The makerspace as learning-space
Re-thinking the makerspace
There are two types of makerspaces:
- The service, usually equipped with cutting edge technologies otherwise inaccessible or unaffordable to the majority of designers and makers
- The education center, usually equipped with low-mid level technologies but still inaccessible or unaffordable to the majority of designers and makers
Both these models are in trouble or are going to be very soon.
Actually the only technologies that are still inaccessible are the CNC mills.
3D printing will soon be as low cost as a mid-level computer.
Laser cut is becoming more affordable day after day (let’s be honest: who cares if a MDF sheet doesn’t have the ultra-perfect edge?!).
CNC milling is also going desktop, and with 5 axis!
So basically in the very next future we will witness a radical change in the makerspace business model, especially the service.
Prototyping will soon be a home-based process. The idea of a space where makers can *make* their designs will surrender to another model: the space where makers and designers can actually *produce* their designs.
As regards the educational makerspace, my idea is of course to take advantage of the best technologies available, but also to finally create the connection between tradition and innovation.
A designer left to him- or herself tends to become auto referential: suddenly the whole world is full of “creative” people and “designers”, have you noticed?
Educational makerspaces should begin to spread a different idea: the integration between old, sometimes ancient techniques and new, sometimes futuristic techniques.
A learning-space should be a makerspace with focus on collaboration, mentoring and expertise.