the end of the 19th century. The library embodied a new age of urban selfimprovement through literacy and knowledge and, in some way, there is a responsibility on the makerspace to do something similar in our era of what is being hopefully named the fourth industrial revolution. There is also, however, the responsibility to maintain a critical position. Are we tinkering at the edges or are we at the beginnings of something radical and potentially society altering? Or, in fact, is tinkering enough? Perhaps our urge to tinker is in itself an itch and the scratching provided by spaces for making are the solution. And what are we producing? Is it 3D printed key fobs or is it life-changing ideas? If this emerging field is not to concretise into a world of hobbyism it demands a critical underpinning, and that is precisely what the idea of the library provides. Open, public, innovative but always critical and always engaged with new and old ideas. Intellectual and practical. A kind of paradise.

10 | 11


READ:

Maker Library Bibliography

MAKERS: THE NEW INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

LIGHTNESS

A HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN 100 OBJECTS

READ: MAKER LIBRARY BIBLIOGRAPHY

EX LIBRIS, LIBRARIES AND BOOKS

DESIGN AS ART

THE CRAFTSMAN

THE ART OF TINKERING

100 CHAIRS IN 100 DAYS AND ITS 100 WAYS

The Maker Library bibliography is a selection of key reference and inspirational books about making, curated by From Now On. The core library texts were presented to each inaugurated Maker Library. But the list is by no means exclusive. Librarians were invited to build on the bibliography – to develop specialist collections relevant to the communities they serve – and share their additions with others in the Maker Library Network. Overleaf librarians share one of the books they added to their collection, and explain why.


SHAPING THINGS

CORE MAKER LIBRARY TEXTS 100 Chairs in 100 Days and its 100 Ways by Martino Gamper, 2007 These chairs were made by reassembling machine-produced and handmade elements, in a process Gamper describes as ‘3D drawing’, to challenge our preconceptions of typology, aesthetics and value.

The Craftsman by Richard Sennett, 2009 From pleasure to necessity, Sennett claims that craftsmanship is an enduring human impulse. This classic book is a reflection on the desire to do things well.

STUFF

POWER OF MAKING

OPEN DESIGN NOW

PROCESS: 50 PRODUCT DESIGNS FROM CONCEPT TO MANUFACTURE

The Art of Tinkering by Karen Wilkinson, 2014 Written by the co-directors of the Tinkering Studio at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, this book captures the stories of makers, their inventions and the processes behind their work.

Design as Art by Bruno Munari, 2008 (first published 1971) An illustrated journey into the artistic possibilities of modern design. Munari insisted that design should be beautiful, functional and accessible. Ex Libris, Libraries and Books by Chanan de Lange, 2011 Designer Chanan de Lange has worked with library shelf structures for over 30 years. Some of his libraries are functional, while others are gallery installations, reflecting on the role of the library as a space. A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor, 2012 Written by the director of the British Museum, this book illustrates how making has enabled people to shape the world we live in today. Lightness by Adriaan Beukers, 2005 A reference book exploring the smart combination of fibres and plastics to create efficient shapes, Lightness is full of examples from industrial design, architecture, bridge construction, sports equipment and vehicle technology.

12 | 13

Makers: The New Industrial Revolution by Chris Anderson, 2013 Charting the impact of digital innovations and the internet on how we manufacture, this book explains how developments in technology and new business mindsets are shaping the maker economy. Open Design Now by Bas van Abel et al, 2011 A comprehensive take on open design, this collection of essays and references serves as an assortment of tools to understand the challenges of co-creation and social design for businesses and independent artists. Power of Making by Daniel Charny, 2011 An accompaniment to the Victoria & Albert Museum and Crafts Council exhibition ‘Power of Making’, this publication explores contemporary attitudes towards making and skills, and questions the increasing distance people have from making. Process: 50 Product Designs from Concept to Manufacture by Jennifer Hudson, 2011 This book showcases a broad range of products through their development, and offers insights into the pivotal role played by prototyping and the importance of investigating production techniques. Shaping Things by Bruce Sterling, 2005 An essay-length book on the techno-social transformation shaping our world. Sterling looks at the past, present and future of the objects that define us and analyses ways in which to build a sustainable world. Stuff by Daniel Miller, 2009 Taking the reader inside the private realm of home possessions, Stuff shows that things make us just as much as we make things. The book is based on more than 30 years of research by professor of anthropology Daniel Miller.


THE MAKER LIBRARIAN SELECTION African Textiles: Colour and Creativity Across a Continent by John Gillow, 2003 Chosen by Yegwa Ukpo, Stranger: “A really comprehensive and well put-together book that shows a variety of textiles and explains how they are produced.” Afritecture: Building in Africa by Andres Leipik, 2013 Chosen by Batya Raff, Museum of African Design: “Extraordinary examples of architecture in Africa that have solved real-world, community problems: from ‘Sandbag Houses’ in Cape Town to the ‘Makoko Floating School’ in Lagos.” The Art of the Idea by John Hunt, 2009 Chosen by Steve Gray, the MakerSpace: “Addressing everyone from the person in the boardroom to the person on the street, Hunt says that it is ideas that move the world forward and that anyone can play: there is no hierarchy to original thinking.” Cut and Fold Techniques for Pop-up Designs by Paul Jackson, 2014 Chosen by Delphine Dallison, MAKLab: “This is one of our most popular books. It often gets used for developing new ideas for pop-up cards, business cards with a twist and other such items.” Darwin Amongst the Machines by George Dyson, 1998 Chosen by Stephen Calcutt, University of Huddersfield: “This book engages makers in the debate of artificial intelligence and explores theories of how ‘intelligent’ machines need to be in order to be considered ‘free-thinking’.”

Do, Flex, Test: Dialogues in Design Making by Regina Pozo, 2015 Chosen by María García Holley, Laboratorio para la Ciudad: “Do, Flex, Test is a book close to our heart. It maps the design sector in the UK and Mexico in search of common denominators, and was launched at the Lab, during our first ever Maker Faire.” Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon, 2013 (first published 1973) Chosen by Allison Dring and Daniel Swagg, Elegant Embellishments: “This book offers fascinating glimpses of the rise of modern organic chemistry as a strategy of sustainability, necessitated by a deprivation of resources. If you can’t get something, synthesise it.” Hacking the Xbox: An Introduction to Reverse Engineering by Andrew Huang, 2003 Chosen by Tiyani Nghonyama, Geekulcha: “This one always raises interest. It’s an insightful book into the world of hacking and shows how the digital world is created – and how you can break it, which is what Geekulcha challenges youths to do.” Home-Made Europe: Contemporary Folk Artifacts by Vladimir Arkhipov, 2012 Chosen by Gunnar Groves-Raines and Stuart Falconer, GRAS: “A book on artefacts made from everyday objects, by normal people, inspired to make something themselves rather than consume manufactured goods. Here DIY is not just about practicality, but about celebrating the home made.” Linocut for Artists and Designers by Nick Morley, 2016 Chosen by Jamie Temple, East London Printmakers: “Written by one of our members, this book demonstrates the multitude of possibilities offered through the seemingly simple medium of linocut.”

READ: MAKER LIBRARY BIBLIOGRAPHY


Makers by Cory Doctorow, 2010 Chosen by Gareth Owen Lloyd, Machines Room: “This story pitches makers against big business. Doctorow depicts a maker movement in the near future with fast, cheap 3D printing and robotics. The protagonists create artworks such as a seashell robot that makes toast.”

Prefab Houses by Arnt Cobbers and Oliver Jahn, 2010 Chosen by Vladyslav Bilozerov and Alexander Manukyans, IZONE: “This book looks at mass-produced prefab housing through the historical and cultural lens of different countries. For us at IZOLAB it’s naturally very interesting: a fab house is every fab lab’s dream!”

Material Matters: New Materials in Design by Phil Howes and Zoe Laughlin, 2012 Chosen by Bilge Nur Saltik, ATÖLYE Istanbul: “During my studies I always kept this book close. It is a resource book that shows new materials, and highlights the interesting design projects that used them.”

