The rationale is that human capital has increasingly become the most important asset of a country. Experts argued that the key to the sustainable economic growth of a city/country is the ability to attract, nurture and retain a creative workforce. One effective way of promoting and fostering creativity is to actively engage people in creative activities, such as co-design and hands-on making activities.


In Year 1, the team focuses on identifying good practices of creative communities and finding out key requirements regarding public makerspaces in China to create suitable strategies. In Year 2, the team develops a prototype of a public makerspace in one of the community neighbourhood centres in Shanghai to scale up and expand to other areas in China. The team also initiates community co-design projects between local residents and design students from Tongji University to introduce the co-design process to local communities. The processes and outcomes of community projects have been thoroughly evaluated to identify potential impacts. Key lessons learned are extracted to develop suitable strategies and action plans for scaling up. Year 3 concentrates on developing a strategic design framework with suitable guidelines for developing community creative hubs.


Useful Links

Hurst, A. and Kane, S. (2013) Making “Making” Accessible, Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children (635 – 638).New York, NY, USA: ACM.


Kjällander, S., Åkerfeldt, A., Mannila, L. & Parnes, P. (2017) Makerspaces Across Settings: Didactic Design for Programming in Formal and Informal Teacher Education in the Nordic Countries, Journal of Digital Learning in teaching Education, 34(1), 18-30. doi: 10.1080/21532974.2017.1387831


Koole, M., Epp, J. Anderson, K., Hepner, R. and Hossain, M. (2017) Designing a Makerspace for Pre-school and In-service Teachers, International Journal of Design for Learning, 8(1), 82 – 97.



Kuznetsov, S. and Paulos, E. (2010) Rise of the Expert Amateur: DIY Projects, Communities, and Cultures, Proceedings of the 6th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction: Extending Boundaries (295 – 304). Reykjavik, Iceland: ACM.


Lande, M. and Jordan, S (2014) Making It Together, Locally: A Making Community Learning Ecology in the Southwest USA, 2014 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE) Proceedings. Madrid, Spain: IEEE. ISBN: 978-1-4799-3922-0


Lindtner, S. and Li, D. (2012) Created in China: The Makings of China’s Hackerspace Community,

Interactions, November + December 2012, 18 – 22 DOI: 10.1145/2377783.2377789


Litts, B.K. (2015) Resources, facilitation, and partnerships: Three design considerations for youth makerspaces, Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children (347-350).Medford, MA, USA: ACM.


Moilanen, J. (2012) Emerging Hackerspaces – Peer-Production Generation. Proceedings of 8th International Conference on Open Source Systems: OSS (94-111). Hammamet, Tunisia: IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-33442-9_7


Paonessa, L. and Orozco, A. (n.d.) What is a makerspace, and how does it promote community development? [Online] (accessed: 15/12/18)


Slatter, D. and Howard, Z. (2013) A Place to Make, Hack, and Learn: Makerspaces in Australian Public Libraries, The Australian Library Journal, 62(4), 272-284. doi: 10.1080/00049670.2013.853335


Sleigh, A., Stewart, H. and Stokes, K. (2015) Open Dataset of UK Makerspaces: A User’s Guide. London: NESTA.


Smith, A. (2015) Tooling Up: civic visions, Fablabs and grassroots activism. The Guardian [Online] (accessed: 27/03/19)


Taylor, N., Hurley, U. and Connolly, P. (2016) Making Community: The Wider Role of Makerspaces in Public Life, Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. San Jose, CA, USA: ACM. doi: 10.1145/2858036.2858073


Toombs, A., Bardzell, S. & Bardzell, J. (2014) Becoming Makers: Hackerspace Member Habits, Values, and Identities. Journal of Peer Production, 5 (October 2014), ISSN: 2213-5316.


Toombs, A., Bardzell, S. & Bardzell, J. (2015) The Proper Care and Feeding of Hackerspaces: Care Ethics and Cultures of Making. Proceedings of the 2015 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Seoul, Republic of Korea: ACM. doi: 10.1145/2702123.2702400


Van Holm, E.J. (2015) What are Makerspaces, Hackerspaces, and Fab Labs? SSRN Electronic Journal (January 2015), doi: 10.2139/ssrn.2548211


Wang, D., Dunn, N. & Coulton, P. (2015) Grassroots Maker Spaces: A Recipe for Innovation, 11th European Academy of Design Conference. Paris, France: Paris Descartes University Institute of Psychology.

Useful Toolkits and Playbooks

Making in Schools: A Toolkit


Makerspace Playbook: School Edition


Youth Makerspace Playbook


Creative Citizens’ Variety Pack

Useful Websites

Maker Ed:

Maker Ed UK:

NESTA’s makerspaces database:

Design Challenges, Museum of Science, Boston:

Libraries with makerspaces in the UK:

DESIS Network: Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability: