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10-11 November 2016 at the Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester

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What is Make:Shift?

Make:Shift is a 2 day innovation conference which explores the importance of craft and innovation to the future of making in a dynamic, thought-provoking and engaging environment. Following the huge success of Make:Shift 2014, this year’s event will continue to question, investigate and push the boundaries of craft in the 21st century.

Watch our short teaser to relive Make Shift 2014 highlights:


What are this year’s themes?

In 2016 Make:Shift will demonstrate the value of craft innovation in:

  • social innovation
  • sustainability
  • healthcare and wellbeing

It looks to demonstrate the distinctive characteristics of craft and unveil how makers collaborate and catalyse innovation in other sectors and industries. The practices presented will span robotics, smart materials, bio design, connected wearables alongside more traditional craft disciplines.

What should I expect? 

A packed two-day event  including panel discussions, interviews, keynote presentations, dynamic research workshops/think-tanks, the Maker Breakfast practice presentations and hands-on materials table, film screenings, fast-paced historical innovators presentations on the history of innovation and Manchester’s industrial history and a drinks and an evening performance on 10 November. 

Why should I attend? 

  • To explore innovative making and research across robotics, smart materials, bio design and wearables
  • To discuss new thinking and areas of shared interest
  • To find out how craft innovation impacts bigger challenges such as sustainability, social innovation, health and wellbeing
  • To meet potential collaborators

Who is speaking?

Leading specialists, practitioners and experts from the fields of science, engineering, architecture, robotics, medicine and manufacturing. 

Confirmed speakers include: 

  • Mark Miodownik, Director of Institute of Making 
  • Ghislaine Boddington, Creative Director of body>data>space 
  • Jeremy Myerson, Co-Founder and Chair of Design of the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design 

Please find below full speaker line-up. 

What was said about Make:Shift 2014

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

'I thought there was something distinctly Reithian about Make:Shift. It educated, informed and entertained in equal measure – which is pretty much all you can ask for from a conference really.' Grant Gibson, Editor of Crafts magazine

How much will it cost?

From £75 concessions, £120 for individuals to £280 for large organisations. Tickets include access to the conference and catering for both days of the event.

Doors open at 11:30am on Thursday 10th November, with sessions beginning at 12:00pm. The conference finishes at 3:30pm on Friday 11th November.

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Make:Shift 2014. Photo: Tas Kyprianou

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Large organisation (single ticket)
Available to employees or owners of companies and organisations with more than 10 staff
Full price: £280.00 

Small to medium organisations single ticket (single ticket) 
Available to employees or owners of companies and organisations with 10 or fewer staff
Full price: £180.00

Individuals / Sole Traders (single ticket) 
Available to Individuals/Self-employed
Full price: £120.00 

Concessions: £75.00 
Available to full-time students, recipients of Universal or Pension credit; proof of status required.

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Planning Your Trip


Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI)
Liverpool Rd
Manchester M3 4FP


Getting there: 

Manchester is easily accessible from all parts of the UK.  Discount train and air tickets are available from July 2016. For getting there by train and other travel providers, see Visit Manchester


There are a range of inexpensive options to stay in and around Manchester.  Check out the following for some ideas:

The Hotel Guru


Home Stay Manchester

Eating out:

There's never been a better time to eat out in Manchester, with new restaurants now popping faster than anywhere else in the country. The city's dining scene has arguably never been more exciting whether you're looking for a bargain bite to eat or are happy to splash the cash on a ten-course taster menu, there is something to suit every occasion and budget - and the options span almost every cuisine conceivable.
Confronted with so much choice, who best to advise than Mancunians so here’s some suggestions from Manchester Evening News team

It’s all about Manchester: 

Manchester is a major city in the northwest of England with a rich industrial heritage. The Castlefield Conservation Area’s 18th-century canal system harks back to the city’s days as a textile powerhouse, and you can trace this history at the interactive Museum of Science & Industry. The revitalised Salford Quays dockyards now houses the Daniel Libeskind-designed Imperial War Museum North and The Lowry cultural centre.

