Maker-centric: building place-based, co-making communities

Lead Research Organisation: University of Wolverhampton
Department Name: Faculty of Arts

Abstract

In an MIT White Paper the architect and urban planner Susan Silberberg (2012) argued for the value of 'making' in place-making as a means to drive community engagement in the future design of public space. Momentum is growing for a 'making-centric' world', she declared, emphasising the 'deep engagement' and 'deeply inclusive approach' that comes when an enterprise or activity is undertaken in community settings over a period of time. Maker-centric takes this material placed-based approach to engaging communities in speculative co-design. It argues that 'making in place', with all the historical, geographical, cultural, political and economic specificities which that entails, and critically re-imaging place through creative 'place-making', is vital to connecting communities and developing, engagement, assets and agency (Hackney & Figueiredo 2017). As such it builds on findings from a raft of Connected Communities projects and events, most recently the team's contribution to the Utopias Festival at Somerset House July 2016. This was led by Community Partner Craftspace, Birmingham in collaboration with Wolverhampton University, and piloted a proposal for how co-created, creative making might provide a platform for community co-speculation as a form of 'living heritage' (https://cocreatingcare.wordpress.com/maker-centric-2016/).

The project is timely given regional dissatisfactions post-Brexit. Focusing on Midlands' heritage builds on, and provides opportunities to connect with the region's long history of industrial innovation and radical thinking from a contemporary perspective (see Made in the Middle and The Matter of the North BBCR4). Locating the project within such contemporary initiatives as the 'Midlands Engine' of which Wolverhampton University is a part and that aims to 'capitalise on the 'Midlands' natural strengths and assets' (Sajid Javid 2016), and Craftspace's 'Made in the Middle' that is currently is in its eight year (http://craftspace.co.uk/), strengthens currency and relevance. The Midlands is a highly diverse multi-cultural region and place-based making includes making in the private spaces of the home just as much as the public spaces of the town or city. As such we work with minority ethnic and excluded groups to reimagine their locality, including women who, although often isolated have shared interests and skills in domestic making (sewing, embroidery, textiles); assets that if supported can increase agency and opportunity through creative practice and knowledge exchange (Hackney 2013). Partnership working has been at the heart of all our community engagement research to date. It is essential in embedding the research in communities, gaining trust, minimalizing risk and building legacy. This project takes that learning to a new level, not only working with current partner Craftspace as a Community Co-Investigator but also by extending the learning to the organisation's like-minded partner network within the region: Legacy West Midlands http://legacy-wm.org/ and Creative Black Country http://www.creativeblackcountry.co.uk/, for instance, and beyond. The latter involves knowledge exchange through co-making with Terra Vera, an association in Slovenia that supports community resilience through sustainable development in praxis, including a programme of networks supporting women handcrafters as local entrepreneurs. The organisation's remit to work with low-income communities, encourage intergenerational dialogue, provide new opportunities for vulnerable social groups, and promote creative re-use of material and clothes, parallels our research with place-making, 'making exchanges' and maker spaces to promote sustainable thinking, build assets and agency (Hackney 2017). Maker-centric builds capacity and impact through co-making communities that are simultaneously locally embedded in a critical engagement with place, and internationally connected through a shared commitment to making.

Planned Impact

Maker-Centric responds to government directives as they are felt on the ground through community and partner organisation needs. The Department for Communities and Local Government says it is 'working to help citizens and communities take action to solve their own problems'. Maker-Centric acknowledges this agenda and provides a grassroots model to inform how community assets can be maximised and shared. The DCMS Culture White Paper March 2016 identifies the government's key priorities which address community needs in terms of digital technology, culture and heritage: ensuring technology and improved digital infrastructure has a crucial role to play in connecting communities, ensuring neighbourhoods are good places to live and work, and establishing new Heritage Action Zones to build and improve relationships between local partners to stimulate the productivity of the historic environment through regeneration and growth. Working with cultural organisations to support communities to realise their local cultural vision, through a new Great Place scheme, it recognises that greater local partnerships are necessary to develop the role of culture in place-making and wants to see strategies developed throughout the country and embedded in local authorities' plans and policies. The West Midlands Combined Authority, additionally, has identified that the West Midlands suffers from a significant shortage of skills both at the lower and higher ends of the skills spectrum (especially manufacturing and IT). Statistics also show low engagement in arts and culture and a high number of people at risk in terms of health.

