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Makerhood is an online marketplace for those who live or work in Brixton, South London. Here, makers of any kind – professional and hobbyist – can set up stalls to sell their goods to people who are looking to buy unique products made in their neighbourhood. This presentation outlines how we approached anchoring Makerhood in the local community, both online and offline. We describe our aim of restoring social meaning to buying goods, and how focusing solely on local transactions supports sustainability in terms of reducing environmental impact and increasing economic and social resilience. Finally, we suggest that by starting small and local, Makerhood can, if it proves useful here in Brixton, be adopted elsewhere by adapting it in ways that make sense in each new locality.
Kristina Glushkova’s background is in new media – her day job is at mySociety working on Mapumental. Before that she worked in research, policy and business roles in the digital media sector. She grew up in a place where things – food, clothes, furniture – were often made or grown from scratch, by family and neighbours helping each other. This might explain her passion for promoting making and skills in South London, which has been her home for 10 years now.
Karen Martin spends her days researching the relationship between people, space and technologies, which is also the subject of her ongoing EngD studies. Since she was very young Karen has been asking ‘What can I make today?’ and she believes making is an empowering and fun activity. Things Karen has made in her life include interactive art installations, dance performances, websites and socks. She loves meeting makers in Brixton where she has lived for five years.
Kristina Glushkova and Karen Martin started the Makerhood project last year, since then they’ve been joined and advised by many other people in the community. Other important members of the Makerhood team are Andy Broomfield, Carolina Vallejo, Aoife Ní Mhóráin, Emily Wilkinson, Damian Radcliffe and Kim Winter.