Open Access Article

Title: Fostering creativity through co-design and making: case studies of makerspaces in the UK

Authors: Busayawan Lam; Youngok Choi; Xi Chen; Minqing Ni; Sophia De Sousa

Addresses: Brunel Design School, College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences, Brunel University London, Kingston Lane, Uxbridge, UB8 3PH, UK ' Brunel Design School, College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences, Brunel University London, Kingston Lane, Uxbridge, UB8 3PH, UK ' Brunel Design School, College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences, Brunel University London, Kingston Lane, Uxbridge, UB8 3PH, UK ' College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University, 281 Fuxin Road, Shanghai, China ' The Glass-House Community Led Design, 2 Wardrobe Place, London, EC4V 5AH, UK

Abstract: This paper discusses how individual creativity can be fostered through co-design activities and the act of making, especially those taking place in makerspaces. The research: i) explored the relationships between creative development and co-design activities; (ii) investigated types of co-design activities occurring in makerspaces; and (iii) identified good practices employed in makerspaces across the UK. The case study method and PACT Analysis was used to ensure the thoroughness of the investigations. The results showed that co-design and making could help foster individual creativity, as they encourage people to explore new knowledge, ask open-ended questions, plan things in advance, make decisions and defend decisions. Additionally, the research suggested that makerspaces play a key role in creating an inducive environment for people to share ideas, learn from each other and network.

Keywords: co-design; makerspaces; creativity; social values; public engagement.

DOI: 10.1504/JDR.2021.121056

Journal of Design Research, 2021 Vol.19 No.1/2/3, pp.133 - 154

Accepted: 26 Apr 2021
Published online: 21 Feb 2022 *