Developing collective responses to heritage and place-making using hand-crafts and digital technologies to unlock community agency is at the heart of the Maker-Centric methodology. Maker-Centric works locally in the Midlands with communities to establish a network of partners and collaborators, including Creative Black Country, Legacy West Midlands, Soho House Museum, Wolverhampton University, Sandwell College and other universities, museums and community organisations, to persuade policy makers, local authorities and third sector leaders to recognise, value and apply the 'soft power' of creative making as a flexible tool to leverage community agency and active participation in a civil society. Knowledge Exchange with international partner Terre Vera, based in Slovenia, about how to identify and co-creatively build community assets and craft skills, will help them begin to address some of the challenges of settling refugees/migrants into their country, while providing community groups in the Midlands, and especially Maker-Centric's six community ambassadors, with new opportunities to develop their experiential knowledge of the agency of making as a catalyst for change. Maker-Centric builds on community Co-investigator (also Co-I and PI on proceeding research projects that inform this proposal) Craftspace's established connections with third sector and other organisations in the Midlands to evolve models of community engagement using the arts/crafts as a tool for development. Through its existing grass roots networks (in Birmingham and the Black Country) and interactions as well as its national role in leadership and input into policy and practice development, Craftspace is aware of gaps in provision set against local needs. The chosen 'places' for Maker-Centric: Handsworth in Birmingham and areas of the Black Country are rich in assets, both in terms of their ethnically and culturally diverse communities and their strong industrial and cultural heritage; assets, nevertheless, which are often overlooked or ignored. Working with a diverse range of groups, creative approaches and agencies, Maker-Centric aims to co-produce outputs: artefacts, tool-kits, activities, resources, networks, publications and events, which will highlight the community agency in these areas, build legacy and impact.
 
Title Digitally produced artefacts - laser-cut stamps and other artefacts 
Description 3D laser-cut stamps, artefacts, and stencils collaboratively produced by project participants, project artists and Wolverhampton School of Art students. The stamps and other artefacts were developed during group discussion and designed to express participant identities (group and individual) as they evolved during the interactive processes of making; as such, form a central component part of the Maker-Centric Method. Hand-drawn, crafted designs were taken to Fab Lab West Bromwich where the groups worked to fabricate the stamps under the direction of Ann Scrimshaw and her team. The stamps responded to Black Country heritage but were also used to map out and perform a mapping event/story that reflected the ethos and character of each group. So, Gatis stamps and stencils reflected and responded to their interest in place and ecology and took the form of ecological 'graffiti' and other artefacts that responded to the specificities of place and their location in Whitmore Reans Wolverhampton (see Hackney et al 2018). Petals of Hope are a women's group who enjoy sewing and several members possess sophisticated embroidery and stitching skills. Group members come from many parts of the world and their discussions and stamps focused on language and notions of home - their stamps reflected national flowers which were printed onto a tablecloth, and individual place settings that were then embellished by group members. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact All groups and participants demonstrated, shared and discussed their stamps and stencils at a knowledge sharing event at Soho House museum December 2017 Birmingham which was attended by participants, researchers, stakeholders, representatives from third sector organisations and members of the public (60 plus people attended). Gatis community group used their stamps at a community event that they staged autumn 2017 - a Lantern Festival and walk attracting several hundred people (https://www.facebook.com/gatiscommunityspace/). Petals of Hope took their stamps and tablecloths to Make Shift, Wolverhampton's annual ideas festival, 11 November 2017, where the demonstrated them to over 100 people involved in community activism in the Midlands. (www.makeshiftwolverhampton.wordpress,com) 
URL http://makercentric.wordpress.com
 
Title Mah rana film 
Description 2017 One Day When We Were Young (Digital Film: https://vimeo.com/180566371), This film was created by Mah Rana and Fiona Hackney both as an integral part of a short ethnographic project exploring making and filming as a means to learn share and communicate, and also as a free standing craft film in its own right. The film was selected by the Crafts Council to be shown in their annual event about craft film and was screen in London and around the country to large audiences. It is also available online on vimeo and through the artist's website. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact Exposure to significant audiences through the Crafts Council screenings in London and around the country - audiences in the thousands 
URL http://vimeo.com/180566371
 
Title Textile and print artifacts for Criminal Quilts show/project 
Description A series of textile and print pieces Printed artifacts Accompanying written material Bespoke films 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact An ongoing partnership with artist Ruth Singer who we hope to work with again in relation to work around heritage, place and textiles as a means of engaging with communities. 
URL https://ruthsinger.com/artist/gallery/criminal-quilts/
 
Description The project has been given a no-funds extension so research findings are still in process
Exploitation Route This is still in process with project stakeholders and partners
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL http://makercentric.wordpress.com
 
