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As part of Make:Shift:Do you can explore digital and human sensors at Knowle’s West Media Centre
11th October 2017

Make:Shift:Do 2017

On 27 and 28 October, makerspaces, fablabs, museums, galleries and libraries across the UK will throw open their doors to the public and host a vast programme of maker workshops and events. The point? To bring some sense to the often alien world of new craft.

Make:Shift:Do is distinct in its hands-on approach. Grounded on the premise that the best way to get your head around something is to just try it for yourself, the event will offer workshops in all shapes and sizes. Crewe Library’s Digital Wibble Wobble Olympics invites members of the public to build and code their own fitness monitor and then test it out in a dance-off, while London's Makerversity will host an Embroidery Hack. “We’re especially keen to showcase to families and young people that craft is broader than they think,” says Zoe Dennington, the Craft Council's Learning and Participation Manager. “Craft has relationships with a diverse range of sectors and industries.”

Make:Shift:Do is organised by the Crafts Council and provides families and young people with the opportunity to experiment with new craft technology that they might not otherwise have access to. The festival focuses on emerging craft technologies with workshops delving into the likes of 3D printing, computing, robotics and laser-cutting.

Explore how science and creativity can coexist Forum Centre

“We’d like to demystify technologies like 3D printing and help people see them as just another tool in their crafter’s arsenal,” says Zoe. “Local makerspaces across the country provide access to this kind of equipment within people’s communities, but the general public are often not aware of these opportunities. Make:Shift:Do encourages people to have a go.”

Create at Makerversity with part-machine, part handmade embroidery workshop

Make:Shift:Do is now in its third year and, although the essence of the event remains the same –  a nationwide festival that shares the innovative work taking place in makerspaces, studios and universities with young audiences – developments in public funding and a raised awareness for the festival, and making in general, has allowed the event to steadily evolve. This year, just over a third of the venues are public libraries. “A large number of libraries were awarded funding to develop makerspaces during 2017 and 2018,” says Zoe. “We’ve been keen to involve these exciting new spaces in the festival and help them build connections with existing maker communities.”

Also new for 2017 is the presence of a theme with events loosely exploring the potential of craft in improving physical and mental wellbeing. “Sometimes it’s difficult to see how technology like 3D printing can be applied in the real world. It looks cool, but what’s it for? We wanted to use this year’s festival to highlight some of the amazing real-world applications of new craft technology, particularly in relation to health and wellbeing,” says Zoe. “We took inspiration from innovations like Benjamin Hubert’s 3D printed wheelchair components, which allow previously standardised equipment to be customised to suit the user quickly and at low cost.

“Access to this kind of technology can democratise what were previously expensive processes, giving people more control over their own wellbeing. We wanted to take the opportunity to introduce people to new processes and then challenge them to think big and dream up ways these innovations could benefit everyone’s health, wellbeing, and happiness.”

In Nottinghamshire, design and bring a robot to life using coding

Make:Shift:Do will take place across the UK on 27 and 28 October with most events being free to attend. Find the full event listings and reserve a place here.


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