Reader’s Digest Book of Skills and Tools by B.J. Barker, 1995 Chosen by Craig Dunlop, Workspace: “This amazing resource inspired one of our members to tackle projects she ordinarily would never have taken on. It’s the most used reference book in our library: not a project book with how-to plans, but a teaching manual.”

Other People’s Trades by Primo Levi, 1989 Chosen by Candyce Dryburgh, Makerversity: “This book describes, in a brilliant way, people’s methods for how they work. It conveys the virtues of each trade and is a great inspiration when thinking about one’s own way of working.”

Secrets of Building a Plastic Injection Molding Machine by Vincent R. Gingery, 1997 Chosen by Marc Nicolson and Lyall Sprong, Thingking: “We followed instructions from this book to make clothes hangers – the first thing to come out of our plastic extruder. The book is about how to create your own machines.”

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, 1997 Chosen by Ifesinachi Comedy Nwanyanwu, House 33: “A classic book that stresses the importance of living in the present moment and avoiding thoughts of the past or future.” Practical Hydroponics and Greenhouses Magazine, www.hydroponics.com.au Chosen by Paul Smyth, FARM:shop: “This is a constant source of inspiration: a trade journal for the next generation of farmers packed with innovations from around the world. Want to know the yield of basil from a square metre of NFT?”

Shoes: A History from Sandals to Sneakers, ed. Giorgio Riello and Peter McNeil, 2006 Chosen by Eelko Moorer, London College of Fashion: “A fantastic book about the history and cultural significance of footwear. Very well researched and beautifully illustrated; it’s my favourite coffee table book because you can switch on and off.” Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, 2012 Chosen by Heath Nash, I AM U at 75 Harrington: “This book changed the way I perceive my thinking, and actually made me try to stop thinking as much as possible. We’re apparently not so good at thinking in evolutionary terms. We’re better doers.”

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MAKE:

Translating Making

Stephen Knott – lecturer in Critical and Historical Studies at Kingston University and author of Amateur Craft: History and Theory – looks at the issues surrounding open source design within the Maker Library Network and beyond, assessing the realities of instruction guides, their usability and modification. Behind the surge in makerspaces, fab labs and open source design projects of the last decade, there lies the dream of a new crowdsourced, decentralised and infinitely modifiable mode of production. The vision is inspiring and intoxicating, involving networked skill sharing, advanced technologies and the growth of consumers who make (prosumers). Open source has many advocates who hope such systems will usher in a new revolution in production. Key priorities of the Maker Library Network were the interconnectivity between designers and ensuring design’s social engagement across the Maker Library Network’s global network. Documentation on the Maker Library Network website of the project’s collaborative bent included knowledge sharing – of practice, techniques and even products – as well as show and tell sessions, publishing of how-to guides online and co-creation. Disseminating this knowledge within a networked community such as the Maker Library Network requires information about design to be communicated in the form of instructions, guides, kits, downloadable CAD files or software programmes. So how do you translate the complexities of open source making? Ultimately the success of open source largely depends on the design, presentation and effective communication of instructions – what Michael Avital calls “digital blueprints” (Open Design Now, 2011). The Maker Library Network shared skills largely through textual and diagrammatic instruction available online under the ‘Make’ tab of its website. These instructions included the integral Maker Library open design construction kit, which provided guidance for the basic Maker Library Network furniture: the shelves, book cabinets, desks and signs made from timber strips screwed together. Alon Meron was commissioned to create this system so it would look good and be simple enough to be built by anyone with a basic ability in woodworking. Meron’s design was translated from CAD files to a 22-page PDF by Koby Barhad, available under a Creative Commons licence. The construction kit contains all the information required to make the demountable, portable library unit in easily accessible materials with an economy of tooling. Meron’s design first appeared at the Maker Library Network launch at the Guild Design Fair in Cape Town in 2014 and has since become the identifiable signature of the Maker Library Network. The basic building block for the library shelving system is a simple cube: two squares made from four equal lengths of 33sq mm timber, joined MAKE: TRANSLATING MAKING


EXAMPLE THE LIBRARY SETUP

DOWNLOAD Alon Meron’s Maker Library Network bookshelf designs can be downloaded at www.design.britishcouncil.org/ projects/makerlibraries/ resources/makerlibraryshelvingopen-design-kit

“SKILLS” SIGN

BOOK SHELF

ICON BOX

BENCH *Optional

NOTICE BOARD

LAPTOP DESK/ WORK STATION

GALLERY *Optional

MAKE: TRANSLATING MAKING


by four connectors and screwed into place. On this cube a surface can be added to the side by attaching 9mm plywood or MDF with screws. It sounds simple, yet it becomes more complex when you realise from reading the instructions that you have to create a rebate section cut out of the pieces of timber in order for all the various parts to join together. It is a simple form of joinery familiar to woodworkers, but requires a router table, bench saw or jigsaw – i.e. power machinery. The system is modular: once you have learned how to make the basic cube, you can elongate dimensions to make a variety of different units – the distinctive, angled library shelves, noticeboards, laptop desks and gallery elements. One of the common misconceptions of ‘how-to’ instructions is that you have to follow exactly what the authors say. Reading through an array of historical how-to guides for my 2015 book Amateur Craft, I noticed how often their authors encouraged readers to adapt and modify designs. The Maker Library Network design ethos follows this convention, stating to collaborators that they can put their own individual stamp on the basic shelving system and adapt Maker Library Network principles (and the shelving system) to whether they are building in the confines of a studio, in the corner of a café, or even in a purpose-built vehicle. Several collaborators responded to this prompt. The Scottish design studio GRAS condensed the basic Maker Library Network shelving system to fit into a caravan. This mobile Maker Library, where tea making, participatory activities and interviews coalesced, travelled to studios across Scotland and several sites of the London Design Festival in 2014. Bilge Nur Saltik, designer and maker librarian at ATÖLYE Istanbul, a production and creativity hub in Istanbul, explained how Meron’s designs needed to be redrawn to accommodate the large metal mesh designed by Engin Ayaz and Elif Karaköse that served as their moveable wall for the library. In the spirit of open source, this hack of Meron’s original was shared back online. Other adaptations of Meron’s shelving unit included James Tooze’s foldable and lockable wallmounted desk, made during his 2016 Maker Library Network residency at London’s Machines Room; the Maker Library at East London Printmakers, where the kit was scaled down; and at the exhibitions of the Maker Library in South Africa, the Łódz Design Festival in Poland and the Vitra Design Museum in Germany. Meron enjoyed this “endless manipulation of the frames”, as he told me in an email exchange; how the kit was less there to instruct but to form a foundational principle that encouraged users to establish their own way of doing things according to local needs. Meron also learned from users how to refine the kit further: he said that user responses convinced him it “had to be simpler and simpler”. Articulating modifications and amendments to original designs has a long history, in the UK at least – from entertaining letters pages and reader advice sections of many handyman journals, including, for example, ‘Wrinkles for Amateurs’ in Amateur Work (1881-96), to the flourishing of online platforms today, such as Ikea Hackers. These platforms aim for transparency, to put intuited material knowledge into words. We can call this knowhow, wabi-sabi or “thinkering”, as coined in 2007 by Xerox’s John Seely Brown. The Maker Library Network’s receptiveness to user commentary and suggested modifications is reflective of the open design paradigm more broadly. Joris Laarman’s 3D-printed Makerchairs invite makers to improve the design and help ensure efficient, beautiful and recyclable furniture. The Solar Cookers International Network web instructions on how to build a cooker 18 | 19


