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  • Project Ten Workspace, Cape Town, 2016. Photo: Craig Dunlop

Speaker’s Corner: Craig Dunlop

In the build up to Make:Shift we speak to maker Craig Dunlop about the conference and the future of tools.

What is the social value of making and craft skills? 

Making takes us back to our roots, it evokes something deep in us, grounds us and connects us to each other. Making is about community and tribe, its about taking back our power from the faceless corporation that foists unnecessary product on us as consumers. Above all, its about injecting the ingredient of love into what we make.

What are the tools and skills of the future? 

Some say that Rome collapsed because everyone wanted to be a manager. Likewise our making downfall may come because everyone is a designer and an IT specialist. I don’t think there is enough emphasis placed on traditional skills within the maker community. Whatever happens and no matter how clever our tech is, we have to be able to pass on the skills of the past. Clearly coding is in the future of the maker, however this needs to be balanced with very heavy dollop of traditional skill.

Woodwork at Workspace, Capetown, 2016

You are based in Cape Town running a makerspace there called Workspace and recently completed the Maker Library Network International Residency at Machines Room, a makerspace in London . What are the similarities and differences between makerspaces in UK and South Africa? 

I expected a huge difference and was surprised with similarities. The makerspaces in the UK are generally better equipped. This is largely due to the South African currency being under so much pressure, that hi tech equipment is out of reach. The biggest difference was seeing how well supported the events are in the UK. Even though London has a bigger population of people who would attend events, there was still an energy and interest that is only beginning in South Africa. The greatest similarities are the issues around economic sustainability whilst still remaining a positive impact ones community 

What are you looking forward to the most at Make:Shift?  

Tapping in on the experience of other makers and building connections. 

Craig Dunlop will present at Make:Shift The Employable Nation project, a 25-day course designed to stimulate young people’s interest in the art of making and share his international insight in makerspaces and making communities in South Africa.

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