Makerspaces which have a focus on sustainability are interested in; environmental issues, lowering user consumption, developing projects around renewable energies, inventing products that last longer and require less energy for production therefore lowering emissions. Sustainable Living Lab in Singapore http://www.sl2square.org/ aims to build a sustainable future through community building, technology experimentation and social innovation. https://therestartproject.org/ The restart project is a mobile Makerspace which host ‘fixing parties’, their aim is to lower user consumption by providing skills, space and an opportunity for the community to fix their old electronics rather than throwing them away to be replaced by new shiny things!
AbilityMate are an open-source community inventing products for an inclusive society. They believe every person with a disability should have access to the assistive devices they need. So they are creating open-source designs for the most-needed assistive devices. Once designed, they set up hubs where these designs can be customised and 3D printed for different local communities. AbilityMate have a very defined focus on inclusivity and social impact. What will your Makerspace do?
These makerspaces have an active engagement with the creation of our arts and heritage. ‘The arts’ is a broad term that includes a wide range of disciplines from theatre, dance, literature, storytelling, music, craft and visual arts to film, spoken word, digital media, photography and beyond. The term ‘heritage’ encompasses an individual’s understanding of themselves, their material culture and the world around them. Cultural organisations and specialists such as museums, libraries, archives, archaeological sites, historic houses and other built environment institutions safeguard and contribute to this knowledge and understanding. Culture, in all its richness and diversity, can be experienced as listening, playing, seeing, watching and interacting, performing, devising, designing and composing, making, writing and doing. [cultural learning alliance] eg. http://idx.org.au/ Indigenous Digital Excellence fosters the digital literacy of indigenous people around Australia. They not only have a localised Makerspace in Redfern, in the heart of Sydney, they also provided digital tools and training packages to remote indigenous communities. They have a specific cultural focus group. Depending on your school’s demographic you might want to focus your Makerspace around Cultural Learning.
The use of digital technologies to make things while learning about how to operate these technologies. If you and your students are keen on the idea of 3d printers, desktop CNC routers or electronic hardware kits such as Arduino then digital making is for you. Going hand in hand with these technologies will be computers and software for the digital design/ 3d drawing which you will need as input to get your machines making objects.
This is the engagement in traditional artistic practices of manufacturing in the making of crafts such as pottery, sewing, woodworking, leatherwork and model making. This kind of theme may lend itself to more of an artisan type set of projects and will require some different thinking around programming but can be a great way of engaging a more varied audience.