Hi, my name is Fi Scott, and I’m the founder, and design director of a start up called Make/Works.
Make/Works is an organisation that facilitates and celebrates the making and manufacture of creative work in Scotland. It is primarily focussed on the creation of a digital service, The Make/Works Directory; a database of makers, manufacturers, material suppliers and facilities to be openly accessible for the needs of the creative industries. Make/Works was based on a simple observation; that when it comes to the physical fabrication of work (across any creative discipline) in Scotland, it is often difficult, confusing and time consuming. Make/Works aims to change this, and to empower the creative industries to be able to locally manufacture with ease.
So, if you are a designer looking to metal-cast a prototype in Glasgow; the Make/Works directory will be able to source filtered results of facilities, manufacturers and makers that would be of use, and willing to work with you, in the local area. Equally, this is applicable to sourcing materials; (“where do I find a square piece of glass for an exhibition?”) finding processes; (“which printing service is able to perfectly bind this book?”) facilities; (“where in glasgow can you use a ceramic kiln?”) and trade skills (“who is able to spin copper, or teach me how to do it myself?”).
I began the initiative after working as a designer at DMFD in Brooklyn, New York; where I was making cork furniture. The experience made me realise the importance of making and materials – which as well as improving the quality of work itself can also be a empowering and exciting part of the creative process. There is nothing more satisfying than coming home at the end of the day, head to toe covered in cork dust! So, on returning to Scotland, I combined this idea about the importance of making with my parallel background in service and experience design. I started out by interviewing artists, designers, craftspeople and consultancies (to check my observation wasn’t just a hunch!) and quickly realised there was a gap between those in the creative industries and access to the practical resources that enabled people to realise their projects. The more and more people I interviewed about the problem, the more people were really expressing the need for a service that connected the two.
I continued to develop the idea in my final year at Glasgow School of Art, along with a business plan for the final of the Deutsche Bank Awards in Creative Practice. Now that I’ve graduated, I’m spending my days visiting factories, studios, workshops and designing the Make/Works digital service. I’m making sure I find manufacturers that are wiling to work with the creative industries; as well as co-designing the service with users, so I can really ensure it will work to suit people’s needs. Aside from the directory being a useful resource, the background is really about empowering the creative industries to manufacture locally. Not only is this beneficial to Scotland’s local economy and small businesses, but more sustainable aswell.
What’s next for Make/Works?
At the moment, Make/Works is based at the MAKLAb studio, in the Lighthouse. It’s an awesome place to be, as (despite getting a wee bit distracted by using the machines at times!) there are lots of designers, artists and architects around the place to bounce ideas off of and find leads to new resources. I’m hoping to launch a beta version of the site in April 2013 as a Glasgow pilot, before going Scotland wide.
We can make work in Scotland!
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