The 2024 ECHN Workshop was held in Blackburn, UK, at the Making Rooms: the selected hub to host this year’s training for ECHN members! Managed by Tom Pope, the Making Rooms had created a series of technical and practical, hands-on and theoretical sets of masterlcasses in order to train the 15 participants on how to create a Makerspace in their own hubs!
Welcome to our cohort of the ECHN Workshop 2023!
Besides the incredible team from The Making Rooms (Tom, Sidra, Uzair and James) we had 15 participants from 11 different countries! 🇬🇧 🇲🇩 🇵🇹 🇮🇹 🇸🇪 🇨🇭 🇪🇸 🇭🇷 🇩🇪 🇧🇦 🇱🇻
- Oxana, Artcor, a center for the development of creative industries in Chisinau (Moldova)
- Marius, _ARTERIA_LAB, the creative incubator from the University of Évora (Portugal)
- Paul, Basis Vinschgau Venosta, a Social Activation Hub in Silandro (Italy)
- Diana, Blivande, a container based venue, coworking and makerspace in Stockholm (Sweden)
- Ben, Alpiness Coliving, a coliving space in the Swiss Alps (Switzerland)
- Agustin, Anceu Coliving, a coliving space in rural Galicia (Spain)
- Curro, Rooral.co, a network of coliving & coworking communities in rural villages, Benarrabá (Spain)
- Kirsten, Make CIC, a space of making, workshops & events in Liverpool (UK)
- Dino, BIZkoshnica Coworking, a creative hub and coworking space in Zagreb (Croatia)
- Sarah, House of All, a design & maker space for sustainable and community-Based Fashion in Hamburg (Germany)
- Carlos, Buinho, a creative hub & makerspace in rural Alentejo (Portugal)
- Facu, TransfoLAB BCN, a makerspace and a research center for circular economy in Barcelona (Spain)
- Callum, Leigh Works, a makerspace and coworking in Leigh (UK)
- Janis, Art Academy of Latvia, future Riga Makerspace (Latvia)
- Anes, BRDO CDE Hub, a coworking space in Tuzla (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
The 4 day event was hosted indoors and outdoors: besides the learnings that were waiting inside the Making Rooms’ walls, the whole town was excited to host the participants and the days included several visits to local initiatives and projects.
On the arrival day, the participants could choose where to start, from a few different options: 3D scanning, Soldering, e-textiles, Digital Embroidery, Entry 3D modelling, Biomaterials (part 1) or 3D printing (FDM). The day wouldn’t be finished without a visit to the local pub, as an initiation to the local culture, when in the UK…
The first full day of the ECHN Workshop ‘Making Places’ started with a Historic building walk kindly hosted by Julia Simpson and Rebecca Johnson from the Blackburn and Darwen Council, where the 15 hub managers from 11 countries learned about local cultural assets and the vibrant creative economy.
They also discovered the rich and long history of Blackburn’s Industrial heritage and why it’s called the ‘Town of Making’. We couldn’t be at a better place to learn all about Maker Spaces!
In the afternoon, the training sessions were held in simultaneous sessions, where participants could choose their topics of interest, ranging from:
⚡Printed Circuit Board Design
In the evening, an unusual venue was the meeting point for the first networking session between the workshop participants and the local stakeholders, ranging from local policy makers to creative businesses and cultural actors.
The Reel Cinema in Blackburn was home to an exciting event where the ECHN members presented their hubs in a real cinema room!
Wednesday morning started with an inspiring visit to Blackburn Youth Zone where we learned about the developments happening to benefit young people, including the fusebox and makerspace! This center offers free activities to local youth that promote skills development, vocational training and emotional support – most of it through informal learning.
We visited the sport zones, the maker area, the dance studios and in the end some ECHN members engaged in a co-design process for the future spaces!
In the afternoon, another round of the training sessions were held simultaneously, this
time focusing on:
⚡Running Accelerator Programs
⚡3D Printing (FDM)
⚡Rural Makerspaces (hosted by @buinhocreativehub)
In the evening, all the participants of the ECHN Workshop Making Places were kindly invited for a Civic Dinner hosted by the Blackburn with Darwen Council at the Fire Pit.
The Hub Managers were all mixed with the local hosting community and the result was a blast: new ideas, new partnerships and upcoming ventures are on the way!
Thanks again for the wonderful evening, with a special note to the inspiring Councillor Phil Riley.
The 4th and last full day of the ECHN Workshop, was a good mix of masterclasses and some visits of the places not to miss while in Blackburn: the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), the Uncultured Creatives’ Studio and also the School of Arts of the Blackburn College, with their incredible facilities and support programs for students of all social backgrounds – a very inspiring one!
Back in the Making Rooms, the learning’s buffet had available:
⚡Community Consultation & Systems Design
⚡Maker space design
⚡Fusion360 3D modelling
⚡Repair w/ Dr. Michael Stead Dr. Violet Owen
In the evening, we all gathered again at the Cinema for another round of presentations: this time around ECHN participants were the audience, and the presenters were the local initiatives:
– Uncultured Creatives, a collaborative creative practice between Artist Jamie Holman and Curator Alex Zawadzki, developed to support the effective delivery of complex commissions, through their shared skillset. https://jamieholman.com/uncultured-creatives
– The National Festival of Making: a unique celebration of UK making, from the kitchen table to the factory floor. Presenting a programme of work that combines Art, Manufacturing, Making and Communities, they commission international and national artists to create world class works, a year round programme and a participatory FREE FAMILY festival for all to enjoy. https://festivalofmaking.co.uk/
– The Super Slow Way: an arts programme in Pennine Lancashire shaped by local communities working alongside artists. https://superslowway.org.uk/
We cannot thank enough to the whole Making Rooms team, as well as the Blackburn with Darwen Council, for the enriching and thoughtful program developed to make everyone feel so welcome, and for the fully detailed learning program! Everyone left with the feeling they will be back some day, and surely to make something!