from cardboard and aluminium that harnesses the power of the sun contain countless modifications of the original design. These projects make the most of the internet’s ability to provide vast, truly global and interconnected encyclopaedias of information. Effective instruction depends on designer humility and the relinquishment of control when faced with user modification. Yet these capacities of modification and configurability can be greatly encouraged through the development of easy-to-use foundational building blocks. Meron’s simple cubic unit that underpinned the shelving systems of the Maker Library Network, described above, constituted this foundational base. But even to construct this simple building block required specialist skills; the designers of the Maker Library Network (often with relevant formal education) could rely on an imbedded set of capabilities, material knowledge, access to tools, and confidence to follow their intuition when instruction failed. But even they found it difficult. GRAS collaborated with the skilled joiner Andrew Longworth to create their multi-functional space, and local craftspeople were involved in the modification of Meron’s kit for the Maker Library at ATÖLYE Istanbul. Despite Brady’s soft graphic interface, Meron’s instructions are opaque to the non-designer: they are a form of designer-to-designer communication within a global network, rather than between designers and the wider world. If reaching a community of non-specialists was a future goal of the Maker Library Network, then greater attention to ensuring the simplicity of the foundational unit is needed. Meron’s cube is like many other open source projects in that it relies on an object language unfamiliar to most people, such as the complexities of digital modelling software (Rhino), the workings of the 3D printer, or the design language of the open source architecture project WikiHouse. By contrast, open source hardware initiative Fritzing, in its efforts to bring creative electronics to everyone, uses an abstract graphic platform – “the breadboard view” – that uses the currency of chips and wires for users to create and manipulate circuitry. For a project to furnish a Japanese office, the aptly named design studio Nosigner did not design a foundational unit or platform at all, instead relying on existing, standardised, everyday units – such as corner modules and plastic pallets. A similar approach of using standardised universal tools and equipment can be witnessed in the Transparent Tools project, or directories of how-to such as Makezine.com’s list of projects and Stewart Brand’s Whole Earth Catalog. Effective instruction of technical skills via the internet relies on the successful combination of word, image and video and the creation of a foundational building block. To an extent Meron’s kit provided this – the simple wooden cube described above – but other open source projects have developed means of providing a simpler foundational object language, sometimes from objects that exist in the world already. Once equipped with the basic building blocks – from the Lego brick to the length of standardised timber from Homebase – and the necessary tools, users can be left to fill in the gaps and modify matter to their own needs and whims. Alongside the online forums that allow, and indeed encourage, constant modification to original designs, the development of foundational language still remains the holy grail of genuinely open source design.

MAKE: TRANSLATING MAKING


MEASURE STEP 1

LIST OF QUANTITIES First things first... Calculate and get all the material you are going to use for the library. Here is an estimation of all you’ll need to get started...

SCREWS: 1) 4.5 x 60mm 100 pcs 2) 3.5 x 50mm 600 pcs 3) 3.5 x 25mm 200 pcs

3.5 x 60mm

35mm/35mm TIMBER: 1) 33mm/33mm aprox. 105M + 20% contingency 2) 15mm/15mm aprox. 35M + 20% contingency PLY /MDF SHEET: 1) Min. 9mm 2 Sheets

9mm

15mm/15mm *This is to create the support as shown. You may use shorter pieces and less screws 3.5 x 25mm 3.5 x 25mm

NOTE: The dimensions of timber sections will always vary. The timber section specified here is approximate. The timber dimension you use may affect the size of the screws.

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CUT STEP 2

3.5 x 50mm

TIMBER: 33mm/33mm aprox.

16.5mm 16.5mm

33mm

16.5mm

16.5mm

33mm

33mm 16.5mm

NOTE 1: Dimensions are based on 33x33mm section. Different sections will require different rebate dimensions. 3.5 x 50mm NOTE 2: Router table is recommended for rebate detail. Can also use bench saw or jigsaw.

MAKE: TRANSLATING MAKING


CONSTRUCT STEP 3

NOTE 1: 2D FRAME *Remember: dimension of 2D frame = Length of timber + 1 x thickness

3.5 x 50mm

CONNECTORS

2D FRAME

Pilot holes are important. NOTE 2: Where possible (once location is determined) glue all joints. This will make the structure more rigid and stable for the long term. *Gluing the joints in the 2D frames but not the connectors is a good compromise. It enables flat packing and reassembling and still provides added rigidity.

4.5 x 60mm

SURFACE Fits inside 2D frame

3.5 x 25mm

3.5 x 25mm 4.5 x 60mm

SURFACE NOTE 3:

When assembling frames together screw ALL points where frames overlap. This makes the structure more rigid and stable. Frames can be constructed into each other so they are interlocking.

2D FRAME

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MAKE:

Thinking Through Making

Making was the focus of nearly all of the Maker Library Network’s activities. For the librarians, making served a number of roles. Through co-making, they engaged audiences at public facing events. By making, they learnt new skills – or taught skills to others. But they also used making for their own means: as a process of thinking. The following pages present a number of key case study projects that emerged as a result of Maker Library Network residencies, exhibitions and workshops.

HIMMELI INSPIRED TUBULAR STRUCTURES BY GRAS Himmeli are traditional Finnish Christmas decorations made by threading straws of various lengths to create geometric structures. Maker librarians Stuart Falconer and Gunnar Groves-Raines from Scottish design studio GRAS have used

this technique on a number of scales, including straws to engage audiences at their pop-up events, scaffolding for large sculptures and copper pipes to create a series of stools. The route through the tubes is planned so that it can be accomplished in one pass without doubling back, and the cord is pulled tight so that the cord is acting in tension.

KNOT

X12

X1

MAKE: THINKING THROUGH MAKING


MICRO BUSINESS KITS BY THINGKING These Micro Business Kits were developed by Thingking in collaboration with visiting maker librarians. Each kit offers ideas for making useful, marketable items from easily sourced waste material. One of the kits, for example, offers instructions to make an aluminium can smelter: cans are melted down at a very high heat and the molten liquid is poured into a sand-cast mould to make sellable products. The concept, aimed at the unemployed in Cape Town’s townships, is based on the principle of ‘downscaling big production’, ensuring making is easy, accessible and relevant by showing its economic potential.

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TRISPACE BY MICHAEL OBRIZKIV During his residency at London’s Machines Room, Michael Obrizkiv ran a three-way workshop with the Museum of African Design in Johannesburg and the MakerSpace in Durban, based on his Trispace maker kit. Inspired by geodesic geometry, it invites playful prototyping of modular constructions, such as sculptures, toys, lampshades and shelters. The project was exhibited at the Vitra Design Museum in Germany, where Obrizkiv built a giant geodesic dome on the museum lawn. A computer engineer and self-taught designer, Obrizkiv is interested in creating open source kits that will be published freely online. You can find the Trispace maker kit at http://design.britishcouncil. org/projects/makerlibraries/ resources/trispace

MAKE: THINKING THROUGH MAKING


order

public disorder

public disorder measure

public measure

order lock

public public public disorder measure disorder measure repeat repeat block rearrange block rearrange rearrange

order lock

public public public disorder measure disorder measure repeat repeat block rearrange block rearrange rearrange

lock

MAKER CARDS BY GARETH OWEN LLOYD AND PHILLIP RAIFORD JOHNSON

measure

Designed for Maker Library visitors, these Maker Cards offer first timers as well as experienced makers a playful way to begin a new project, and encourage thinking through making. The user picks one card from each of the four sets of visual cues to answer the following questions: What am I making? In what medium? With what method? How should I measure modify what I am making? repeat

measure repeat

STARLING 1.0 AFRICAN ROBOTS BY RALPH BORLAND

block rearrange

repeat block rearrange

repeat rearrange

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Wire work is a popular art form in Southern Africa that makes skilful and economic use of cheap materials such repeat as fencing wire and telephone cable. Running on a mobile phone battery, this mechanical bird has a sound synthesiser, glowing LED eyes, and head and wing movement via a cheap motor and handmade gear. This proposal for animating wire-work street art is a playful example of mixing global technologies with local craft, creating new hybrids. It was exhibited at Design Indaba in Cape Town in March 2014, on Thingking’s Maker Library Network stand.