Description The project has provided engagement tools/resources for the partner organisations, both stakeholder (Creative Black Country) and co-Investigator (Craftspace Birmingham). This is hosted on the project website and, when completed, will be linked to partner websites. The toolkit also includes printed elements (hard copy). The toolkits were co-produced by craft community groups in the two regions: Birmingham and the Black Country to demonstrate how creative responses to making in place and place-based craft heritage can serve as a means to build community assets and agencies. The toolkits also help participants locate their creative practice within creative and cultural industries discourses and networks, and use hand-making skills to connect with digital affordances (Fab Labs etc.). These methods and tools are being used, developed and adapted by other stakeholders and participants in the region including Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council and Arun Bector's BME Housing Consortium's work with groups in the region, including Asian men and mental health, Women of Wolverhampton (WOW) and others. Arun has taken the Maker-Centric model of using stamps made in the Fab Lab as a means of creative community engagement and is using them in his current Heritage Lottery project about science and the universe for instance, which involved a series of pop up workshops at venues in Wolverhampton and the Black Country and a science fare summer 2018 (reaching several hundred participants). Gatis Community Space, and Petals of Hope Heathtown Wolverhampton continue to use the Maker-Centric model within their community groups and both organisations are involved in a new project with University of Wolverhampton which extends these methods to focus on 'designing a sensibility for sustainable clothing'. Craftpsace will use the tools they develop to work with the dozen or so new craft groups and individuals that they have worked with in Handsworth, and are running events from Soho House Museum. and the Fab Lab West Bromwich, reaching both stakeholders's users and communities (includes several hundred people). Knowledge exchange with Terra Vera Association in Slovenia is underway and after partner visits to the UK and Slovenia Terra Vera with work with project researchers to develop further funding bids and/or explore Erasmus exchange, and collaborative working with the Fashion Lab at University of Wolverhampton on sustainable/upcyling projects and supporting craft skills development and knowledge exchange to support migrant communities and refugees.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Creative Economy,Education,Healthcare,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description AHRC Connected Communities Catalyst Report
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
URL https://connected-communities.org/index.php/about/
 
Description EAC Fixing Fashion
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
URL https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/environmental-audit-comm...
 
Description Arts and Humanities Research Council Responsive Route
Amount £172,000 (GBP)
Funding ID AH/R00123/1 
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2017 
End 06/2019
 
Description Catalyst funding Connected Communities
Amount £2,000 (GBP)
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2017 
End 10/2017
 
Description Crafting Futures India
Amount $25,000 (USD)
Organisation British Council 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2020 
End 03/2021
 
Description ENGAGE Museums and Universities Partnership Initiative (MUPI)
Amount £950 (GBP)
Organisation Arts Council England 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2017 
End 03/2018
 
Description Research Grant, Follow-on Funding Impact & Eng
Amount £100,000 (GBP)
Funding ID AH/P009638/1 
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2017 
End 12/2018
 
Title Maker-Centric Method 
Description Maker-Centric Method: 'Maker-Centric Method' is a prototype toolkit that was co-produced with project participants in the Black Country and in Birmingham. It is based on participants experiences of place-based collaborative making and designed to synthesize common elements and a shared ethos, but also to be open to customisation by other groups and organisations. The 'messiness' of the Maker-Centric process reflected inherent complexities in communities and community working, and became the defining aspect of the project. We sought to chart a journey through and unravel a method from the 'mess', establishing a series of propositions, proposals and situations for making and thinking, and thinking through making, which have a sense of repetition and alterity. Finding key words and images that emerged during Maker-Centric, researchers noticed that words such as 'invite', 'map', 'place', 'support' can be read as verbs and nouns: doing and naming words, something that nicely encapsulates a method that is grounded in process (making/doing) and results in identifying (naming/understanding) new knowledge about participants and groups. Designed on a grid like a board-game the tool-kit can be cut-up, rearranged, and customised. It is intended to be playful, open-ended, and adaptable, to reflect the fact that working with and in communities is not linear, nor should it be. Following Grant Kester (2005: 2), researchers were mindful that conversation can serve as an important tool if 'reframed as an active, generative process that can help us speak and imagine beyond the limits of fixed identities and official discourse'. For Maker-Centric participants and researchers 'making in place', with all its associated activities and experiences, served as the reframing process that helped imagine alternative futures and identities in the community. In one participant's words, 'I come to be with others, they are like my family, we chat, make, gossip'. A series of key words: Invite, Share, Map etc and related images from the project provide an enabling process/structure that can be reconfigured in different ways by users, depending on their aims and needs. As such, the toolkit aims to move towards a community practice that builds upon rich, local, everyday practices, and can be adopted and adapted by those looking to foster projects in their communities. It provides a model for further reflexive work to be undertaken with the project groups, partners, researchers, and participants to use, modify, adapt and contribute to, in an ongoing iterative process of community knowledge generation. The toolkit also includes short films, examples of craft work, workshop blogs and other related materials including 3D printed objects and will be made available from stakeholder websites in addition to the project website. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The tool is still in development with partners Craftspace and Creative Black Country and is being tested with project participants in Birmingham at a workshop in Soho House Museum (March 2018). A strategy for ongoing dissemination and testing will be developed with project partners in Birmingham and the Black Country 
URL http://makercentric.wordpress.com
 
