The Maker Society
The Maker Society is a “hack, make, fix, build, tech” club and meets twice weekly for supervised making sessions. Membership is open to high school students from Hout Bay. There is no charge to attend the sessions but we encourage and welcome donations from those who can afford to pay.
Workspace is a well equipped open access workshop which allows the Maker Society Students to be exposed to traditional processes and skills like Metalwork, blacksmithing, woodwork, screenprinting, sewing, jewellery making, shoemaking, leatherwork, ceramic work, coffee roasting /making, bread baking as well as more high tech processes such as laser cutting, 3D modelling /printing and CNC Machining.
The primary focus of the Maker Society is to help break down the social economic walls that divide young people in the Hout Bay community. This is keeping with the core values of Workspace, which are:
- To provide a platform for knowledge and skills exchange across the social, cultural and generational divides.
- To provide resources for people from all backgrounds, ages and abilities to use making as a tool for social empowerment, regeneration, inclusion, economic opportunity and social capital.
- To promote empowerment and responsibility through learning practical skills, confidence building, emotional well being and collaboration with others.
- To support individuals to build enterprises with access to equipment, space, and experience/knowledge base.
- To providing opportunities for skill sharing by fostering a dynamic and inclusive community of makers.
- To follow the new business paradigms of people before profits, reputation before revenue and collaboration before competition
Prospective members need to attend a session to decide if they like the club and then commit to attend at least 6 sessions and adhering to our code of conduct.
The Maker Society is more than just making and learning skills. It’s about raising balanced, respectful and hopeful young people. Its about boosting self esteem, understanding privilege and tempering ego and hopefully, it’s about developing tomorrows innovators.
The Makers Society is an incarnation of the TEN project which is an ongoing skills training course run from Workspace, an open access workshop or makerspace in Hout Bay Cape Town, an area of close to 40% unemployment. You can find out more about the TEN Project here.
CHALLENGE and SOLUTION
Making – in the post modern sense, has been described as the convergence of traditional skill with high tech processes.
We, Workspace and the Maker Society are competent and equipped in the transfer of traditional skill and the use of hi tech machinery. Between the two – the convergence – lies 3D modelling and technical drawing. In makerspaces around the world this convergence is the domain of the few. Before any digital process can be undertaken, it requires a drawing or model.
There is a common misconception that processes such as 3D printing are as simple as making a photocopy. It’s not, a great deal of work has to go into the creation of a digital model. The good news is that it’s not as difficult as it may seem and, with ever evolving software, it gets easier all the time.
This gap in the process is going to become more and more evident in the future and our response is that all our members need to be able to draw digitally at a basic level.
Autocad – one of the worlds leading drawing software developers have granted us free licenses to run their very efficient and very expensive Autocad Fusion 360 package on teaching computers. We have set aside a space within our facility for ta teaching area and have engaged the services of John Maarschalk – a veteran in the operation and instruction of 3D Modelling software.
At present, the Maker Society is funded by Workspace members at an average cost of R 9000.00 per month.