[18 March 2015, Sheffield School of Architecture] Urban Makers, Makers Economies seminar, jointly organised with The Agency research group at SSoA, explored the economic models and power relations that are getting shaped through various projects and initiatives determined to take urban matter into their own (collective) hands, to address existential needs (housing, workspace, work) or fundamentally reshape the city away from the terrain of speculative development and financialisation, towards a ground for all of us. The seminar involved those actively engaged in such endeavours, those researching them or interrogating them in the larger framework of things, as well as the many of us curious as to what this breed of initiatives has to offer. Even if we have witnessed a surge in such initiatives, there is still limited experience with them, with their implications and differences, and with their possible viability as urban change makers. Are they indeed the seeds for a much needed, immanent change?
With contributions by: Tom James Spacemakers (Brighton/London/Stockholm), Myfanwy Taylor (Geography UCL, Participatory Geographies Research Group), Jenny Pickerill Geography (The University of Sheffield, Participatory Geographies Research Group), STEALTH.unlimited (co-initiators of Smarter Building, Belgrade and City in the Making, Rotterdam), David Rodgers (London Borough of Ealing, previously long-term chief executive of The Co-operative Development Society Ltd, London), Cristina Cerulli (Architecture, The University of Sheffield, Studio Polpo/Portland Works, SKIN_N, Chopshop, Other Housing) and Kathrin Böhm (Myvillages/Company, Movements, Deals and Drinks, London).