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Networking the Network

What are the realities of connecting makers across the world, and how do you develop effective ways for people to collaborate, share resources and promote their activities? In the following three case studies, we ask maker and researcher Andrew Sleigh – whose work focuses on the power of networked communities to innovate and effect change – to look at the inner workings of the Maker Library Network and reflect on what its future could be; Tomas Diez, founder of the Fab City Research Laboratory in Barcelona discusses the tools used by the FabLab community and Massimo Menichinelli, a designer working and researching on open collaborative projects, looks at the adoption of Twitter by the maker community. The Maker Library Network The Maker Library Network set out to establish a network of people – makers, designers, entrepreneurs and activists – who see making as a cultural activity. The network shares much in common with many other networks: its members are diverse, culturally, in terms of the resources they have and what they want to achieve. There are some people who have more time to give, some who are more active in starting projects in the network, and some with more power to set the agenda. So how do you make a network like this work? What tools do you use, and how do you use them well? The first job of the Maker Library Network was to help people across borders get to know each other. Each Maker Library was inaugurated in the presence of a number of other librarians, to offer support, exchange knowledge and get acquainted. Foreign travel, exchanges and residencies also had a great and lasting impact – as you can see in many of the Maker Library case studies documented in this publication. But moving people around the world for events or residencies is expensive, so the Maker Library Network, like most networks, sought to complement these activities with a variety of online tools. Everyone in the network benefits from knowing what other people are working on, and what skills or resources they can offer. A website was designed to provide a platform for the librarians to communicate – but while some felt comfortable with it and published a lot, the majority found it too complex and time consuming. When it came to sharing news with each other – and the outside world – success was found with tools that brought together content that libraries were already publishing, the simplest of which was the #MakerLibraries hashtag. This became a magazine of sorts, sharing what the librarians were doing, and creating bonds between those that used it.

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The most successful use of technology to connect international members was at the Think Tank session in London in April 2016. Here, an advanced video conferencing system, implemented by Cohere, brought together 18 remote participants and 27 on site at Machines Room; a screen enabled those on site to see those online, while cameras meant those online could see the space, the people in it as well as the presentations. According to one off-site librarian, the remote participants felt that they were even more engaged than people in the space. During the Think Tank, a selective ‘libraries-only’ Slack channel enabled librarians to speak freely and form less formal relationships. As this phase of the network comes to an end, it’s useful to reflect on the strategies and tools that can be carried forward to help it thrive in the future. Dominic Morrow, an activist within the UK Hackspace Foundation (an informal, self-funded organisation that represents the network of hackspaces across the UK) likens the foundation to “the United Nations, without the UN infrastructure”, recognising that a group of peers can work more effectively when there is a central pool of resources to draw on: a bank account, a website, even just some templates for common administrative tasks. While the Maker Library Network is losing its largest single contributor of resources, and its central organising partner (the British Council), some resources could be pooled (perhaps by a subscription paid by member libraries) to make basic tools available: a website, a part-time editor or event support. Some of the greatest successes of the Maker Library Network have been the catalytic events: the face-to-face meet ups, exhibitions and residencies. While they demand resources and commitment from many people, these can be invaluable ways to initiate relationships and projects. The effort is itself part of what makes them work so well. But it is also worth recognising that networks don’t have to last forever. They can exist in one form to bring a group of people together, but then disassemble to let new, possibly less formal, networks emerge. Liz Corbin, co-organiser of Open Workshops London (also a network of makers) has now stepped back from managing that network, but it still lives on: she’s found that the former members still speak to each other as often, but in a less formal way than they did previously. The Maker Library Network has put down strong roots over the past three years. Now it’s time to consider a different way of working together that enables it to grow more organically. In the following pages we reflect on the FabLab model and the role social networks play in bringing disparate maker groups together. Andrew Sleigh

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THE MAKER LIBRARY NETWORK THINK TANK London, 2016


The FabLab Network FabLabs started around 12 years ago at the Center for Bits and Atoms at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and has since become a global network of more than 1,000 fabrication laboratories in more than 80 countries. The FabLab network grew organically. The labs are set up by organised communities, universities, companies and governments, running their own budgets, programmes and projects locally, but connected globally by FabLabs that orchestrate the international community – through the Fab Foundation, Fab City, Academany and the FabLab networking platform fablabs.io. The objective of FabLabs is to change current models of production. It’s still a long way from achieving this in reality, but it has been successful in communicating the idea. The FabLab brand is the most recognisable network of makerspaces. In part, this is because policy makers, local councils and funders find it an easy concept to grasp: each of the labs has a common ethic and philosophical principles, clearly communicated in the Fab Charter, and they share a common set of tools – laser cutters, 3D printers, CNC machines – that enable members to begin something in one lab and finish it in another, sharing digital files with the understanding that they will work between spaces. The network has been particularly successful in developing tools that connect different FabLabs. The Fab Foundation orchestrates Fab Conferences annually for the community, in different cities around the world – but it is the digital tools that really hold the network together. The Fab Academy, an educational component directed by Neil Gershenfeld, is the network’s glue. Its online programme promotes the interaction between labs and students, and builds regional working groups that act as super nodes for a distributed educational programme. FabLabs are the classrooms, and the planet is the campus. The Fab Academy is now part of a wider family of online educational programmes called the Academy of Almost Anything – or Academany – and also includes the Bio Academy and Design Academy. To create a way of linking FabLab members, a support tool was built for the network – fablabs.io – using an EU grant. The digital platform was started by FabLab Barcelona, initially with the goal to create a list of all the members. Today the open source platform has 10,000 members, who use the tool to find events, people, machines and spaces – as well as communicate and exchange projects. But creating the transition from a consumerist culture to a new productive paradigm is not an easy task, and won’t be possible with

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just a small group of digital fabrication labs and geeks – it needs cross collaboration with companies, governments, organisations and society as a whole. Recently, the Fab City programme was developed to try and address this. It promotes a new model for productive cities, scaling up the values and ethics of FabLabs and the maker movement: participating cities have committed to produce 50 per cent of the food, energy and products they need within their own cities by 2054. Already there are 16 Fab City members, including Detroit, Paris, Barcelona and Santiago de Chile, sharing information on how they are achieving their aims across the world to create a new model of globalisation. Tomas Diez

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FROM LINEAR TO SPIRAL PRODUCTION ECOSYSTEMS Fab City’s ideal model of local production


The Social Network Creative networks can be open or closed, centrally managed or fully decentralised. Each network has a different story, tools and level of complexity. But one thing they all share is the dependency on building trust. Trust is what makes people remain on a social network; members stay because they feel a network is authentic and shares their values. Networks in the maker movement are particularly dependent on trust because they encompass such a diversity of communities across practices and geography. This is because the term ‘maker’ is generic and universal, and probably due to it being both a noun and verb it broadens the definition of who might be considered a maker. This most likely contributed to the success of the term, and possibly to the construction of the maker movement itself. The fuzzier the boundaries and the more open the identity, the more people and organisations can participate. The maker community is a loose global community that meets within locally established workshops and events that are connected across several networks, including FabLabs, makerspaces, hackerspaces and TechShops, to name a few. Boundaries among these networks are not always well defined and the aim is not only to build connections, but to discover, gather, listen and coordinate a scattered community of individuals and organisations – and this can be difficult. Online social networks or social media platforms are often the first port of call. Twitter, Facebook, Github, Thingiverse, Instructables and LinkedIn are a few of many platforms where participants of the maker movement go to connect, collaborate and organise. This multiplicity of online communities is a consequence of the specific features offered by each platform (micro messages, threaded discussion, file sharing, project development and management), but it’s also due to their different social structures. It is not a surprise then that the global maker movement is scattered not only geographically but also on digital platforms due to different languages, interests and structures. You can read Menicinelli’s full paper Mapping the Structure of the Global Maker Laboratories Community Through Twitter Connections at www.academia. edu/20409922/Mapping_the_ structure_of_the_global_maker_ laboratories_community_ through_Twitter_connections

Social networking platforms enable us to understand our place in a larger context. As an example of understanding maker communities on online social networks, I researched the adoption of Twitter by makerspaces, FabLabs and hackerspaces to understand the social structure and dynamics of such communities. This research is just a first exploration using data from Twitter. Of course not all the interactions of the maker movement take place on that platform, but it is a significant strand. These connections form a map of sorts, and we can think of it as a way of navigating the social dimension of the

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maker movement: each node is a lab, and the arcs among them show how they listen to each other (if they are friends, if they collaborate, and so on). The visual aspect here is very important for understanding the map. Think of the labs as ingredients, which when mixed culminate in a better maker movement. We can use it to understand two features of the maker movement: communities and trust.

