Launching @MakerAssemblyNI: 16th March

EDIT: Schedule released below
We’ve been quietly toiling away in the background to bring the movers, shakers and taste makers of the UK Maker Community  (and beyond!) to Belfast for a one day mini-conference, set up to tear down some misconceptions about the community and to address some of the unique challenges faced in our region.

Maker Assembly NI is a one-day gathering hosted in the labs to critically discuss maker culture: its meaning, politics, history and future.


Currently confirmed speakers / workshop leaders are:

But the speakers don’t make the conference; the attendees do, and while we’re not publishing our invited attendee list, it’s pretty awesome if we do say so ourselves!


The conference will explore a series of topics around making, with a focus on critical discussion about the current state of the maker culture.


10:00 Registration and coffee

10:30 Welcome address

10:45 Session 1: Making & Peace Building

Kicking off Maker Assembly NI is a session about the politics and nuances of community-facing digital fabrication projects. It will look at how maker cultures are emerging at the grassroots and how local organisations are contributing to the peace-building project currently underway in Northern Ireland. It hopes to reveal how the idea of ‘critical making’ can be adjusted to suit the specificities of different contexts.


Adam Wallace & Eamon Durey, Fab Labs NI, John Peto, Nerve Centre

12:00 Session 2: Speculative Making: New Contexts and Futures

As the idea of digital making beds down—and practices become more visible and accessible—what new trajectories are emerging and how are speculative futures being framed? This session hopes to reveal the supports we might need to maintain a critical forecast of making and maker culture.


Nora O’Murchu, University of Limerick, Kat Braybrooke, University of Sussex

13:00 Lunch

14:00 Session 3: Governance, Sustainability & Maker Networks

How are maker networks nurtured and sustained? And how ‘critical’ are the governance

strategies of the physical spaces and networked platforms that mediate maker networks?

This session hopes to somewhat unravel the entanglements of people, places, and things, to better understand how maker culture is being facilitated.


Javier Burón, Fab Lab Limerick & University of Limerick, Hannah Stewart, Royal College of Art, Future Makerspaces Project

15:30 Session 4: Critics of the world, create!

Final session to be a making exercise, inspired by the Sarah Kember and Joanna Zylinska’s (2012) Creative Media Manifesto and Garnet Hertz’s Critical Making zine series.

17:00 Closing remarks and Networking

18:00 Bus to the Pub – BREWBOT


Running as part of Creativity Month, DCALNI have kindly funded a limited number of subsidised tickets and travel bursaries for some speakers & attendees. This fund has also been topped up by those kind folks at BBC Northern Ireland.

If you would like to contribute to these bursaries (or enquire about making use of) contact

Follow us on @MakerAssemblyNI for up to the minute news and info!

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