East London’s Maker Mile – This is a cluster of makers who have a central Machines Room (Second from left) that serves as a meeting point for the makers in this area. [Drawing from World Economic Forum]
Innovative Makers in London’s Maker Mile
Following is detail regarding a few of the makers from London’s Maker Mile:
Bert and May offers a range of handmade and reclaimed tiles. Their encaustic cement tiles are ideal for using on walls, hearths, splash backs, and floors and outdoor in the garden. All their tiles are created using natural pigments in a vast range of colors and styles to suit any aesthetic. https://www.bertandmay.com
Machines Room – This 2000 square foot space has a full range of machines for processes such as laser & vinyl cutting, 3D printing to CNC. They host events and exhibitions (available for hire). During the day, the area functions as a co-making and co-working space. (Currently, for the Garland Area Makerspace, the North Branch of the Garland Library serves as our Machines Room.) Read more about the Machine rooms at https://www.fabhub.io
Music Hack Space - Music Hackspace is a platform for experimenting and interacting with sound and technology. They incorporate diverse methodologies and aim to create an open playground and exchange of ideas and sounds that embraces new and old technologies. Newly available open source platforms, both hardware and software, are granting far wider accessibility to new interactions with music and audio than have not been possible before. It’s with these technologies that we base our program of workshops, artist talks and meet-ups, and hope to encourage people of all backgrounds and skill levels to create and engage with music in previously unrealized ways.
Music Hackspace was founded by Jean-Baptiste Thiebaut in 2011, beginning as a subgroup of the London Hackspace in Hoxton with early activities consisting of weekly meet-ups where participants could present and discuss their projects to an engaged audience with a set of common interests: sound, music, creativity and technology. http://musichackspace.org/
Opendesk is another innovative maker community found on London's Maker Mile. Open Desk is an online furniture store that uses open-source design and manufacturing to circumvent the traditional global furniture supply chain. Opendesk allows customers to select furniture online and matches them with the closest fabrication lab where their product will be made on site. This cuts the most expensive and most polluting step of the supply chain – logistics – out of the process.
Garland’s Maker Cluster has already begun
Local authorities, academic institutions and major corporations are waking up to the potential of the movement, which is shaping up to be a key player in urban transformation over the coming decades. I hope we can soon say the same for the Garland leadership. Garland Area Makerspace (GAM) is creating our own version of London's "Maker Mile"—We may someday be reflected upon as an interesting case study too in regard to the power that is unleashed when makers come together.
The Garland Area Makerspace currently does not have its own large space. But beginning in July we are expanding by creating smaller maker interest groups who meet in people's homes. As mentioned, our first maker interest group, Eco Makers, will meet in my home twice a month to study and create things from recycled materials--plastics and soda cans to start. I expect other GAM groups to form as well—music hackers, woodworkers, fabric designers, etc.
Who knows where Eco Makers will go? Perhaps we will grow to create our own version of Precious Plastics--an interesting project to emerge from Maker Mile in London. Started in 2013 by Dave Hakkens, Precious Plastic is an open-source project that reengineers plastic trash into everyday essentials like bowls and cups, as well as larger items such as tables.
Local authorities, academic institutions and major corporations are waking up to the potential of the movement, which is shaping up to be a key player in urban transformation over the coming decades. Get better educated about what makerspaces are and can be for Garland.
GAM will continue to remain as a cohesive group that meets once a month in the North Branch Garland library while at the same time branching out to collaborate and develop our own special areas of maker interests.
Eventually, I would like to see a diagram of Makers for Garland that is similar to the diagram for London’s Maker Mile, only clustered around our downtown area where we all work together in support of the prosperity of our local economy.
In terms of clusters of makers in our community, we already have them--in our libraries, our schools and at the Gilbreath-Reed Technological Center in Garland. We all need to figure out a way to come together and unite==despite our different locations.