We were invited by Workshop East, a shared workshop for professional makers in Newham, East London, to collaborate on a study of shared makerspaces in London for the Greater London Authority and the London Legacy Development Corporation.

The study’s aims were:

1.To provide as representative and complete a picture as possible of co-making spaces in London.

2. To show the breadth of enterprises and activities.

3. To provide examples of individual organisations and explore the types of space they operate out of, explaining how these spaces impact on the makers’ businesses and building community.

Overall the goal was to understand the benefits of affordable, shared workspace for makers, and the pressures on existing spaces.

Following an initial audit that involved making contact with over 120 spaces, 89 were selected for inclusion in the study. Detailed data was then gathered via in-depth questionnaires and interviews with the various organisations. We visited over 25 organisations in person.

We produced detailed case studies of five workshops, one each from a different discipline. A woodwork and metal workshop. A print studio.  A stone masonry studio. And a pottery.

We carried out a spatial analysis of these spaces, looking at issues such as location, access, building type, fit-out, hierarchy of spaces, discipline-specific space requirements and shared vs. private work spaces. We produced urban context diagrams, general building layouts showing shared facilities and workspaces, as well as very detailed workbench layouts that highlighted the difference between the various disciplines.

Our quantitative research study fed into the Greater London Authority’s interactive map of workspaces in the capital. The full report was published by the Crafts Council and can be downloaded here.

Project carried out under the name engelhadleykirk limited (ehk!)