Discover Makespace and sustainable design thanks to Wolfson PhD student

Engineering PhD student Valeria Dammicco has organised a talk on sustainable design — and it's hosted in a very special venue.

Arturo Soto event

Although you might not have heard of Fabrication Spaces, the term makerspace might be a little more familiar. These design and fabrication workshops are the subject of Valeria Dammicco's PhD at the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM). Now in her third year, Valeria has been examining these spaces and their role as potential drivers of entrepreneurial development in local communities.

The concept of fabrication spaces emerged out of the 'maker' movement, which places an emphasis on cooperative project-based learning and sharing technology and knowledge to create both digital and physical artefacts — from computer codes to personalised items — which would have not otherwise be available to members of the general public. Valeria became interested in the concept after completing a BA in Political Science and International Relations in Italy and then an MSc in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship at Portsmouth Business School. 

"Every fabrication space has its own structure; there's no one set up or agenda. In Cambridge, Makespace is a limited company mostly staffed by volunteers. They rent a building from the University and operate on a membership model," says Valeria.

It costs £40 a month to be a member of Makespace Cambridge, and that offers 24/7 access to 4,000 square feet of 'play and learn' space. Items like 3-D printers, laser routers, electronics equipment, craft materials, a full woodworking shop, fine metalworking benches, a glassmaking kiln and more. The space also provides opportunities for networking, training and hosting events, which is what Valeria is doing this week.

At BlackHorse Workshop, a fabrication space in London she was visiting as part of her research, Valeria met the Mexican-born designer Arturo Soto. He specialises in the design of exclusive and luxurious pieces whilst trying to only use sustainable and recycled materials as both a principle and a design challenge. Furthermore, he does all his work from Black Horse. She invited him to Cambridge, where he will speak on Wednesday 27 December from 17.30-19.00.

During this talk, Arturo will cover various aspects of his design process, how he built his brand Memories of Green and have an open discussion on how to design more sustainable and intelligent pieces and find your own "sustainable design signature”. He will also explore Dieter Rams’ ten principles of good design and explain how these have changed his life and made him a more innovative and better designer. 

Find out more about Arturo's talk.