Saturday, 12 May 2012

thoughts on making

rubbing the image onto the block

This post is about the importance of making.

A no-brainer for those who make, and no doubt also for many who have art/design/craft/making blogs of some kind or other. You already know how valuable the act of making is.

But it's interesting to see how all the wonder and goodness and beauty that makers know comes from making is now starting to be recognised in broader society. People are starting to sit up and take notice of making and makers. Which is a great thing because it doesn't seem so long ago that craft and other making type domains were looked down upon and seen as, well, kind of quaint, but not much more than that. And the thing I'm also noticing is the boundary between art/design and making generally is blurring. And I, for one, am very happy about that blurred boundary.

David Guantlett's book 'Making is Connecting' is one that pulls ideas about the value and place of making together along with a dash of history for good measure. It's quite a good read and for an academic (he's Prof of Media & Communications at the Uni of Westminster), David writes in a very accessible way.

Yesterday Lindy Osborne, an architect and academic, was live tweeting (@LindyOsborne) from the 2012 Experience Conference - a national architecture conference in Brisbane. Two of her tweets caught my eye:

'Students take note: 'The hand is the most important method of learning.' Murcutt wisdom.'


'Murcutt keeps focussing on importance of 'making' in his discussions with Wang Shu. Wish every QUT archi student was here.  '

Her enthusiastic references to Murcutt were from Glenn Murcutt, also an architect, who was hosting one of the sessions at the conference. I was intrigued and also elated to hear an architect valuing making and work done by the hand as a way to learn given how digitally savvy that industry has become. 

And every time I watch an episode of Grand Designs lately there is a story about somebody needing to make with their hands, the result often being they give up indoor day jobs to work onsite building their dream houses. Long gone are the days when it was somewhat shameful to work with our hands and more desirable to do 'clean work' indoors, most often behind a computer. Tradies are valued quite highly these days for the skills and practical handwork they can do. And why shouldn't they be?

So makers of all kinds. It feels like the wheels are turning our way. Do you feel it too?