20 July 2015

Future Makespaces in Redistributed Manufacturing Symposium


I’m at an RCA symposium exploring “Future Makespaces in Redistributed Manufacturing” I’ve been following and indeed taking part and promoting the harnassing of emerging and established ‘maker’ communities and related ‘enthusiasts’ in the cultural sphere. With the growth of information/’tech’ culture it’s no surprise that we are now looking at how Makerspace/Hackspace culture could affect the means of production at scale.

For me it follows on from moving into DoESLiverpool, my PublicEngineering project and research like the great NESTA makerspace mapping by Hannah Stewart and @hwayoung’s exploration of ‘the maker belt’ alongside the continuing trend for cultural hackathons which I recently tried my hand at for the The Hub UK with Bring&Byte.

These are my notes on the speakers and thought exercises.

5 million RaspPI have been sold and some 10K Arduino’s a month are sold (no ref on this)

How will this plateau out and impact on the future of invention: there is a surface tier that is extremely wide and broad and then a lesser known clowdy dark matter tier.

Are there suspect motives behind Utilising Maker-ness?

Barcelona makerspace example:

Tensions between the ‘community’ and what funders want

Case by case is important

Maintaining diversity

Every year I go to North West Vintage Rally and use it as my ‘standard candle’ for festival style engagement: there’s everything from Dog shows to Fairground Organs to 2-stroke engine clubs. I think it’s a good model because

  • No overt conceptual framework
  • Guaranteed family friendly crowds
  • Strong and diverse community (although pretty older white male)
  • Fairly off-trend enthusiasms
  • People who visit have an intuitive sense of the value of exhibitions
  • Randomly mixed with old school fairground caller C.R.E.A.M (Cash Rules Everything Around Me)
  • Channeling Fred Dibner, Maker Faire and The Antiques Road Show
  • Norman’s Organs
  • Resilient yet still part funded by Halton Borough Council
  • Dogs towing carts

I’m only referring to this to make sure in our analysis and mapping and utilisation feasibility studying we don’t forget the random spirit of creativity and making without clear aims and objectives that is the real fountain of the technical culture. Another form of Dark Matter surely…

Dark Matter of Maker Spaces


Are makerspaces really designed? Should they be? Relationships to hackerspace culture

“Dark Matter and Trojan Horses” Dan Hill Available Here

Applying software development models into the real world a git push origin master for reality

We want to Redistibute Manufacturing but we dont want to run redistributed manufacture in the NorthWest

Support the community not absorb or control it.

Access and sector the Dark Matter of Venn Diagrams

There is no easy win to dark matter issues;

The main thing about it is we cant see it easily that’s why we use the metaphor: Dangers are cultural gestures and cultural visibility…

A Treatise On The Cornish Pumping Engine

Can we really scale?

Reproducing the Dark Matter status quo’s what are the structural battoning going on



Antique small engine club

Chaos Computing Club


Diversity of customers from OGGCAMP2013 to now.

Glynn Hudson Wales

Hiding Manufacturing from the Makerspaces to engage What is local?

Sounds like we need established manufacturing services in order for them to run the smaller manufacturing models that allows people to order 10 circuit boards.

Need high volume to float the low volume and bespoke.

Allow a smaller business model to exist within a bigger one

Good & Bad

Ethics of home manufacturing and “Maker Movements in the home” Who will ruthlessly exploit the material of ‘Maker-ness’

Reverse Engineering the Gulf Stream

Open Knowledge versus ‘new transacitional methodologies’


Service designers

“develop orthotics for people within 1 week globally”

Naveed looking at software to enable printing of orthotics

Demand and capacity gaps and clinical evidence gap

Industrial led culture leads and inhibits/inhabits everything

Half-Cut Stack: is thinking about ‘the Full Stack’ important here?…

Influencing the stack and standards committees

Material science in additive manufacturing is very poor… FDA in America is still the main regulator Service Design is poor: Look at OnShape

Empathy can create radical disruption

Danger of throwing hyped tech and methodologies at things.

###UK Maker Belt Association

Pallet Enterprise and the Young Gun Antiquists Andrew Back of OSHUG

UKMBA Origin of UKMBA Laser Challenge and featuring dirtycircuits boards for impact sensors. Demystifying the industrial estate Outgrow.me


The journey & narrative of the various manufacturing tiers…

NRI innovation research Not individuals at all its multi disciplinary teams distributed non-linear The Cox Review STEM >> STEAM

Go in for one thing and have completely unrelated inspiring conversation about something else

What is an innovation space? Experience of being approached by 2 designers in MakerFaire about how to design stuff; I just gave completely conflicting advice! Wanting your cake and eating it but also cooking it and assembling the cooker element.

HEBCIS REC Research Excellence C

Social returns…the single front door…

Diverse Critical Bolt holes for innovation and play

The whole day made me think on Markus Brinkmann’s idea of hackerspaces as Havens for people and knowledge from our PublicEngineering Project which I blogged about here

Essentially rather than utilise and harness the makespace it’s more about distributing some of the methods and madness and growing them in sustainable bubbles that may have all kinds of different organisational structures. But rather than make them too big (See Article on Leopole Kohr make them truly diverse.

See this article via McFilter to realise that the Future Makespaces project could look at some similar community technology meets industrial culture pasts like the Lucas Plan as always excellent internet filtering by McFilter not to be confused with MCFilter

Critical of over-hype in co-design but clearly we are all really focussed on Co-Designing with families Critical of imagination without restraint but then focussed on imagination? Critical of gestural provocations but then always bringing it back to one


Lunar society Watt / Murdoch /

Antique Small Engine Collectors Club

North West Vintage Rally


Open Chaos

Wuthering Bytes

PublicEngineering Bochum

PublicEngineering Liverpool