Earlier this season we speaking on the conference Making Futures . The conference Making Futures was held on 21-22 September at the magnificently sited Mount Edgcumbe House Plymouth, Devon, UK. Our presentation was part of the group Making Leaders – Curating Maker Cultures towards Collaborative leadership. Making Futures is a research platform exploring contemporary craft and maker movements as ‘change agents’ in 21st century society. Convinced of the transformative potential of small-scale making and its capacity to contribute to new progressive futures.

Together with Fabrizio Cocchiarella from 3Dimensional Design MMU Manchester, we held a collaborative presentation speaking on practice-led research and case studies that developed between our departments ArtEZ and MMU.

Our paper submission “Makers to Change-Makers” was exploring the Making practice as tool and agency for rethinking the complexity of issues around the social and urban landscape. How can Making enable new hybrid relationships that are needed to explore new ways of living, working, learning. As Education Institutes we value the outside spaces as our laboratory, where students have space to imagine, invent and explore the unknown as ways of rediscovering the city.

Making and Thinking within the context is a rich soil to foster awareness, learning to shift from desired outcome towards understanding the depth of context and meta-physical matter. Enabling the rich possibilities of creating and designing together in open, participatory and imaginative ways requires new forms of learning.

What spaces are needed to develop new frameworks for the transition from Maker to Change-maker?