Description AHRC Stitching Together Research Network 
Organisation B-Arts
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution I was invited to become part of this network and attend and present at workshops sessions and take part in discussion. I was also asked to share methods developed in the AHRC CARE and Maker Centric projects using textiles for engagement with communities. I worked with the RA on my current project which builds on these methods to work with community groups to explore their potential to engender behavior change in terms of more sustainable clothing practices, and sustainable fashion.
Collaborator Contribution They are leading the research project (PI and Co-I)
Impact There is a proposed special issue journal in the Journal of Arts and Communities which we will be contribution to. This is in process for 2019-20.
Start Year 2019
 
Description AHRC Stitching Together Research Network 
Organisation Nottingham Trent University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I was invited to become part of this network and attend and present at workshops sessions and take part in discussion. I was also asked to share methods developed in the AHRC CARE and Maker Centric projects using textiles for engagement with communities. I worked with the RA on my current project which builds on these methods to work with community groups to explore their potential to engender behavior change in terms of more sustainable clothing practices, and sustainable fashion.
Collaborator Contribution They are leading the research project (PI and Co-I)
Impact There is a proposed special issue journal in the Journal of Arts and Communities which we will be contribution to. This is in process for 2019-20.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Craft Economies: Inequalities, Opportunities, Interventions: symposium, network and future publications convened by Dr Karen Patel at Birmingham City University 
Organisation Birmingham City University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Invited to give keynote and paper at 'Craft Economies: Inequalities, Opportunities, Interventions' and participate in subsequent network addressing issues of inequality in the crafts, and wider crafts economies
Collaborator Contribution The partner hosted the symposium and is heading up the resulting network and related activities
Impact Conference keynote by Deirdre Figureido Conference paper by Dr Hackney Both members of the Craft Economies network, and will be involved in future network activities and contribute to planned edited journal special issues which has currently been proposed to publishers
Start Year 2019
 
Description Crafting the Commons 
Organisation Nottingham Trent University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Acting in an advisory capacity to a network community partner (Glasshouse, Liverpool) for a community project, workshops and exhibitions. I will also attend a three day workshop event in Dublin in July 2020, write blogs about activities etc for the project website, and attend the final exhibition and related symposium/events
Collaborator Contribution Project leads Dr Amy Twigger-Holroyd, Nottingham Trent University and partner lead Deirdre Figureido, Director Craftspace Birmingham (who was Co-I on Maker Centric), are leading this AHRC network, which develops from, among other research, methods and findings from Maker-Centric
Impact in process
Start Year 2019
 
Description Craftspace 
Organisation Craftspace
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution I was the PI on this project and, with my team artists Gavin Rogers and Laura Onions, and the RA ran the Black Country side of the project in collaboration with partner CBC. I led the research collection and the analysis of the data, was lead author on a chapter in a collected edition about business and craft (Routledge) and organised the knowledge exchange event at Soho House, Birmingham December 2017. I am also heading up the production of the toolkit resources for partners.
Collaborator Contribution Craftspace was not only a partner but also a Co-I on this project and it continues our ongoing work with the organisation over the past half dozen or so years. They ran the Birmingham side of the project which included locating and working with a large number of small (often amateur) craft groups, businesses and single traders, many of whom attended the knowledge exchange event at Soho House where they set up stalls, ran performances, demonstrations and events and held a craft fare. Craftspace have connected these groups with the Fab Lab West Bromwich and worked with artist Melanie Tomlinson to create a 3D digitally fabricated toolkit resource. Craftspace also brought in CBC and Terra Vera in Slovenia as project partners and facilitated connections that fed into a new AHRC funded project Designing a Sensibility for Sustainable Clothing. Craftspace and Terra Vera contributed sections to the co-written chapter about Craft and Business (Routledge). Craftspace is a key player within cultural industries, community arts and heritage activities and strategies in the Midlands and an influential voice in terms of policy development.
Impact Toolkit; chapter in edited book; policy briefing;
Start Year 2017
 
Description Creative Black Country 
Organisation Creative Black Country
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution We have worked collaboratively with CBC and their partner community organisations to run a series of reflective craft workshops in Community spaces (Gatis Community Space, Petals of Hope, Heath Town Wolverhampton) and Fab Lab West Bromwich to create reflexive toolkits including short films, texts, images exploring the value of place-based making, and local crafts heritage a means to promote and catalyse engagement. The toolkits will be available from the project website and also from the CBC website, as well as those of other partners as part of the project legacy
Collaborator Contribution CBC put facilitated our work with community groups through their partner organisations including Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council (WVSC). They participated in the initial taster workshop and their director attended our knowledge exchange event in Soho House Birmingham December 2018. CBC will be hosting the online toolkit on their website and promoting it to the community groups they work with in the Black Country. We will continue to work with them to explore its use, value and how it is adapted by community groups and related organisations.
Impact Online toolkits including project leaflets and printed outputs, project films. The collaboration is multi-disciplinary across arts, humanities and community development
Start Year 2017
 
