Revisiting: The cultural roles of makerspaces (2016)

It started as a recurring conversation in the studio: was there anything really new about makerspaces or was the innovation speak and the 3-d printing a fancy wrapper on already familiar formulas (museums, libraries, creative hubs). Why did it matter? Everything from business models and finance to audience targets and community goals depend on the answer. And there was a lot of money and a lot of people making promises..

Within a few months the in-studio conversation had found a public platform: an extended research piece and a round table event with CODE co-design lab in Copenhagen. Together with a global panel of experts we discussed the intersection of making and makerspaces with the cultural sector – museums, galleries, libraries, community and civic spaces. We examined new interests and behaviours and observed a new typology of makerspace emerging. The resultant publication helped us refine our thoughts and better shape projects such as Maker Library Network and the Design Museum. it continues to be referenced as a key text within the sector.