1000 Makers: Creature Make at Ocean Studios

We believe it is essential that young people have the experience of being makers, rather than solely consumers or audience at the effect of technology.

The creative economy is booming. Currently worth £91 billion to the UK and growing at twice the rate of other sectors, it is testament to the huge talent and skill to be found across the country and in all parts of Plymouth.

Plymouth is known as a city of makers. Our creative economy centers on making in its widest sense combining arts, craft, digital, technology, engineering plus social and community making. Now being heralded as the 4th Industrial Revolution, new technologies are combining with established practice to change the way we work and live our lives.

We believe it is essential that young people have the experience of being ‘creators’ (Makers), rather than solely consumers or audience at the effect of technology. Our world needs makers; versatile, emotionally intelligent and agile makers. Makers who make with language, image, code, steel, clay or even policy.

In a world where the take up of creative subjects in schools has declined, where it is ever easier to be a passive consumer of content and entertainment than a maker and where industry is crying out for creative skills- The 1000 maker campaign is a call to arms.

It all started with an idea to get as many children and young people through the doors at our creative spaces at Ocean Studios to experience what it’s like to be a maker…to explore, problem solve, work collaboratively and make as much mess as possible!

Local schools were invited to sign up to a full day workshop for up to 50 children for a whole day’s making.  As children entered the gates at Royal William Yard, they were transported into the historical waterside site, home to restaurants, cafés and RIO’s creative studios, Ocean Studios…oh and a giant squid, currently residing on the lawn!

After a quick welcome everyone settled into the Events Space upstairs, 50 children filled with anticipation and excitement, wondering what the day would bring.  The brief was set: build a single colour, tech-enabled scrap ‘creature’ using only the materials and equipment available.  With glue guns plugged in and imaginations fired, they were ready.

Who knew there were so many ways to fold, cut, tape and roll cardboard?!

Our creative practitioner from Outside the Box, Caroline Mercer, introduced new skills, and a team of brilliant and energetic facilitators supported small teams to create different components of the creatures, all the while discussing what the creature would do, how it would change the future, and in many cases change the world…a creature that sucked up plastic, a recycling creature with spikes.  The bright green ‘Clarkson 2000 Happiness Bobatron’ was a definite favourite among the 12 colourful creatures that gradually filled Ocean Studios main exhibition space and café.

The children also spent time writing stories about their creatures and drawing illustrations of things that had inspired them, including a quick trip to see the giant Squiggly Wiggly Squid, the interactive and acoustic installation created and installed by Mordavaga, an architect-turn-artist collective from Portugal which provided excellent inspiration for our enthusiastic makers.

Jonathan Clitheroe, Head of Challenge Based Learning at RIO, said “We believe it is essential that Plymouth’s young people have the experience of being makers, rather than solely passive consumers of technology. Our world needs makers; Versatile, emotionally intelligent and agile makers. Makers who create with language, image, code, steel, clay or even policy.”

 

Lindsey Hall, Chief Executive of RIO, said “In a world where the take up of creative subjects in schools are being squeezed and where industry is crying out for creative skills, 1000 Makers is a campaign to provide visibility to the fast-growing creative economy and show the significant potential for a career in this sector.”