Shonquis Moreno of Metropolis Magazine in New York has written an interesting article about Jody Milton of Milton & Mees and his use of the Makers manufacturing service. The article describes the Makers concept really well. Hit the title below to read the full article in the January online edition.
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Here’s an announcement for a meeting I’ll be attending next week, for the Open Product License project which I’ve been involved with for more than a year. It’s really taking off: come along to the brunch on Thursday if you’re interested in the issues listed below. Email me through the contact form below if you are intending to come so we can keep an eye on catering numbers…
OPEN PRODUCT BRUNCH
Thursday 16 February, 11am to 1pm, Ravensbourne College (near North Greenwich Tube)
Organised by Michela Magas from Stromatolite
How often do you get the chance to rewrite the law? Are you into making, hacking, upcycling, adapting or connecting tangible products?
We all know that tangible products can now be cheaply produced on a one-off basis, printed, customized and adapted according to individual needs. Existing products are increasingly altered, customized, connected and traced, making each product unique thanks to either its physical features, virtual content, its responsiveness and reactivity, or by virtue of its position, orientation or location. Art installations and marketing campaigns increasingly rely on co-created three-dimensional environments of unique mediatized and networked products.
Existing patenting laws have been developed for the protection of industrial tools which generate mass-produced clones. This system is becoming increasingly inadequate for the needs of designers and makers of rapid-prototyped, connected and traceable tangible products. Within this new three-dimensional landscape of networked and co-created products only certain elements can be registered under existing licenses. The software components can be registered as Open Source for example, while digital on-screen artwork can be assigned one of the Creative Commons attribution licences. Tangible networked products however cannot be registered under any of the existing licensing systems.
We have been given the opportunity to literally rewrite the law. We are creating a new system of licensing and online registration of tangible networked products, based on the Open Source and Creative Commons licenses, which will give the creative community a way of registering their tangible innovations and assigning an attribution license for others to build upon their work in an accountable way. This project is being co-funded by the UK Technology Strategy Board and is being developed in conjunction with Alex Hamilton of radiant.law who is a licensing specialist and one of FT’s Most Innovative Lawyers of the Year.
So come and join us for brunch on Thursday, 16th of February, with a small group of people working in different fields of products and media, and tell us what you would like included in the licenses and how you would like to see this new landscape unfold. The brunch will run from 11am to 1pm and will be held in the main boardroom of our incubation hub here: http://www.dezeen.com/2010/09/
There hasn’t been much activity on our site since the end of 2011: in fact, behind the scenes, this is the busiest we have ever been.
There are several new Makers clients with products in the pipeline, and Christopher has just started providing product development advice to designer-makers through Crafts Council and British Library programmes which have launched at the start of 2012. More details about these in upcoming posts.
But the biggest news, in terms of delivering on the work we have been doing for the past two months, is that our inventory, stock control, warehouse, packaging and logistics operations are now configured, tested and live.
Makers moved out of our lovely old workshop in West Dulwich (south east London) at the start of December. Uprooting the business after several years – shared between the original venture Pli Design and the start-up Makers – was no easy task. Accounting for every piece of stock was the hardest part, apart from saying goodbye to our fantastic neighbours in the Parkhall Road building.
The new location is in Clerkenwell Workshops on Clerkenwell Close in… Clerkenwell. This part of central London is close to a lot of rail and underground stations, easy for our clients to access and full of designers, architects, new media and tech start-ups. Fertile ground to grow our business. You can find the new address and phone number at the foot of this site.
All the stock warehousing, assembly, inbound- and outbound-logistics are now carried out by our supply partner in Oxfordshire. This means we can scale-up the quantity of products we manage and offer much better rates on storage and works.
So, after a little over a year trading as Makers, we are in a much better position to serve our clients and deliver UK designed and made products to end-customers all over the world.
There’s a mention of Makers in the December edition of the always-fresh Grand Designs Magazine: page 24. In the News section, they say:
IN THE KNOW
Got a design that’s languishing in your sketchbook? Get in touch with Makers, which offers a production service to take your concept and turn it into production drawings and working designs. It will put you in touch with manufacturers, too. Even if you’re not the next Russell Pinch, head to its new website; it’s a trove of original conetemporary pieces, sellng its own products plus ones that it’s made for clients. (020 8670 6857; makersco.com)
Spot on. I should add that we can manage the assembly, packaging and logistics too.
Christopher Pett will be speaking about sustainable design projects and how to integrate sustainable design thinking into your product development strategy, at the British Library on Wednesday 2nd November. The event is co-hosted by the British Library’s Business & IP Centre and the University of Hertfordshire.
It costs £20 to attend: the proceeds go straight to the British Library and the University of Hertfordshire. The booking forms is here: University of Hertfordshire booking form
Christopher Pett of Makers will be speaking at Makers’ Money – The Business of Making at the Crafts Council in London on Friday, 4 November along with Mark Champkins of Concentrate Design and Jane ní Dhulchaointigh of Sugru. The event runs from 12 until 2 pm and it’s free. It’s organised by the Makers Guild. Christopher will be talking about the different business models that creative entrepreneurs should consider when establishing a design-led enterprise. Hope to see you there.
Click here to register: http://makersmoney.eventbrite.com/
Come and see Christopher Pett from Makers speak at the Industri[us] & Green Pioneers on 1st November. Have a look at the other speakers by following this link: Industri[us] website. If you want to reserve a place, you’ll need to RSVP to the email address listed on their site.
2.30 pm to 6.30 pm
This year’s London Design Festival was a busy time for Makers. In total, there were nine products on display at the Festival which Makers has helped our clients to develop. A year ago, we were researching the Makers service offering and asking independent designers what practical help they need.
So it was gratifying to see the results on exhibition stands and in shop windows all over London. It makes me wonder how far we can stretch our services by this time next year: after following-up with new contacts which we made at the festival, it looks like we’ll be producing goods for overseas designers pretty soon too.
Anyway, here’s a gallery of images from the Makers stand at 100% Futures in Earl’s Court.
If you were at the London Design Festival and you now have the confidence to put your designs into production – but you need help getting to the next stage – get in touch at email@example.com.
Visit stand X94 at 100% Futures, part of 100% Design in Earl’s Court to see these new pieces, designed by Milton & Mees, groupDesign and the golden path.
You can see the Outline seating range by Milton & Mees, the Planar shelving unit by groupDesign and Lamp 025 by the golden path on the Makers stand. 100% is buzzing this year: it’s well worth a visit. The 100% Futures section is towards the end of the hall. Talk to Makers about buying these new products or about getting your own design ready for manufacture. See you here!