• We can see that the maker movement is separated in two polarities

lightly connected: FabLabs on the left, makerspaces and hackerspaces on the right (Figure 1). Each colour represents a community: it is interesting to note that hackerspaces, makerspaces, and TechShops (on the right) are more homogeneous groups compared to FabLabs (on the left). So, the community has mixed well on the left, and less so on the right. The FabLab community is made up of more subgroups that mix across several geographic locations, showing a complex and global community.

• We can also use the data for understanding how trust is distributed in the global maker movement, and the darker and bigger the node (a lab), the more it is trusted in the movement. And here again it is greater on the left (FabLabs) (Figure 2).

This research represents a first analysis of the global maker community on Twitter, and it seems to show that the platform, strategies and coordination efforts of the FabLab community have had some success in building a rich community with more trust than any other maker community.

Understanding a community with such a network perspective could be useful not only for managing interactions, but also for developing new and more specific platforms for maker laboratories, with features more adept to its creative participants. Massimo Menichinelli

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DATA VISUALISATIONS OF THE STRUCTURE OF THE MAKER COMMUNITY THROUGH TWITTER CONNECTIONS Figure 1 (top) depicts communication and Figure 2 (bottom) depicts trust


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Maker Library Case Studies

While the original intention of the Maker Library Network was to create a peer-to-peer network of makers, increasingly the focus expanded. Librarians were keen to be public facing too, and find ways of serving their local communities and building networks within them. Some focused on education or increasing local employment, while others provided specialist skills or mapping services. There were also those that changed the format, uprooted and went mobile. Here, in a selection of case studies, we look at some of the projects that came out of the Maker Library Network, and what was learned in the process.

CASE STUDY #1 Laboratorio para la Ciudad, Mexico City

Building creative knowledge

According to recent studies, interest in the creative industries in Mexico City is on the increase. Last year, 12 per cent of bachelor students in the city were enrolled in programmes related to the arts and humanities. Contrary to popular belief, creative industries not only generate cultural richness, they also contribute actively to the nation’s economy, accounting for nearly seven per cent of the annual GDP. So, Mexico City’s Maker Library Laboratorio para la Ciudad (in partnership with Abierto Mexicano de Diseño) broke the Maker Library Network rulebook. Rather than focus on the act of making, they ran a three-month Saber Creativo (Creative Knowledge) programme, from June to August 2016, focused entirely on training makers to build the enterprise skills required to contribute to this growth. As maker librarian María García Holley explained, Saber Creativo’s goal was to address the considerable gap between the moment when students of creative disciplines finish their academic education and the moment when they try to join the creative labour market. Graduates aren’t really prepared for the challenges that face a maker; they often lack the skills and knowledge needed to develop a sustainable business, and the city doesn’t offer enough tools or support to address these needs. Saber Creativo aimed to close this gap: the free training programme consisted of 12 seminars taught on the rooftop of Laboratorio para la Ciudad. Led by experts in the fields of accounting, project development, finance, economy and copyright, the programme provided a space where good practices and methodologies were shared and advice offered. Makers met makers, but just as importantly, they were taught how to create value and ultimately live from what they make. By letting go of the Maker Library Network formula, the network enabled the lab to serve its community of makers, the way it felt it needed to.

Liliana Padilla communications officer, British Council, Mexico

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CASE STUDY #2 Elegant Embellishments, Berlin

Tailoring the Maker Library Network

The Maker Library Network wanted to include specialist makers willing to feed their knowledge into the network and collaborate, across disciplines, with other members. But to attract these specialists, the network had to adapt its membership model. While initially members had to sign up to the network for six months to a year, as the Maker Library Network matured more custom-built relationships evolved. Elegant Embellishments, a Berlin-based architectural practice focused on sustainability and digital fabrication in urban contexts, was one such example: it joined the network for just 17 days. The studio was invited to exhibit its Prosolve370e architectural tiles – which neutralise pollution particles in the atmosphere – at the Maker Library Network’s ‘Brave Fixed World’ exhibition in Łódz, Poland. Following the success of the showcase, it presented Biochar – a decorative tile made out of waste carbon dioxide – at the Vitra Design Museum’s Maker Library Network showcase in Germany. Concurrently the practice inaugurated the first Maker Library in Berlin, from where they ran an intense two-week programme of seven talks and three hands-on workshops as part of the Make City festival. They engaged researchers from Germany and beyond in discussions on digital making, new technologies and the future of architecture, looking at the potential of synthetic biology, the crafting of big data and printing architecture. Elegant Embellishments used the opportunity of the Maker Library Network to research issues of interest to the studio, and opportunities emerged from it: the architects are currently in talks to work with several of the guests they invited. The Maker Library Network, on the other hand, was able to infiltrate a scene in Berlin that it wouldn’t otherwise have access to. But was there time, in 17 days, to make connections across the network? “This is something we’d have liked to have done more,” explains Elegant Embellishments co-founder Daniel Schwaag. “Architecture should have more of a maker culture. It is such a legislated environment here. It would be great to collaborate with makers in a de-regulated environment like Nigeria, and have the freedom to make interesting things. There are key topics that over regulation can prevent you from addressing here.”

Justine Boussard exhibition and collection projects curator, Crafts Council and former project coordinator, From Now On

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CASE STUDY #3 Thingking, Cape Town; Makerversity, London

International collaboration and skill swap

Hydroponics is a technique for growing plants without soil, using aerated water and nutrients. Aquaponics works by adding fish to create the nutrients. This sustainable urban farming system was first introduced to the Maker Library Network by Paul Smyth, then librarian at London’s Makerversity. During the launch of the Maker Library Network platform in February 2014, Smyth was twinned with open source electronics specialists at Thingking to run a stand at Design Indaba Expo in Cape Town. Together they built a vertical aquaponic farm, for the first time integrating Arduino-based electronics to monitor the environment and automatically feed the fish. A few months later, Smyth set up a temporary Maker Library at FARM:shop, a city farming hub in London. He nestled the Maker Library books among an aquaponic micro fish farm and a high-tech indoor allotment. The studio continued its independent research into hydroponics with external partners, including Turkish designer Ek Biç Ye Iç, and together they developed the first flat-pack hydroponic kit, an easy-to-produce unit that can sit in a small space or be scaled up. FARM:shop was invited to present the kit at the Vitra Design Museum’s Maker Library Network showcase in June 2015. The invitation acted as a boost to finish the product, and a British Council grant was used to complete the first working prototype in time for the opening. Smyth’s involvement with the Maker Library Network sealed his belief in international collaborations and open source design, which in turn led to the creation of a commercial product. For an emerging business, the Maker Library Network acted as a platform to both develop and publicise the project.

Justine Boussard

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CASE STUDY #4 GRAS, Edinburgh; Thingking, Cape Town

The logistics of a mobile Maker Library

The concept of the mobile Maker Library was initiated by Scottish architecture and design studio GRAS. In February 2014 GRAS turned a 1960s caravan into a Maker Library and parked it in the studio courtyard. What started as a solution to a lack of space planted the roots for a rewarding, if challenging, type of Maker Library. The mobile Maker Library contained a library, gallery and table for demonstrations taking place outside the vehicle. At first, the librarians used the extra space to experiment outside of their normal work. Then they travelled to other makers in the region to generate cross-disciplinary collaborations, such as with surfboard maker Jason Burnett. After nine months, the architects journeyed to London and joined other librarians from the UK and the Thingking Maker Library from South Africa, running a series of public events in the vehicle during the 2014 London Design Festival. They popped up at the Southbank Centre’s Africa Utopia festival and 100% Design at Earl’s Court – but problems popped up too. There were health and safety considerations such as noise and waste management, the travel-size workshop equipment, and the incredibly varied skill levels and attention spans of the festival audience. The librarians decided to compromise on the value of the making to focus on engagement, and organised low-access workshops such as himmeli sculpture making (p. 24 ) and basic shoe pattern cutting. The real success of the pop up, however, was in giving the Maker Library Network a distinctive presence during the design fair: the photogenic caravan stood as a symbol, providing an alternative, slower-paced understanding of design in an increasingly busy festival. Back in South Africa in February 2015, boosted by their London experience, Thingking saw how the benefits of being mobile could enable them to serve communities in South Africa that they would not usually have access to. Using a British Council grant they purchased a van and ventured out into the Cape Town townships and remote countryside. A practical, working vehicle, the van is a familiar sight in these communities, and as such it communicates its purpose clearly. Thingking’s programme was generated in collaboration with local partners, such as the Nelson Mandela Museum in Qunu, and responded to local interests. At times the audience decided on the activity, such as in Khayelitsha when children unexpectedly brought their go-carts for a fixing session, using the available workshop materials and technical know-how of the librarians for their own purpose. By building useful local partnerships and responding to local needs, the librarians tackled the publicsphere challenge head on, and enabled making rather than just feeding it.

