Makers space/space making: Understanding the role of a MakersLab in fostering new creative pathways



Design Education Strategy


  • 4IR, democracy, design education, innovation, human capital, incubator


The MakersLab is a new creative space within a leading South African design education institution. The space encourages creative intersections to bridge the 4IR knowledge gap with sustainable development goals, 4IR and explorative making. Over the past year, the development and integration of the MakersLab have been integral in establishing educator/student relationships. The development of the MakersLab is seen as an ‘incubator’ for change whilst navigating current socio-economic and gender development gaps. Here, the space aims to foster user needs, develop new ways of thinking, and engage with the community. The fast development of technology means that educators learn from students as much as students learn from educators. The current design curriculum is changing to accommodate the changes with new machinery, technology, and modes of practice in design education. The curriculum within the interior design department is being interrogated to accommodate new technology to democratise learning with 4IR technology whilst navigating the parameters of online learning.

The research uses a semi-structured questionnaire to understand the role and expectations of the MakerLab, together with educators, design students (first, second and third-year interior design students) and external creative artists. The development of the MakersLab provides innovative learnings to educators on how to better equip themselves with the fast-paced world of technology in making space for new pathways for future spatial designers.

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