The goal for our Making Laboratories workshop is to design a workshop for makers to share their skills with one another.
Some assumptions we're making:
We're designing this in a context of a fashion tech workshop. Half of the participants would have a fashion expertise, and half would be creative technologist. We imagine it would be about 12 people (with 3 groups of 4, evenly split between fashion and tech backgrounds).
We would use Google Forms and open up the responses so the final group of participants could see each other's responses.
We would want to know the applicants skills and what they are hoping to learn, as well as have an example of a previous project they've worked on to understand their skill level.
Here's a mockup of the application form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1j6ys7GG_i1U4i95Oa7bo9jg-YsfjiBAUuOowrXSH9go/viewform
Night 1: People introduce themselves and brainstorm ideas - then they determine the skills they need for these skills
The ice breaker activity would be used as the start of the first workshop for participants to introduce their skills.
Mysterious / Evocative objects: Use an evocative object that gets passed around, each person introduces themselves and their interpretation of the object
Past-project sharing: Each person brings a photo of a project they've previously worked on and adds it to a wall. One person starts and takes down their photo and describes their past project, then picks another project and that person introduces themselves, and so on.
Favorite objects: Each person brings in an object they especially like and share why they like it. They then design a project that is a mash up of two products.
The entire group brainstorms concepts and selects the top 3 ideas. Groups form around the top 3 ideas, evenly split between technologists and fashion designers.
After the skills exchange, workshop organizers should compile a schedule in which different teams can use some of the shared machines in the shop (such as the laser cutter, 3D printer, etc) to avoid overbooking tools.
The first full day of the workshop would be dedicated to participants exchanging skills in the context of their proposed project.
Facilitators should ensure that participants are aware of the time constraints of the workshop and should scope their projects accordingly (creating a scale prototype rather than a complete piece, for example).
Here are some tips we compiled for learners sharing their skills with one another:
Skill Exchange Tips
Participants have the majority of the day to continue working on their project, with an expectation to present wherever their prototypes are at the end of the day. Final presentations can be working prototypes, a video, or a sketch.
We leave 15 minutes before presentation for participants to fill out a workshop describing the most valuable tips they learned.
These worksheets are shared during the final presentation and compiled by organizers at the conclusion of the workshop to share with everyone, so everyone can learn from each team's experience.