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Make:Shift

A biennial event which explores the importance of craft and innovation to the future of making in a dynamic, thought-provoking and engaging environment.

Watch highlights from the latest Make:Shift here:

and catch up on inspiring presentations from the event, available on our YouTube playlist

The story so far...

The first Make:Shift in 2014 laid open a world of disruptive innovation in craft - the application of new tools, processes and materials. Make:Shift in 2016 not only showcased an extraordinary array of disruptive innovation taking place through craft but also asked, to what end?

In 2016 Make:Shift explored the value of craft innovation in social innovation, sustainability, healthcare and wellbeing. It demonstrated the distinctive characteristics of craft and unveiled how makers collaborate and catalyse innovation in other sectors and industries. The practices presented span robotics, smart materials, bio design, connected wearables alongside more traditional craft disciplines.

Make:Shift is a packed event including panel discussions, interviews, keynote presentations, dynamic research workshops/think-tanks and hands-on materials tables. Highlights have included:

  • Keynote presenters, materials scientist Mark Miodownik, futures researcher Caroline Till, academics Martina Margetts, RCA, Raymond Oliver, Northumbria University, and architect Ammar Mirjan, ETH Zurich.
  • International speakers such as Kathryn Fleming, materials designer at Adidas and designer Craig Dunlop from Workspace in Cape Town. 
  • Fast-paced presentations that exposed the stories behind a dress made from mushroom mycelium, jewellery made from loofah, liquid lighting, digital lace, 3D printed hearts and robotics that communicate feelings.
  • Handling sessions with the Process and Material Innovation Collection from Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections, a display from Fixperts and materials tables from the Institute of Making.
  • An evening drinks reception accompanied by live music performance by Manchester Camerata of Mr Babbage is Coming to Dinner!, a Barry Guy composition with visual score based on drawings for Charles Babbage's Calculating Engine, celebrating links between craft, textiles and computing.

Make:Shift Ireland
In Autumn 2017, the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland hosted Make:Shift in Dublin. A dynamic lineup of experts in architecture, glass, bio science, mathematics, ceramics, fashion, augmented reality and more presented game-changing concepts that impact the ways in which we live, learn, make and share. Read more on this event here.

Make:Shift in pictures:

Innovation through Collaboration Workshop, Make: Shift 2016, Photo: Simon Webb

What has been said about Make:Shift?

'Make:Shift opened my eyes to collaborations everywhere and in every field.' Make:Shift 2014 attendee

‘It was a great event! I am sure I am not the only one to have left feeling a renewed sense of community and hope for the future of craft.’ Make:Shift 2016 attendee

'Make:Shift was one of the best conferences I’d ever been to, with inspiring talks, a lively atmosphere, and the sense that you could say hello to anyone there, and be sure to have just met someone interesting.' Andrew Sleigh, researcher, writer and maker

Make:Shift in 2014, 2016 & Make:Shift Ireland

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