Description Does Design Care? 
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Selected to attend and contribute to 3 day workshop event at Chiba University, Japan with around fifty designers, health specialists, design academics, architects etc. from across the world and contribute to subsequent publications
Collaborator Contribution The event and subsequent network was funded by the AHRC and organised and convened by Prof Paul Rodgers and colleagues at Lancaster University
Impact An edited collection (Does Design Care: Head to Head Debates, and related visual publication An Illustrated A to Z for the Design of Care)
Start Year 2019
 
Description Does Design Care? 
Organisation Lancaster University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Selected to attend and contribute to 3 day workshop event at Chiba University, Japan with around fifty designers, health specialists, design academics, architects etc. from across the world and contribute to subsequent publications
Collaborator Contribution The event and subsequent network was funded by the AHRC and organised and convened by Prof Paul Rodgers and colleagues at Lancaster University
Impact An edited collection (Does Design Care: Head to Head Debates, and related visual publication An Illustrated A to Z for the Design of Care)
Start Year 2019
 
Description Fab Lab West Bromwich 
Organisation Fab Lab West Midlands
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The Maker-Centric team have been working with FabLab West Bromwich (West Midlands) on a number of projects and they were an important partner for Maker-Centric. Part of the project remit was to explore how Fab Labs might be more accessible resources for community groups and members. A number of individuals from the CARE project have become regular users of the Fab Lab, and served as ambassadors on Maker-Centric, inducting and supporting new users for the Gatis and Petals groups. One thing we found, which we aim to develop, is that hand-making skills are an important way in to accessing digital skills opening up Fab Labs as wonderful community resources. We aim to develop the Maker-Centric Method as a strategy for FabLab West Bromwich in order that they might extend their user-base in community groups and the local community, particularly with regard to women and older (50 plus) users, and those with less technical confidence, competence. We argue that FabLabs represent and important and under-used community resource.
Collaborator Contribution We greatly value our relationship with Ann Scrimshaw who leads the Lab. A female engineer, Ann in extremely engaging and combines technical knowledge with an open-minded and community oriented attitude, which makes technology seem accessible and lots of fun! We aimed to capture Ann's engaging approach in short project films, which form part of the toolkit that will be available from the project website, and partner websites. Ann hosted groups at the Fab Lab on a number of occasions for workshops and training events, and also attended and spoke at the knowledge sharing event.
Impact Contribution to the project website, toolkit and knowledge sharing event.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Soho House Museum 
Organisation Soho House Museum
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution We have worked with Soho House on a number of occasions (including the CARE project) and they are a close collaborator with Craftspace which has worked hard to connect community groups with this important local heritage resource (home of Matthew Boulton, Soho works and decorative metalworking etc.) which is located in Handsworth, an ethnically diverse area with areas of deprivation. As such, Soho House is a unique place for exploring, connecting with and interpreting the region's rich craft and manufacturing heritage from a range of perspectives
Collaborator Contribution Soho House provides a unique heritage space for community groups to work in and connect with the region's internationally significant craft and manufacturing heritage. In this project it hosted the knowledge exchange event, December 2017, which community groups, participants, stakeholders and researchers fully appreciated.
Impact Knowledge exchange event dec 2017 reaching 60 plus people
Start Year 2017
 
Description Tera Verra Association 
Organisation Terra Vera Association
Country Slovenia 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution We hosted members from Terra Vera to visit the Midlands, attend and contribute to the Knowledge Sharing event in December at Soho House Birmingham. We also introduced them to members of staff and students in the Fashion and Textiles Dept. at University of Wolverhampton, School of Art, and took them on a tour around the facilities. Three members of the team undertook a return trip to Slovenia to see Terra Vera activities and meet their collaborators: designers, craftspeople, art dept, in the University etc. with a view to developing future collaborations and exchanges, and ideally develop a collaborative funding/research bid.
Collaborator Contribution Terra Vera visited the Midlands and presented at the project Knowledge Exchange event in Birmingham, December 2017. They are hosting the PI and two project artists to make a three day visit to Slovenia, meet some of their participants, artists, craftspeople, researchers and activists. They contributed to a jointly written book chapter about craft and business (Hackney et al 2018) which enabled us to reflect on shared interests/aims/ethics/approaches and map out future possible collaborations.
Impact Jointly written book chapter (see publications). This collaboration is multidisciplinary including contributions from: design historian, arts and crafts practitioners, anthropologist, community activist and a crafts organisation.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Meaning of Making exhibition presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Meaning of Making: People, Processes and Places at the Barber Institute of Fine ArtsUniversity of Birmingham, brought people together to hear experienced business people who have built sustainable businesses based on making in the UK.Learn how they have overcome obstacles to getting things made locally, creating opportunities for skilled employment and how to grow and maintain a brand, discuss the importance of new technologies in enabling craft businesses to thrive and grow without compromising the brand, quality or authenticity, network with others in related sectors and industries. Panel discussion included Emma Bridgewater: Founder, Designer and Owner of Emma Bridgewater Pottery, located in Stoke-on-Trent; Chris Holden: Founder and Creative Director of AJOTO, experts in the design of elegant and bespoke tools; Kelly Sidgwick: Co-founder of Good Chemistry Brewing based in Bristol, self-taught makers of approachable beers that celebrate flavour; Simon Topman: CEO of Acme Whistles, Birmingham, makers of the finest whistles in the world. Deirdre Figueiredo, Craftspace and Prof Fiona Hackney were invited to display project materials/outputs from the Maker-Centric Utopias project (Somerset House London, 2016) and to attend and to present that following day at a workshop developing ideas for a forthcoming book on the Business of Craft edited by Scott Taylor et al for Routledge.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/business/news/2017/06/The-Meaning-of-Making-the-bringing-togeth...
 
