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  • Breath, Weave Waves (detail), Ismini Samanidou and Scanner

Speakers’ Corner: Partner Power

We pose some questions to the Make:Shift 2014 speakers...

What are the unique skills that makers can bring to partnerships?

Gerard Briscoe: An appreciation of objects that transcends the physical and the digital.

Lucy Di Silvio: Interdisciplinary partnerships can draw upon the craft skills of the artist and the cutting-edge tissue-engineering expertise within a research group. The work we're doing has implications for various different areas – from fabrication of jewellery to tendon enthesis, sustainability of materials that mimic natural structures, hence bringing new materials and techniques into the lab that haven't been explored before.  

What area/sector/organisation would you like to see engage more with craft and makers?

Gerard Briscoe: The Internet of Things.

Amy Congdon: Although it is happening to some extent already, I would like to see more engagement between the sciences and craft. All the examples of where it happens prove how fruitful these types of partnerships can be. There is real value a skilled maker can bring when working with scientists to develop a technology/ material into something fit for purpose.

Lucy Di Silvio: Reconstructive surgeons (orthopaedic, plastic maxilla-facial), prosthetic rehabilitation with artists, designers, scientists; as a voice they have the potential to engage the public in numerous topical issues relating to the ethical, cultural, and social implications of manipulating living tissues for use in future artefacts.

What top tips would you give to makers who are interested in using their skills to work with other sectors?  

Gerard Briscoe: It takes open minds on both sides and it takes time to develop a shared understanding and vocabulary.

Amy Congdon: The best advice I would give to makers interested in collaborating with other sectors is to remember what skills you bring to the party! It is important to have an understanding of the area in which you wish to engage, but it's the unique skills you bring with you that are your strength. Be confident in what you know and then you can open yourself up to explore interesting possibilities. 

Lucy Di Silvio: Be adventurous, speak to people in different sectors, those you think would least fit with your field may prove the most exciting and profitable! By talking to experts in multidisciplinary fields, our minds open up to ask bigger, more searching questions, things in areas remote from our own. 

Ana Thompson: Use your own talents, follow your passion for the subjects that you find interesting and apply them to your practice. Look for new applications for your skills, working in collaboration with other disciplines. Try to look for something new and exciting to discover different routes to develop your work. 

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