Justine Boussard

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CASE STUDY #5 ATÖLYE Istanbul, Istanbul

Mapping makers

The open design movement enables makers to build on existing knowledge, and increasingly this includes sharing information on where and how to get things made. Scottish studio Make Works has specialised in this area, developing open access directories of manufacturers in Scotland and Birmingham. When the studio heard that makerspace and co-working hub ATÖLYE Istanbul was trying to find ways of connecting its members with local manufacturing resources, a visit was arranged. Small-scale manufacturing is thriving in Istanbul. Tailors, cobblers, furniture makers, blacksmiths, glassblowers, ceramicists and material suppliers are so easily found in the city that workshops and makerspaces have struggled to convince their local communities to DIY. The problem lies in finding the right one for the right project. It turned out that designers in Turkey were experiencing some of the same problems Make Works encountered in Scotland – manufacturers had terrible websites, didn’t return emails and were dubious about working with designers. Over three days, Make Works, ATÖLYE Istanbul and its members discussed how these issues could be addressed: how do you find ‘hidden’ suppliers; how do you document suppliers found to be reliable, and how can designers build relationships with traditional makers? ATÖLYE’s maker librarian Bilge Nur Saltik piloted a walking tour of the city’s manufacturers, and other ideas were sketched out: billboards with details of makers, maker-designer speed dating nights and so on. For Make Works, the three-day workshop contributed to the development of a new digital tool. To develop one of Make Works’ databases is a significant undertaking: each manufacturer is filmed, the owners are interviewed, the work photographed, the site mapped, machines listed and turnaround times documented. The studio has lots of interest from designers wanting to extend the database, held back by a lack of funding and resources. So Make Works developed a lightweight, open mapping version of the database. The idea is that it can be used by ATÖLYE – and others in the Maker Library Network – to plot and share manufacturers and suppliers within the local community. Key information on the manufacturer is listed, along with details on how best to approach them. Here, the Maker Library Network not only connected two communities, it acted as the R&D lab in the development of a new tool. Fi Scott founder, Make Works

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CASE STUDY #6 Workspace, Cape Town

Serving the local community

According to Craig Dunlop, maker librarian at Workspace in Cape Town, people who remain in continuous employment have certain characteristics that can be learnt. This thinking led him to set up TEN (the Employable Nation). Workspace is located in an area with one of the highest rates of unemployment in South Africa, with the informal communities of Hangklip and Inzama Yethu right on its doorstep. The TEN programme invites people from these communities to take part, the idea being that through learning ten skills and making ten products, the participants become more employable. For example, through learning to weld, they not only acquire the skills to use welding equipment, they learn about trust. “When you ride a bicycle, you don’t consider the person who welded it, you grant trust in how it was made,” says Dunlop. “When you weld, you partake in that. You also harness potentially life-threatening amounts of electricity – which also requires trust.” The end product of this particular exercise is a child’s chair, made with enough care that it will not collapse when the child sits on it. In the future Dunlop aims to work with emerging designers to turn these items into desirable, sellable products. Dunlop has been running various incarnations of the project since Workspace launched in 2013. To begin with the focus was only on making, but skills training alone was not enough – practical, emotional and interpersonal skills needed to be woven in. It was a grant given by the British Council as a member of the Maker Library Network that enabled Dunlop to hone this concept and run it full time as an intensive 25-day course, in January 2016, for ten 18 to 23 year olds. With this amount of focus, it became hugely successful. “The lives of these ten guys completely changed,” Dunlop says. All (with the exception of the one that quit) are now in full time work. Unexpectedly for Dunlop, it was the skills they were taught working the makerspace coffee machine and micro bakery that paid off most directly: one of the group now works at a coffee station in a hardware store, and is being trained to be a salesman, and another bakes bread in a local supermarket. For Dunlop, the maker movement’s ethos of collaboration, sharing and putting people before profits can make a significant difference in communities. He intends to scale up the Workspace model, and the exposure from being in the Maker Library Network has helped to put the project on the map.

Anna Bates editor

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CASE STUDY #7 Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany

Making laid bare

A group of people is huddled around a wooden table: they are making structures out of string and straws and building geodesic domes from pre-cut MDF parts. To guide them in their task, two films are projected onto the table, showing a closeup of a maker’s hands demonstrating the process step by step. What is unusual about this scene is that it is taking place at the centre of Vitra Design Museum’s pristine white gallery space. Usually hands-on activities are confined to museum learning areas, but here, making is the exhibition. In 2015 Vitra Design Museum invited the Maker Library Network to tell its story to coincide with the exhibition ‘Making Africa - A Continent of Contemporary Design’. How better to do this, the Maker Library Network curators decided, than to turn the space into a working Maker Library? A programme of events ran throughout the exhibition, with librarians and guests visiting from the UK and South Africa to run public workshops as well as develop their own projects live on site. With making happening continuously in the space, visitors quickly became active participants. The self-led activities on the maker table were particularly successful: over the course of a weekend guest librarian Gareth Owen Lloyd witnessed every single visitor entering the space engage with making, inspiring him to replicate the set up at future showcases. Throughout the exhibition, design was presented as a multi-faceted, messy process – but a cultural one, too. The library of books, annotated with notes from each librarian, and gallery of inspiring objects from the Maker Library Network reinforced this message. The showcase provided the perfect opportunity to spread awareness of the Maker Library Network, celebrate the skills and resourcefulness of its members, and invite visitors to have a go. Justine Boussard

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CASE STUDY #8 Machines Room, London, UK

Makers-in-Residence

The Makersin-Residence programme at London’s Machines Room, set up in 2015 with a British Council grant, was initiated and developed by Gareth Owen Lloyd, head of maker projects. Successful applicants are invited to spend one month in the makerspace to start a new project. During this time, residents have access to the Maker Library’s pool of mentors, as well as gaining exposure on the Machines Room website and having opportunities for travel and exhibitions similar to those of the librarians. After the residency the alumni return to deliver workshops, and the outcomes of the workshop and project are presented in a showcase at the Maker Library, as well as being shared online as open source instructions. Forty residents have been through the doors of the Machines Room since the launch. Besides being a chance for makers to develop a project, new opportunities have arisen for many of the residents. As the Machines Room is the only permanent Maker Library in London, the British Council would often take their delegates on tour to the space. “The first thing you see when you visit Machines Room is the library and the Makers-in-Residence desks,” says Lloyd. Adam Blencowe sat in the entrance and spoke to everyone who came through the door – it powered his career for almost a year.” As a resident at Machines Room, Craig Dunlop – maker librarian at Workspace in Cape Town – was introduced to Ravi Naidoo, founder and managing director of Design Indaba. The two are now working on an installation together. But it isn’t just networking that the programme facilitates. Dunlop used his residency to learn how to use high-tech machinery as well as working on a personal project. “It’s a rare moment in life when someone gets the opportunity to ‘check out’ of normal life and spend a concentrated amount of time focused on a specific project,” he posted on his blog. “The inspiration that comes with that immersion is life changing.” There are many examples of such lifechanging results: resident Peter Smith started a company, Deadwood, based on the outcome of his residency; Helen Steer got a professional residency at London’s Central Research Laboratory out of hers; Jasmine Johnson was invited to exhibit her project at London’s Jerwood Space; Matt Gilbert turned some of his designs into products (pictured right), and after a successful showcase at Milan furniture fair quit his job to develop the work full time. Seeing how successful the programme was, resident designer James Tooze designed a table that would make space for more residents. Following the British Council-sponsored trial, Lloyd has continued running the programme with the help of other organisations. But, for him, having the backing of the network, and an institution such as the British Council, contributed to the strong start. “It was powered by the British Council logo,” he says. “It gave the residents a stamp.” In exchange, the Machines Room provided a base of sorts for the British Council, and somewhere to show the potential of the Maker Library Network initiative.