Description Arun BECTOR post project activities 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Patients, carers and/or patient groups
Results and Impact • Arun Bector, MC project participants and leader of arts engagement events with:
o Black and Minority Ethnic Communities.
o People with mental health issues.
o People with learning disabilities.
o People with Autism.
o People recovering from alcohol and drug misuse.
o Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Migrants.
o Independent Adults.
o Young people being home schooled.
o General public.

The Maker Centric project enabled Arun to develop further ideas about using stamps and the fab lab using "making" and "learning" elements of the project to disseminate key learning topics to wider audiences and participants across other projects, these include a number of science focused projects:

Once Upon a Time in the Universe - 2018

• We used an image of the Milky Way Galaxy to produce multi-coloured 3D printed key rings that were given to all participants in the project as recognition of their attendance and as talking points with their families and friends beyond the project in the future.

• We also used images of 10 different types of Galaxies to produce 20 rubber stamps using a Laser Cutter, which participants used with coloured ink pads to create and make art pictures that reinforced their new knowledge of Galaxies.

• 141 participants.

Simply Science - 2019

• We secured Lottery Funding to develop a new science project that aimed to widen the general publics awareness, participation and enjoyment of Science by making science more inclusive and more interactive.

• As part of the Biology element of this project we produced 3D printed skeleton key rings to give to participants so they had something that showed them what a skeleton looked like and also functioned as a key ring. This was so successful that the participants actually started painting these key rings in different colures to reflect their own personalities.

The Search for Spock - 2019

• We used an image of the Arecibo Radio message that was beamed into space in the early 1970's to produce multi-coloured 3D printed versions of this message that were given to all participants in the project as recognition of their attendance and as talking points with their families and friends beyond the project in the future.

• We also used this image to produce 10 rubber stamps using a Laser Cutter, which participants used with coloured ink pads to create and make art pictures that reinforced their new knowledge of how the search for extraterrestrial intelligence is taking place.

• 128 participants - this project is still on going.

Participants showed increased engagement and a sense of achievement. The stamps were easy to use and easy to make eye-catching images with and helped them engage with information and ideas about science and space. The stamps also served as something material that they could take away with them which was valued. The workshops were linked to a community competition, with prizes and fun events (with food), and prize winners got an extra boost of recognition. Prof Hackney, and project researchers served as judges on the competitions. They were also really fun events.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019
 
Description Arun bector 2 post-project activities This is Me 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This Is Me - 2019 - brought ideas about making and reflecting as a means of promoting agency, community, reflection through making and storytelling to other community projects with a focus on identity, place, and sustainability

• The Consortium secured funding to deliver a project that aims to bring people together from communities that are religiously and ethnically diverse so that they can get to know each other better, build relationships of trust and collaborate on initiatives that improve the local community they live in.

• By using the creative "Making" and "Learning" elements of the project we:
o Enabled participants to share their stories and experiences of their journeys through their personal objects of meaning.
o Develop art, crafts, models, clothing etc.
o Encourage re-cycling and up-cycling to make objects.
o Create an on-going understanding and awareness of different local communities and faiths.
o Breakdown barriers, stigma and discrimination that may exist amongst and between these communities and the general public.
o Produce bespoke objects that promote their individual and collective identity.

• Some of the participants also made stamps of things theta held meaning to them e.g. pets (cats, dogs, rabbits, pigs), X-box, Manchester United emblem, wolves, sweets, a revolutionary leader from Sudan.

• 60 participants attended the workshops and 71 people attended the final exhibition where prizes were awarded for the best projects.

