Maker Spaces in your Neighbourhood

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Recently I wrote about the Creative Museum project in Brighton and Dublin and how it explored building a creative museum together as well as re-imagining the museum space for Makers. As a result of the latter workshop in Dublin, I took the initiative to introduce a local cultural institution with a local Maker space.

The thinking and ethos of the Maker community is to share ideas freely and openly i.e. open source. Arduino is a case in point and for those of you who are not familiar with it here is a brief summary

Arduino was born at the Ivrea Interaction Design Institute as an easy tool for fast prototyping, aimed at students without a background in electronics and programming… All Arduino boards are completely open-source, empowering users to build them independently and eventually adapt them to their particular need

Which brings me back to the introduction of a local cultural institution with a local Maker space. I have worked in Irish cultural institutions for over 20 years and have noticed the tendency to withhold the sharing of resources and ideas with colleagues, most probably due to the competitive nature of allocated funding, etc. Yet with the ethos of the Creative Museum project and Maker community, the project aims to analyse and share as well as make information widely available through networking, social media, a Maker in Residence programme and dissemination with other museums and Makers. So why not share the ‘love’ of museums and Makers working together?

Why collaborate with local Makers?

Makers are innovators, they have the skills to explore, experiment, risk failure when prototyping ideas as risk leads to problem solving (thanks TOG!). Cultural institutions can tap in to this creativity and exchange new ideas for public engagement programmes.  This evening I ‘matched-maked’ a neighouring cultural institution with TOG Dublin Hackerspace. Plans are underway to collaborate with a local project involving creative learning for young people. TOG Dublin Hackerspace has a membership of 75 Makers. They actively engage with people (young & old) throughout the year including Dublin Maker, Inspirefest, Science Week, to name but a few. Why collaborate? We are all local, we have limited resource but lots of ideas, we want to engage with local communities and up-skill young people as well as others.  Will this work? I hope so. What are the key ingredients for successful collaboration? Open communication, mutual respect and understanding and the ability to experiment, explore and create.  Watch this space for more updates.

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