Manchester is also home to MediaCityUk, a new waterfront destination for Manchester, with digital creativity, learning and leisure at its heart and housing BBC North, ITV Studios and University of Salford.  It can be reached in ten minutes by tram from Manchester central.

For a quick guide in getting to know Manchester, check out Visit Manchester:-

Attractions and Things to Do: 

There are a range of great things to do in Manchester whether it's catching legendary live music, having a history lesson at one of Manchester's museums, visiting the world's oldest public library, flicking through stacks of vinyl or viewing amazing art installations and galleries, there really are some great things to do. Explore and enjoy.

Here’s a link to Time Out’s Top 20 Great Things to do in Manchester;-


Andrew Sleigh

Andrew Sleigh is a researcher and writer, maker and producer.  His interest is in making and grassroots innovation, from the maker movement, through craft, to hardware start-ups and manufacturing. He runs the studio programme at Lighthouse, a contemporary culture organisation in Brighton; he’s one of the co-founders of Brighton Mini Maker Faire, the festival of DIY technology and creativity, and of Maker Assembly, a new event series that aims to provide a home for critical conversations about making cultures. 

He’s one of the authors of Nesta’s 2015 research report mapping the UK’s makerspaces and is currently working with University of Westminster on their European research project, Digital DIY, investigating the impact of digital technologies on creative society.

He’s also the host of Looking Sideways, a podcast series and radio show in which he interviews makers, thinkers and critics about the role of craft, handwork and manufacturing in contemporary society.



Andrew will chair a discussion panel on the making of augmented gear and prosthetic devices including wearables and smart materials

Dr Matthew Howard

Dr Matthew Howard is a lecturer at the Centre for Robotics Research, Dept. Informatics, King's College London, and has previously worked at the University of Tokyo an the University of Edinburgh, where he obtained his PhD sponsored by the EPSRC and Honda Research. He is internationally recognised in the fields of robotics and autonomous systems, statistical machine learning and adaptive control. His current interests include machine learning applied to robotic and wearable technologies, especially soft robotic skill learning from imitating human muscle control strategies.


Matthew Howard will present his research in robotics and collaboration with embroiderer Karina Thompson in developing wearable sensors for monitoring medical and sports applications.

Craig Dunlop

Craig Dunlop is the founder of the social enterprise, Workspace, based in his home town of Hout Bay, South Africa.  Workspace is an open access makerspace focused on providing a platform for knowledge and skills exchange across the social, cultural and generational divides.  

Craig  trained as a horticulturist and landscape designer and spent fifteen years designing and building residential gardens on the slopes of Table mountain.  In 2004 he was asked to provide a suitable social responsibility program for a visiting international high school. The tourism interests morphed into connecting marginalized needy South African schools with well-resourced international schools. It became an immersive experience where students got their hands dirty, created, built and connected with each other.

Craig realized the need for a permanent facility where this process could take place on a local level and so Workspace was established in 2013. Craig is married with two grown up kids. He is an avid traveller, motor cycle rider and amateur historian.


Craig Dunlop will present the Archive of Skill, a digital repository that analyses the concept of skill and tacit technical knowledge of making through interventions with digital technologies and wearable tools

Grant Gibson

Grant Gibson is UK-based design, craft and architecture writer whose work has turned up in places like The Observer, New Statesman, The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, FRAME, Dwell, and quite a few others.

During his time Grant has been editor of Blueprint, deputy editor of FX, and acting executive editor of the RIBA Journal. He was also the launch editor of the London Design Festival Guide. He's currently the editor of Crafts, as well as a contributing editor to the Dutch architecture title MARK and a regular columnist at Onoffice. In 2011 Grant was made an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Art.

Grant Gibson will host all activity in the conversation space and participate in the closing discussion with other space and session hosts

Jeremy Myerson

Jeremy Myerson is a writer and academic. He holds the Helen Hamlyn Chair of Design at the Royal College of Art and is a Visiting Fellow at the University of Oxford.

He is best known as the co-founder of the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at the RCA, through which he pioneered the practice of inclusive design for ageing and healthcare, as the author of a number of influential books on design, craft and architecture, and as the founding-editor of DesignWeek magazine which marks its 30th anniversary this year.