This Is Me - 2020

• We are now repeating the project in anther area of Wolverhampton.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019,2020
 
Description Conference panel 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Making Value: Catalysing Fashion and Textiles Heritage in the Midlands
There are literally hundreds of small museums, archives and collections in the Midlands, a legacy of the region's rich industrial heritage. A surprising number of these include dress and textiles in various forms, from the specialist costume collection of Charles Paget-Wade at Berrington Hall, to intricately stitched smocks made by local needlewomen in Herefordshire, and the wealth of manufacturers' samples that comprise the silk ribbon trade archive at the Herbert Museum, Coventry. These are challenging times for many such organisations as they face cut backs in staff and local authority funding, yet they offer a unique and largely unexploited resource to those of us in art and design higher education, not only for primary research but also as a catalyst for innovation in the cultural industries. This presentation/panel emerges from a knowledge exchange event held last December at University of Wolverhampton and funded by the Museum-University Partnership Initiative (MUPI) and explores how to catalyse connections between such collections and HE. It draws on a range of proposals and projects-in-process and includes observations from academics, artists, designers, museums professionals and students considering, among other things, the value of co-production techniques for maximising connections and the benefits of shared working.
(208 w)
Panel chair Prof Fiona Hackney University of Wolverhampton. Panel members might include (depending on availability): Dr Emily Baines De Montfort University, Claire Anderson Head Textiles Hereford College of Art, Curator Althea McKenzie, Catherine Howard MA Design & Applied Arts Student UoW, Ali Wells, Curator Herbert Gallery, Jo Bloodworth Fashion University of Wolverhampton.

The event built on our work with making and heritage and related communities. The team collaborated on an article/discussion in a peer reviewed academic journal after the event: Journal of Textile Research and Practice which is published by Routledge and reaches an international audience of researchers, students, museum specialists and textiles practitioners
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Design History Society Conference, The Cost of Design 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Paper given at DHS conference The Cost of Design, Northumbria University. Disseminated project work, materials, and findings about the value of crafts, social design, creative co-production with communities as a means of promoting alternative values/craft economies and addressing issues around health and wellbeing, community agency, ecology and sustainability with regards to fashion and clothing. The event was an opportunity to network with colleagues in Europe, Scandinavia, US and UK who are working on similar issues around making, maker labs, and social design for change.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.designhistorysociety.org/conferences/view/dhs-2019-the-cost-of-design
 
Description Design Research for Change 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Objects from CARE and Maker-centric projects were included in the Design Research for Change exhibition at London Design Fair, Old Truman Brewery, and the related publication, curated and edited by Prof Paul A. Rodgers. Design Week is enormously prestigious and the show is visited by large numbers of design professionals, students, and the general public (attendance was in the thousands). The exhibition was also given an award.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.londondesignfestival.com/events/london-design-fair-0
 
Description Expanding Communities of Sustainable Practice Leeds 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Workshop delivered by Katie Hill (project RA) as part of Expanding Communities of Sustainable Practice event, Leeds Arts University, November 2018. This event was mainly attended by designers, design academics and students. It focused on sustainable design practice rather than just fashion and textiles and was an opportunity to disseminate the project to wider audiences outside the fashion-focused arena. A visual essay by Katie Hill was submitted for publication related to the event. The workshop sparked discussion about our project methods and was well received by others working with related co-produced community solutions to problems of sustainability.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Fab Lab-ulous Exhibition, Fab Lab West Bromwich 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Around 100 pupils and undergraduates attended the exhibition and workshop events, which included objects/photographs/short films and text disseminating the Maker-centric project and related projects. This involved questions and discussion and schools/colleges and members from community groups reported interest in using the facilities at the Fab Lab, and the co-creative methods used for collaborative working developed in Maker Centric project, to develop their work and realise ideas.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description IUAES conference Poznan, Poland 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Paper presented in panel convened by Prof Hackney and colleagues at the University of West of Scotland at anthropology conference in Poznan Poland - a large international audience at high profile event. Questions, debate, interest. This has resulted in two more panels being proposed and accepted on related themes for IUAES conference 2020 in Croatia, which will include papers on social making, activism, and feminism.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.iuaes2019.org
 
Description Maker-Centric: Place-based textile engagements - talk at Textile and Place Conference MMU Manchester 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Paper given about aspects of the Maker-Centric project and methods for engagement with communities through place and heritage. A large number of attendees at the conference including arts practitioners, museum and heritage professionals, and research students and staff. The talk was well received and publishing opportunities followed in the journal Textile culture - these will be followed up at a later stage. Networking resulted in an invitation to participate in the AHRC Stitching Together network
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.textileandplace.co.uk/
 
Description Making Futures 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Members of the Maker Centric team worked with Nick Gant University of Brighton and Katie Hill to host and run a two-day workshop strand for the Making Futures conference at Plymouth. The focus was on making methods and health and wellbeing. The sessions combined illustrated talks from a range of national and international speakers working in related areas, debate, discussion and hands on prototyping to design a wellmaking space. The audience and speakers were very international - including those from Europe, Scandinavia, India, USA. Discussion was lively and feedback extremely positive with a good deal of interest in the event and methods. The conference organizer has asked us to contribute to future conferences in the US and other international locations. A written report of the event will appear on the Making Futures website (open source) which has an international distribution and strong following among crafts and design practitioners, and stakeholder organisations such as the Crafts Council, British Council, and international museums and galleries etc.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://makingfutures.plymouthart.ac.uk
 
