The Maker Library Network – taking it further during Cape Town’s Design Week


During Cape Town’s unofficial ‘design week’ that coincides with Design Indaba, The Guild, and the Art Fair, the Maker Library Network (MLN) will be presenting an exhibition and various workshops at 75 Harrington Street. Taking place from Friday, 27 February to Sunday, 1 March, the programme includes the opportunity to connect with local and UK based Maker Librarians and mentors.

Launched in South Africa in 2014, The Maker Library Network is a British Council  Connect ZA initiative designed to foster creativity and collaboration between makers and designers across both countries through creating a reading, showcasing and making space. Through this unique network, makers and designers can share resources, swap skills, take part in mentoring sessions and exchange ideas.

The ‘design week’ also marks the launch of the first mobile version of the Maker Library in South Africa, which will be on the move throughout Cape Town during the event period featuring exciting maker workshops at the following venues:

  • GUILD at The Lookout, V&A Waterfront  – Thursday, 26th February
  • Khayelitsha Train Station Courtyard – Friday, 27th February
  • Neighbourgoods Market, Old Biscuit Mill – Saturday, 28th February
  • 75 Harrington Street – Sunday, 1 March

Says Mel Spencer, Project Manager of the Maker Library Network:  “The first mobile Maker Library, a caravan fitted by GRAS Studios participated in London Design Week 2014 and it was an instant success – giving the Librarians a chance to extend interaction outside of a fixed location. There is also the rewarding opportunity to engage with the general public – who will have the chance to experiment creatively with makers and designers on hand to assist.”

The exhibition space will feature work produced by Maker Librarians including local designers and Maker Library curators Heath Nash and Thingking, pieces by makers that have inspired them and the books they feel have had a lasting impact on their practice as designers – exploring the themes: Make, Show, Read.

The results of some exciting collaborations that have taken place between Maker Libraries across the UK and SA will also be on display. The showcase will be accompanied by a full programme of public workshops, hosted by Maker Librarians who have travelled from all over South Africa and the UK to join the event. These will include DIY wearable tech, screen-printing stencils and making large-scale inflatables; and even toy making (full program details will be published on the website).

Says Daniel Charny, Creative Director of the MLN: “And so a year old and with much to celebrate in the form of inspiring collaborations and a new model for socially motivated creative makerspaces, we are bringing together for the first time a showcase of content developed by and between the Maker Libraries. It includes individual and collaborative projects from across the network, and is also a chance for people who have been Skyping, emailing, prototyping, filming, phoning and ‘Hanging out’ online to meet in person and make in the same physical space.

At this moment in time this showcase is an invitation to be part of the energy, talent, and vision of the Maker Library Network, and the hope that it can contribute to the social and cultural growth of young creatives the world round.”

The full programme will be live on the Maker Library Network website from 13 February 2015.


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