Event: How can makerspaces, fablabs and hackerspaces help cultivate sustainable developments?

GDF MCR flyerThe aim of this event on Monday 26 October at the Machines Room in London is to bring together people involved or interested in sustainability activities to share, discuss, and reflect upon their experiences. Registration can be done here. And more details are here.

Interest in the social, economic and environmental possibilities of makerspaces and the maker movement continues to grow. Amidst the claims and aims people bring to this collaborative flourishing of tool-based creativity is an argument that community-based workshops can become experimental spaces for the pursuit of sustainable developments. Still more of an aspiration than a widespread reality, there are nevertheless growing numbers and varieties of activity aimed at environmental sustainability and social justice in community workshops, and which include:

  • Prototyping sustainable designs and systems
  • Exploring issues of sustainable energy through hacking solar panels and building DIY home energy systems
  • Incubating upcyling businesses and furnishing creative hubs for closed loop materials cycles
  • Hosting repair cafés and restart parties
  • Building communities interested in making, repair, repurpose and sustainability
  • Critical making that connects people to the political economies and material realities of production and consumption, and that explores alternative, more desirable futures
  • Organising workshops for the social innovation of local sustainability
  • Outreach activities that connect other sustainable development groups, and mobilising new thinking/action about technologies, sustainability and people
  • Cultivating postconsumer identities, values and material cultures

We have a fantastic set of speakers, who will be sharing experience form their sustainability practices and initiatives, and which either make use of makerspaces or have relevance to these spaces. There will be time for audience questions, discussion and networking. Speakers confirmed include:

  • Diana Wildschit and Harmen G. Zijp, FabLab Amersfoort and De War
  • Trystan Lea, Open Energy Monitor
  • Janet Gunter, Restart Project
  • Didac Ferrer, Tarpuna Co-operative & Ateneus de Fabricació Digital, Barcelona
  • Max Wakefield, Demand Energy Equality
  • Richard Clifford, MAKLab, Glasgow
  • Justyna Swat, POC21 and OuiShare
  • Liz Corbin / Mark Miodownik, Institute of Making, London
  • Susana Nascimento, ex-Vitruvius FabLab and Joint Research Centre – Brussels,
    European Commission
  • Ann Light, Professor of Creative Technology, University of Sussex

The event is free to attend. It will be held at the Machines Room in London.

In the discussions, our objective will be to consider strategies for promoting and reinforcing the roles makerspaces can and could play in sustainable developments, including extending connections with opportunities in wider society and economy.

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