Description Making Futures 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Fiona Hackney working with Nick Gant, Katie Hills and Mah Rana, hosted and peer reviewed two days of presentations on the theme of wellmaking - this included talks and workshop activities, at the prestigious Making Futures conference which runs every two years in Plymouth. Craftspace were also at the event and played an important role in dissemination. The event is attended by a large audience (crafts practitioners, researchers, students, makers, museum professionals, academics, crafts council, British Council etc. and many international attendees and speakers). At least 500 people attended. Feedback for the session was excellent and we produced a detailed Report developing the wellMaking method based on talk, discussion and activities that took place during our strand in the two day event. Prof Hackney has been asked to lead a strand in social craft/design at Making Futures 2019
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://makingfutures.plymouthart.ac.uk/
 
Description Making Futures 2019 - social making 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Devised, curated and ran two day strand in conference titled: 'Crafting Value, Social Making: A Way of Contributing to the World' which included papers delivered by a range of international speakers including craft and design researchers, crafts practitioners, and those representing crafts and third sector organisations such as Craftspace, Crafts Council and British Council. The strand was convened by Prof Hackney, Katie Hill (RA on S4S) and the designer and researcher Mah Rana. Hackney and Hill screened the S4S project film and led discussion about the S4S approach as a means of using crafting, maker methods to promote pro-environmental behaviour change. Discussions with the British Council led to a successful funded-project proposal for the British Council call: Crafting Futures India, and a 20K project working with colleagues at Pearl Academy and craftswomen using methods developed in the S4S and Maker-Centric projects to foreground women embroiderers work using heritage methods/motifs to produce garments/products for contemporary markets in India and internationally.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://makingfutures.pca.ac.uk
 
Description Making suburban faith workshop and symposium 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The event was held at University College London and was hosted to bring together stakeholders, research practitioners, artists, craftspeople, academics and representatives from community groups to discuss outcomes from the AHRC Making Suburban Faith project. There were a number of illustrated talks including myself speaking about the Maker Centric method, and researchers and stakeholders talking about Suburban Faith and other related projects. There was also an exhibition and installation of the Suburban Faith's project outputs (crafts photographs etc). There were many parallels and interesting connections between our project findings and methods and those of the Suburban Faith project. I spoke to stakeholders and community participants who were all interested in Maker Centric methods as a means to build community assets and raise consciousness about the wider social, emotional value of making together both in terms of the processes involved and the artefacts produced.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2007
URL https://makingsuburbanfaith.wordpress.com
 
Description New Perspectives in Participation 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Ran a workshop at this conference - Connected Communities - New Perspectives in Participation - at University of East Anglia, Norwich. The activity involved making and reflecting and was run during the conference involving conference participants. It linked with Maker-Centric, CARE, methods - and how we have developed them for the S4S Designing a Sensibility for Sustainable Clothing project (AHRC responsive mode). The workshop had approx 20/30 participants
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://georgemckay.org/new-perspectives-in-participatory-arts/
 
Description Sustainable Fashion Conference Regents University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Sustainability in Fashion Conference at 'University London hosted by the International Textile and Apparel Association, UK and Regent's UK. Presented paper disseminating S4S project research methods and findings on a panel convened by Prof Carol Tulloch University of Arts London, and including colleagues from UK and US (academics, makers and researchers) about the value of making, repair, skills, slow crafts to an international audience of fashion academics, practitioners, professionals, and those from industry and business (sustainable fashion). Over fifty people attended our panel and it was mentioned as a model of good practice by the keynote speaker who had participated in our event. The panel provoked questions and discussion about the value of slow crafts and hands on making to changing behaviour, and values, and how we might live more sustainably. It also included critique of fashion industry practice, and infrastructure.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Sustainable Fashion conference London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Paper and power point presentation about the S4S project given at the Sustainable Fashion conference in London to an international audience of design practitioners, campaigners, and business professionals. This was an opportunity to promote the project to a professional and business audience, as well as academics working in the area. It was the only project looking at change through consumption and affect. Contacts were made with others working in the field and the project was well received by the audience (around 150 people). There is an opportunity to submit an article about the project to the Sustainable Fashion journal to disseminate further to those networks.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description University of Wolverhampton research showcase at the Houses of Parliament, London 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Research showcase including fashion show held by University of Wolverhampton at the House of Lords. Opportunity to disseminate research activities/methods/findings/artifacts/films to academics, third sector representatives, business, professionals, post-grad students at this event, which was planned to be as interactive as possible, and included a fashion show staged by post-grad students and community representatives involved in the S4S project. The show was designed to promote new attitudes to sustainable fashion, diverse and inclusive communities. Attendees, and particularly students and communities involved, reported a renewed sense that they could use fashion and creative approaches to making and clothing to make their voices heard and make change happen in their communities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.wlv.ac.uk/news-and-events/latest-news/2019/july-2019/house-of-lords-event-celebrates-res...