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workshop for british council
chengdu, china
april 2018

kit braybrooke
sophie huckfield 

as part of the living research delegation of makers & academics exploring exploring ecosystems of creative practitioners, academics, industrial design houses, makerspaces and technology hubs in xi’an and chengdu, we wanted to build an understanding of the spatial characteristics of these regional practices.

we organised a community workshop in chengdu in collaboration with makernet, the chiahuo educational makerspace and british council china, and invited a diverse group of local creative practitioners to join us.

together, we co-created a map of key sites of maker activity in chengdu and beyond through a variety of hands-on activities, from tool postcards to childhood memory storytelling. we examined the differences between spaces and 'nodes', or the organisations, events, government entities and other groups who had helped bring each space into being, connecting these actors through the use of wool and other materials. this enabled us to explore the similarities and differences between different maker experiences.

these findings enabled us to build a digital map, hosted on storymap.js and open street map and shared as open data, which featured the many different relations between communities and organisations that constitute china’s maker culture.

photo credits: british council, steve coombs.