He is currently working on the launch of the Work Tech Academy, a global knowledge network on the future of work, and on the New Old exhibition that will open at the Design Museum in Kensington in January 2017.

Jeremy Myerson will introduce and host the healthcare and wellbeing session.

John Grayson

John Grayson makes narrative based automata utilising crafts skills rooted in the traditions of defunct industrial metal manufactories of Birmingham and the Black Country. His work utilises the lost making skills and technology of these trades, creating craftwork that satirises modern day society.

From 1997 to 2006 he produced printed tin automata. Over this period work was exhibited widely, including Chelsea and Origin Craft Fairs, Contemporary Applied Arts, and the Hamburg Museum of Arts and Crafts.

In 2004 an invitation to explore enamel for Bilston Craft Gallery’s Craftsense exhibition, lead to a shift in his practice. Commissions and residencies since have included Unravelling the Vyne for Unravelled Arts/National Trust and Georgian Enamels: Telling a new narrative for Bantock House Museum. In 2016 he received Crafts Council Parallel Practices residency at Kings College London, using the opportunity to explore combining analogue and digital technologies in his work. He has subsequently applied this knowledge to The Discombobulated Brexiteer, a commission for A Curious Turn exhibition, for the Crafts Council.


John Grayson will be on a panel discussion on the Parallel Practices Learning through Making programme, a research and development programme has been designed to stimulate innovation in health and medicine through the integration of craft expertise into university learning and teaching

Mark Miodownik 

Mark Miodownik is Professor of Materials & Society at UCL where he teaches and runs a research group. He received his Ph.D in turbine jet engine alloys from Oxford University, and has worked as a materials engineer in the USA, Europe and the UK. For more than fifteenyears he has championed materials research that links the arts and humanities to medicine,engineering and materials science. This culminated in the establishment of the UCL Institute of Making where he is Director and runs the research programme.

Professor Miodownik is a well-known author and broadcaster and regularly presents BBC TV programmes on materials. He is author of Stuff Matters, a New York Times Best Selling book, which won the Royal Society Winton Prize in 2014 and the US National AcademiesCommunication Award in 2015.



Mark Miodownik will deliver one of the two keynote presentations with focus on therelationship of materials to human culture / advances in new materials.

Maurizio Montalti

Strongly rooted in a collaborative, research-based and experimental approach, Maurizio Montalti’s work tends toward the exploration of the design discipline, aiming to investigate and reflect upon contemporary culture, thereby creating new opportunities and visions for both the creative industry and the broader social spectrum.

Maurizio’s practice, Officina Corpuscoli, seeks to reveal unorthodox relationships among existing paradigms, aiming to promote the growth of critical thinking, through the development and materialisation of tangible alternatives.

Maurizio holds a Master in Industrial Engineering from the University of Bologna (IT) as well as a Master in Conceptual Design in Context from the Design Academy Eindhoven (NL).

Furthermore, he is co-founder of Mycoplast, a company focused on industrial scale-up of mycelium based materials, services and products and he is actively involved in education, currently co-heading the MAD Master (Materialisation in Art and Design) at Sandberg Institute, as well as teaching, lecturing and mentoring in different national and international academies and universities.


Maurizio Montalti will share his practice and trans-disciplinary work ranging from approaches rooted in bio-design and the development of ecologically responsible materials and processes, such as mycelium to industrial scale up and manufacturing as well as to robotics (current ongoing research).

Shelley James

Shelley trained in textiles in Paris before pursuing a career in corporate design. She discovered a passion for glass during an MA in printmaking, fascinated by the way this everyday material can play tricks on the eye and brain. She developed these ideas though a PhD at the Royal College of Art working closely with psychologists and neurologists. As well as projects arising from the Parallel Practices project, she is also working with a team of chefs and psychologists, an architect and an x-ray crystallographer, a composer and an acoustic engineer.


Shelley James will be on the panel discussion on the Parallel Practices Learning through Making programme, a research and development programme has been designed to stimulate innovation in health and medicine through the integration of craft expertise into university learning and teaching.

Make:Shift 2014