Anna Bates

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Maker Library Directory

ATÖLYE Istanbul Istanbul, Turkey Joined July 2014 Founded by Engin Ayaz and Kerem Alper, ATÖLYE is an open workshop and co-working space, established to nurture the creative community of Istanbul. Its Makerlab contains a diverse range of digital and physical prototyping tools for engineers, designers, artists and craftspeople. Situated in the 700sq m historic Bomonti Beer Factory, ATÖLYE runs workshops, talks and interdisciplinary seminars, and provides a vital space in the city for its makers to gain access to an international network of creatives. The Maker Library is run by Bilge Nur Saltik, who also has her own design studio. atolye.io

East London Printmakers London, UK Joined March 2016 East London Printmakers is an independent, artist-run studio that provides professional and affordable printmaking facilities for artists and designers, also giving opportunities for them to discuss and exhibit their work. The studio offers open access for screen printing on paper and fabric, etching and relief, and it runs a variety of courses and residency schemes. The Maker Library programme, run by artist and printmaker Jamie Temple, includes exhibitions, workshops and talks aimed at promoting printmaking to a broader audience of artists, makers and the general public, and encouraging the transfer of knowledge and skills across disciplines, and across the network. eastlondonprintmakers.co.uk

Elegant Embellishments Berlin, Germany Joined June 2015 Elegant Embellishments is a research and design manufacturing studio that creates architectural elements and buildings with a beneficial, active impact on their environment. Run by Allison Dring and Daniel Schwaag, it pioneered the Maker Library Network in Germany, running a series of events throughout June 2015 as part of Berlin’s urban architectural festival Make City. The studio installed a pop-up Maker Library at the entrance of its space, where it displayed examples of work and a specialist selection of books on smart materials and sustainable architecture. It also hosted talks and workshops, inviting innovative makers to meet and share knowledge at the space. elegantembellishments.net

FARM:shop London, UK Joined February 2014 – June 2015 FARM:shop is a city farming hub that conducts urban agricultural experiments as well as hosting a fresh food café and events space. The shop promotes city-grown food that is fresh, tasty, sustainable and grown with the help of its customers. Its Maker Library nestles between an aquaponic micro fish farm and a high-tech indoor allotment. Maker librarian and FARM:shop co-founder Paul Smyth has been involved in the development of the Maker Library Network since the beginning. At the 2014 launch event he and John Nussey collaborated with the Thingking Maker Library to prototype an Arduino-based monitor for a vertical aquaponic system during the Design Indaba

MAKER LIBRARY DIRECTORY

Expo – bringing urban farming and goldfish to the international design event. farmlondon.weebly.com

Geekulcha Pretoria, South Africa Joined February 2016 Geekulcha is an evolving tech hub for ICT students that hosts events, training and workshops. It enables young, creative and ambitious tech minds to connect with each other, share knowledge, collaborate on projects, network with industry leaders and obtain training to further improve their skills. Geekulcha wants to empower young South Africans and improve access to tech careers by providing the tools they need – and ultimately, create a society of producers rather than consumers. It joined the Maker Library Network in 2016, with selfconfessed geek Tiyani Nghonyama as librarian. geekulcha.com

GRAS Edinburgh, UK Joined February 2014 Founded by award-winning makerarchitects Gunnar Groves-Raines and Stuart Falconer, GRAS is a Scottish design studio that tests the boundaries of traditional architecture through the exploration of ideas, materials, techniques and technologies. The studio’s original Maker Library, a reconfigured vintage 1960s caravan, was the first mobile version of the concept. Originally a solution to a lack of space in GRAS’s studio, the duo used the caravan to roam outside its usual work environment and experiment. The studio has since moved to Custom Lane, a centre for collaborative design and making


located in the centre of Leith, north Edinburgh. The facility’s goal is to support emerging design talent and consists of a co-working space, a community workshop, an events space, a design gallery, a café and a variety of design-focused retail spaces. grastudio.co.uk

House 33 Abuja, Nigeria Joined March 2016 House 33 is a cultural space that presents art and ideas encouraging public interest in environmental sustainability and promoting dialogue. It programmes exhibitions, workshops, film screenings and artist talks, as well as residencies for local and international artists, writers, photographers and thinkers. The Maker Library, run by artist Ifesinachi Comedy Nwanyanwu, co-founder of House 33, builds on the existing programme, with the intention of connecting the growing creative community of Abuja to the international network of makers.

I AM U at 75 Harrington Cape Town, South Africa Joined February 2014 The I AM U Maker Library is run by Heath Nash, an artist best known for his colourful, functional designs made from consumer waste, and experimentations with materials and making processes. The makerspace is an innovation lab of sorts, attracting makers, artisans and artists to step inside and become part of the processes at play – but it is also a place where community is created. Nash sees design and making as tools that can bridge gaps between people with vastly different experiences and abilities. The library hosts

Maker Fridays to engage the local community and creative businesses in informal making sessions during which skills are shared. The I AM U makerspace is situated at 75 Harrington Street, a multidisciplinary co-working environment and incubation space. heathnash.com 75hs.co.za

IZONE Kyiv, Ukraine Joined April 2016 IZONE is a creative hub with open workshops, a fab lab, printing studios, a gallery, café and events space. Its goal is to nurture a community of artists, designers, sculptors and programmers by fostering a dynamic environment and facilitating spaces for experimentation. IZONE is the project arm of Izolyatsia: Platform for Cultural Initiatives. The Maker Library, run by Vladyslav Bilozerov and Alexander Manukyans, hosts events to connect makers around Kyiv, and gives them access to specialist books and the opportunity to learn and share skills and knowledge. The goal of the library is to become a useful platform for Ukrainian designers, architects, artists and craftspeople to convene and share their ideas, practice and products internationally. izone.ua

Laboratorio para la Ciudad Mexico City, Mexico Joined October 2015 The Laboratorio para la Ciudad (Laboratory for the City) is Mexico City’s experimental office for civic innovation and urban creativity, the first city government department

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of its kind in Latin America. The Lab is a space for rethinking, reimagining, and reinventing the way citizens and government can work together towards a more open, livable and imaginative city. The lab organised Mexico City’s first maker festival in 2014. The Maker Library at Laboratorio para la Ciudad launched in partnership with Abierto Mexicano de Diseño in October 2015 during the citywide design festival. Run by María García Holley, the library invited local makers, designers and the general public to attend workshops focused on the power of doing. labcd.mx

London College of Fashion London, UK Joined February – May 2015 London College of Fashion believes in using fashion to drive change, build a sustainable future and improve the way we live. The Maker Library at the Golden Lane Campus was hosted by the MA footwear course, and run by course leader Eelko Moorer. From hands-on pattern cutting workshops to lectures on the anatomy of footwear, the tutors turned librarians shared their skills and knowledge both on site as well as at other Maker Libraries in the UK and South Africa. arts.ac.uk/fashion

Machines Room London, UK Joined July 2014 Founded by Thomas Ermacora and run by Nat Hunter, this east London makerspace is open to the general public and businesses. It has workshops for woodwork, electronics and casting, and a Fab Lab with machines including laser and vinyl cutters, 3D printers


and CNC routers. The Machines Room also has a co-making and co-working space, so members can drop in and make or rent a desk and gain access to the facility’s tools, team and network. The Maker Library – care of Gareth Owen Lloyd, head of maker projects – hosts events and exhibitions, and runs a monthly international residency programme, enabling a designer or maker to use the equipment and then exhibit the work made in the gallery. machinesroom.org

