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Comments from our first Maker Forum

Feedback from the first Remakery Maker Forum

On Thursday, 10 May the Remakery ran a Maker Forum, a social event for makers to discuss the practicalities and problems of being a maker, designer, artist or upcycler. A group of makers, prototypers, DIY organisers and researchers came to the event to share their thoughts and insights.

Here’s what we discussed:

– The reliance of makers and small businesses on ‘strength in numbers’ to raise their profile and to create resilience
– How physical and mental health shape and are affected by making (illnesses can limit accessibility and social interaction, organisations can exclude via their structure)
– How to develop more links between making at home or in a shared space and earning enough revenue to live in the city (selling items on a shop floor, sharing job opps, online stores)
– How places like the Remakery should be run in such a way as to support makers and encourage recognition of their skills, while also making skill share possible.
– What to do about the gap between the need for resources, tools and networks and the effort needed to actually provide, build & maintain them.

As a result of the forum we made some new whatsapp groups, planned an informal shop area at the front of the Remakery and planned some new project, skill and tool shares. The Remakery also took away some advice from makers on how to make a better support infrastructure for them, while also avoiding commercialisation or exclusivity. We will try our best to put this advice into action in a thoughtful way – we continue to learn from running the Remakery as an inclusive community workshop space, and the more feedback and contributions we have from members and volunteers, the more we can do!

The next Forum is on Thursday 21st June from 6-9pm. Since it’s the longest day of the year maybe we can hold it in the garden! See you then.

Become a member!

We are looking for more members! The Remakery, Brixton is a local hub for makers, repairers, researchers and small businesses. We offer affordable membership rates for designers and makers, who can use our workshop spaces and hot desking area flexibly to take their project from concept to outcome.

Membership allows access to the Remakery’s workshop spaces, which are equipped for woodwork and textiles as well as office spaces (with wifi) for research.

Membership rates are:

£18 per month for 10 hours
£50 per month for 30 hours
£90 per month for 60 hours

Visit the space for an introductory tour on Thursdays at 6pm, or to join straightaway visit remakery.org/membership/

The repairable flatpack toaster

At the Remakery Restart Party we found out about an exciting project being developed by product designer Kasey Hou: the repairable flatpack toaster project. Hou has designed a toaster that can be assembled, and repaired, by its owner. This means that the toaster owner will learn something of how their appliance works, while becoming more aware of the tendency of today’s manufacturers to sell units which cannot be repaired once broken, creating ongoing demand for the company while adding to piles of e waste in landfill.

Currently a working prototype, the toaster comes flat-packed with simple instructions and takes around 40 minutes to assemble. It can be assembled by one person or in groups, and once assembled following instructions it passes a PAT test. Kasey is currently fine tuning the toaster’s design and packaging, and will be launching the product in the near future.

Restart Party at the Remakery

On 19 April The Remakery hosted its first 2018 Restart Party. The event was inspired by the Restart Project, which developed the now widespread ‘Restart Party’ – an event where people bring in their broken appliances and experienced repairers diagnose and fix them.  Restart is a movement to address excess excess waste by spreading repair knowledge and by preventing appliances from being thrown away. Restart joined us to run the first party at the Remakery, which started with an induction for new Restarters.

In all, 21 devices were worked on, and in all but two cases these were either repaired, or the correct spare part needed for repair was identified. The party was fun and fascinating – people brought in some very interesting machines, some brand new and some dating back decades, and the repair volunteers and visitors alike learned plenty about wiring, problem-solving, and history.

Here are some photos from the event, followed by the Remakery’s Restart party stats and a visualisation of the CO2 emissions that our party diverted.

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