What did we do?
Workshop Birmingham was active between 2014 and 2018 during which time we developed three projects:
We built a free, online directory of manufacturers, material suppliers and fabricators in and around Birmingham. Initially this was a stand alone resource, but later we began working in partnership with Make Works who had built their own online resource for designers and makers in Scotland. We were the first Make Works region and were ultimately joined by others from across the UK and beyond.
Find out about Make Works HERE
We also developed a pilot programme of affordable workshops, master-classes, factory visits and demonstrations for designers, makers and artists, delivered by manufacturers, material suppliers and fabricators. You will find details of this programme on the Events page.
We worked with Alessandro Columbano and Michael Dring to develop plans for workshops and making space to support artists, designers and other makers producing creative work in and around Birmingham. Our initial proposal was published in 2015 and set out an ambitious plan for a new public building with workshops and space for making. You can read it HERE.
These ideas were informed by a series of research visits to workshops, studio complexes and makerspaces across the UK which specialize in support for artists, designers and craftspeople as well as ‘focus groups’ with local practitioners and feedback from online surveys and public discussions.
We continued to develop these ideas, working with Birmingham City University’s Research Innovation and Enterprise department and Eastside Projects, and realised the workshop component of these proposals as part of the STEAMHouse project. STEAMhouse opened on Digbeth High Street in 2018.
Find out about STEAMhouse HERE
Why did we do it?
Workshop Birmingham helps artists, designers and makers make better use of Birmingham, the City of a Thousand Trades.
By linking local manufacturers, material suppliers and fabricators with the creative sector we are making processes more accessible, developing new connections and unlocking resources, skills, knowledge and facilities which will encourage and enable more people to prototype, make and manufacture locally.
Workshop Birmingham is a not-for-profit project and is led by Ruth Claxton and Sean O’Keeffe. If you would like to get in touch please drop us an email.