‘Workshop Birmingham and STEAMhouse’
Workshop Birmingham helped artists, designers, and makers make better use of Birmingham, the City of a Thousand Trades.
We aimed to connect local manufacturers, material suppliers, and fabricators with the creative sector, make processes more accessible, unlock resources, skills and knowledge, and build facilities that would enable more people to prototype, make and manufacture locally. Workshop Birmingham was developed in collaboration with Sean O'Keeffe and funded by Arts Council England.
Across 2016 and 2017 we worked with MakeWorks to develop a free, online directory of manufacturers, material suppliers, and fabricators in and around Birmingham. We also piloted a programme of skills based workshops, factory visits, and demonstrations for designers, makers, and artists, delivered by manufacturers, material suppliers, and fabricators.
Working with Alessandro Columbano and Michael Dring we also developed the Birmingham Production Space proposal. You can download the proposal here.
These ideas evolved into the Production Space in STEAMhouse, a large-scale piece of public infrastructure that I co-developed through a partnership with Eastside Projects and the Research, Innovation, and Enterprise team at Birmingham City University.
I led the STEAMhouse project for Eastside Projects, working as Creative Director/Artist Maker on the ERDF-funded phases of STEAMhouse from 2015–2023, which included co-designing and setting up the initial prototype on Digbeth High Street, and leading development programmes that supported almost 200 artists and creatives to make new work, explore new processes, develop skills, access technical expertise and expand their practice.