The MakerSpace Durban, South Africa Joined January 2015 The MakerSpace is a community resource based at the Foundry, a creative manufacturing hub in the heart of Durban’s Station Drive precinct. Its goal is to develop a network of makers including engineers, designers, architects and tinkerers, and give them access to cutting-edge, lowvolume manufacturing technology, including laser cutters, 3D printers and small CNC machines. It operates on a membership basis to allow local makers and craftspeople the opportunity to use new technologies to improve their practice and develop their skills. The Maker Library at The MakerSpace – run by founder engineer Steve Gray – gets people together to encourage skills sharing and engagement with new technology, and hosts regular workshops for the public, run by members and guest makers. themakerspace.co.za

Makerversity London, UK Joined October 2013 – June 2015 Located in the basement of Somerset House, Makerversity was a working and learning space for start-ups and manufacturing businesses. It was founded to support emerging practices, provide opportunities for young people and to kick-start the ‘third industrial revolution’ in the heart of London. Back in 2013, designer Candyce Dryburgh and Tom Tobia, founder of Makerversity, helped pilot the Maker Library concept before setting up a hub in Somerset House in 2014. Here the library hosted a number of events and workshops, ranging from book clubs and maker demonstrations to guest lectures. makerversity.org

MAKLab Glasgow, UK Joined February 2015 MAKLab is Scotland’s first open access digital fabrication studio. Part of the FabLab network of design and prototyping makerspaces, the studio in Glasgow gives local people access to the latest digital prototyping tools, and training on how to use them. The space also acts as a hub for like-minded people to share ideas, give tips and help develop projects. Besides developing a network of makerspaces across Scotland, MAKlab offers workshops, community outreach programmes and professional development. Each new studio will develop its own Maker Library, under the watch of maker librarian Delphine Dallison, an artist who mixes digital fabrication and traditional making techniques in her work. maklab.co.uk

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Museum of African Design Johannesburg, South Africa Joined August 2014 – August 2015 The Museum of African Design (MOAD) is the first museum on the African continent dedicated solely to design. A cultural hub rather than a collecting institution, MOAD devotes itself to exploring the ever changing African continent and diaspora. It was also home to the first museum-based Maker Library, which became an essential part of the learning department. Run by Batya Raff, it hosted a range of workshops that drew on the skills of the local maker community, as well as connecting them to the rest of the Maker Library Network. moadjhb.com

Stranger Lagos, Nigeria Joined March 2016 Stranger is a concept store and lifestyle hub, located in Lekki Phase One in Lagos, run by maker librarian Yegwa Ukpo, a creative entrepreneur working across graphic design, fashion and curation. Stranger’s key focus is to build a community of likeminded individuals interested in design, making, arts and culture. It wants to celebrate modern Nigerian culture, but also look for external sources of inspiration and opportunities to collaborate with others in the network. Stranger hosts a wide variety of events including salons, exhibitions on emerging artists, film screenings and monthly communal lunches. The store’s Maker Library sets out to demystify how objects are made, with a particular focus on clothing and accessories. strangerlagos.com


Thingking Mobile Maker Library Cape Town, South Africa Joined February 2014 Thingking is a designer-maker consultancy run by Lyall Sprong and Marc Nicolson, who balance client projects with conceptual and socially responsive work. The consultancy’s Maker Library evolved into a mobile unit – a retrofitted camper van – enabling Thingking to travel and share making skills but also to learn from communities of makers across South Africa, especially those in places away from urban centres. In the future, Thingking wants to explore ways in which the mobile can be used as a self-contained manufacturing unit – for example, using the heat generated on the move to fuel making processes. thingking.co.za

University of Huddersfield Huddersfield, UK Joined September 2015 The Maker Library of the School of Art, Design and Architecture at the University of Huddersfield is run by Stephen Calcutt, technical manager coordinator of the school, and located in the Queen Street Studios alongside the architecture and 3D courses. It offers workshops and collaborative learning, functioning as a hackspace and specialised electronics workshop, with a selection of associated books and key texts. All students have the opportunity to attend practical workshops programmed in the space, focused on fostering collaborative thinking and providing them with the opportunity to engage with technologies and resources that they may not normally use as part of their curriculum. hud.ac.uk

Workspace Hout Bay, South Africa Joined January 2015 Workspace is a shared DIY space founded by maker librarian Craig Dunlop, where members pay an hourly or monthly rate to use workshop facilities – including machinery for woodworking, engineering, pottery and glass art, laser cutting and 3D printing. In addition, Workspace has a gallery and meeting area at the entrance serving home-roasted coffee and free Wi-Fi. Workspace encourages existing artisans and tradespeople to use their skills by providing them with the necessary tools, equipment and opportunities for enterprise development. Situated in a creative hub in Hout Bay’s old fisheries district, Workspace is a permanent base for several local artisans and producers, who operate their small businesses on site and are involved in mentoring programmes for community youth in the area. justdiy.co.za

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Credits Publication Anna Bates, Editor Emmi Salonen of Studio EMMI, Art Director Ella Reynolds, Commissioner and Programme Manager, Maker Library Network, British Council Contributors Justine Boussard Tomas Diez Edwin Heathcote Stephen Knott Massimo Menichinelli Liliana Padilla Fi Scott Andrew Sleigh Sub-editor Rosie Spencer Maker Library Network project teams past and present: From Now On Daniel Charny, Creative Director Dee Halligan, Director Justine Boussard, Project Coordinator Design Team Alon Meron, Designer of Maker Library Network shelving Koby Barhad, Graphic Designer Jim Rhodes, Web Designer and Developer British Council Sarah Mann, Director, Architecture Design Fashion Beatrice Pembroke, Director, Creative Economy Levinia Jones, Head of Arts South Africa, Connect ZA Tom Porter, Director, Arts, Sub-Saharan Africa Ella Reynolds, Programme Manager, Maker Library Network Moira Lascelles, Programme Manager, Maker Library Network Gian Luca Amadei, Design Programme Manager

With special thanks to: Cansu Ataman Marloes ten Bhömer James Binning Adam Blencowe Tord Boontje Elizabeth Corbin Oscar Diaz Catriona Duffy Thomas Ermacora Fak’ugesi Festival Connie Freyer Joao Guarantani Faudet Harrison Porky Hefer Nat Hunter Janine Johnson Thato Noinyane Caroline Meaby Trevyn McGowan Alison Moloney Tetsuo Mukai John Nussey Chineze Onuoha Opendesk PAN Studio Heloise Park SAM Labs Vicky Richardson Elke Ritt Susanna Rowland Jimena Santoyo Jana Scholze Rebecca Shoesmith Emily Sloan Melanie Spencer Fi Scott Mil Stricevic Yuri Suzuki David Swann Technology Will Save Us Tom Tobia Matt Webb Ilya Zabolotnyi Pamela Zúñiga

Photo credits: p. 6, British Council Library, Singapore, © Mat Wright p. 7, Maker Library Showcase, South Africa, © Keziah Suskin p.8, Workspace Maker Library, South Africa, © Keziah Suskin p.11, Maker Library books, courtesy elegant embellishment p.17, Maker Library bookshelves, © Vitra Design Museum, photography Bettina Matthiesse p. 18-23, Maker Library bookshelf designs, courtesy Alon Meron and Koby Barhad p. 24, Himmeli, © British Council p.25, Microbusiness Kits, courtesy Thingking p.26, Trispace, © Keziah Suskin p. 27, Maker cards, courtesy Gareth Owen Lloyd and Phillip Raiford Johnson p. 27, African Robots, © Vitra Design Museum, photography Bettina Matthiesse p. 29, Maker Library Network Think Tank, © James Gifford-Mead p. 31, Fab lab, courtesy Tomas Diez p.33, Global maker communities, courtesy Massimo Menichinelli p. 34, Saber Creativo, courtesy Laboratorio para la Ciudad p.35, Prosolve370e, © Vitra Design Museum, photography Bettina Matthiesse p. 36, Flat-pack hydroponic kit, © Vitra Design Museum, photography Bettina Matthiesse p.37, Mobile Maker Library, © Mike Massaro p. 38, Chandelier maker Istanbul, © Bilge Nur Saltik p. 39, TEN programme, © Keziah Suskin p. 40, Vitra design museum, © Keziah Suskin p. 41, Matt Gilbert’s mechanical furniture, courtesy Matt Gilbert


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