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Sharing Insights: Developing Circular Practices in Makespaces

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Sharing Insights at Making Futures Sept 2015

The Circular Makespaces (CMS) project is one of two Level 1 feasibility studies on Future Makespaces in Redistributed Manufacturing, a two-year ESPRC funded research project run by the Royal College of Art in London.

Team:
Grit Hartung – Research Associate, Designer Researcher
Sharon Prendeville – Research Associate, Design Researcher
Erica Purvis – Sustainable Design Engineer
Clare Brass – Co-Investigator, Head of SustainRCA
Ashley Hall – Co-Investigator, Professor of Design Innovation and deputy head of the Innovation Design Engineering programme at the RCA

“Eventually, everything connects – people, ideas, objects. The quality of the connections is the key to quality per se. …” (Eames)

[Abstract] Makespaces have the potential to contribute – through physical and relational goods – to a new economy that is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. While we presume that Makespaces are intrinsically engaged in a vision for a circular economy, there are few studies that support this. Likewise, anecdotal evidence from managers of such spaces, and their maker networks, suggests many are struggling to sustain themselves economically. While some research has already been undertaken to map out and review the activities and value of Makespaces today, little of this research explores the Makespace communities from a circular economy viewpoint. The current discourse lacks both the overarching theoretical insights and the practical tools, models and frameworks to assist Makespace actors with circular practices. This lack of knowledge sees the Makespace movement risk transferring the negative impacts of our current linear economic model to a redistributed form. In light of this research gap, the overarching aim of this research is to uncover triggers for circular practices to become embedded within Makespaces, thereby informing principles of redistributed manufacturing. The research will take an exploratory approach using contextual mapping to undertake case studies with selected exemplary Makespaces. The case study methodology will combine generative research techniques with design probes. The case studies, as part of the first stages of Future Makespaces in Redistributed Manufacturing (FM RdM) at RCA, will uncover insights on people, ideas and objects for circular practices within exemplary Makespaces. Furthermore it will support systematic understanding on what current circular practices exist, the wider role of Makespaces (and their stakeholders) within a circular economy and redistributed manufacturing. The research will contribute to a wider conversation on embedding circular practices within Makespaces and their role in redistributed manufacturing. The findings will inform the next stages of the FM RdM project and wider context.

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Sharing Insights: Developing Circular Practices in Makespaces

  1. 1. Clare Brass / Ashley Hall / Grit Hartung / Sharon Prendeville / Erica Purvis
  2. 2. Sharing Insights: Developing Circular Practices in Makespaces se. …” Context What we’ve done What we’ve learnt What’s next
  3. 3. James Tooze, Hannah Steward, Sharon Baurley Context
  4. 4. Makespaces
  5. 5. Various forms of Makespaces / Peter Troxler, “Open Design Now’, 2011 / Nesta: Open dataset of UK Makespaces, 2015
  6. 6. Focused area of Makespaces & selected / Peter Troxler, “Open Design Now’, 2011 / Nesta: Open dataset of UK Makespaces, 2015
  7. 7. Risk of adopting the old linear model in a distributed form – ‘crapjects’
  8. 8. What we’ve done / thegreatrecovery.org
  9. 9. What we’ve done
  10. 10. . . . . . . . . . #Circular #Stories What we’ve done
  11. 11. #History #Context #Connections #Batch-manufacture What we’ve done
  12. 12. What we’ve done
  13. 13. What we’ve done
  14. 14. / Nesta Open Dataset User Guide – April 2015  What we’ve done
  15. 15. What we’ve done
  16. 16. What we’ve learnt 1 Lack of considerations in sustainability
  17. 17. The concept of sustainability varies and Makespaces are quite far behind a basic levels What we’ve learnt 2
  18. 18. Choices, such as the selection of materials and equipment, are guided by bureaucracy and the need to streamline What we’ve learnt 3
  19. 19. Lack of eco-champions or people to drive and encourage ‘circular practise’ What we’ve learnt 4
  20. 20. Invisibility of issues around resource use and circularity What we’ve learnt 5
  21. 21. People need easy and quick examples - at all stages of their process What we’ve learnt 6
  22. 22. #signage #best-machine-practise People need easy and accessible examples - at all stages of their process What we’ve learnt 6
  23. 23. The idea and language of ‘Crapject’ resonates with people running the Makespaces What we’ve learnt 7
  24. 24. Underlying ethos of openness and collaboration, more so informally on exisiting platforms What we’ve learnt 8
  25. 25. COMPLEX SIMPLE What’s next
  26. 26. “Eventually, everything connects – people, ideas, objects. The quality of the connections is the key to quality per …” se. …” Eames
  27. 27. Thanks you. #circularmakespaces @sustainRCA @FMs_RdM se. …”

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