With new programmes come new websites and so the CONNECT/ZA’s MAKER LIBRARY NETWORK, designed and delivered by Koby Barhad and Jim Rhodes, has arrived! Now including the recently joined Maker Library in the MACHINES ROOM @LIMEWHARF, in East London and soon also Maker Library at MOAD Johannesburg. New events across the network can be seen on the June events pogramme and additional downloads in the resources section including the original Open Design Manifesto & Italic Shelves by Ronen Kadushin. An exciting new section is the start of our Mentor’s Pool which includes inspiring makers such as Bethany Koby and Daniel Hirschmann, the founders of Technology Will Save Us and the artist and co-founder of Troika Conny Freyer.



This is the 6th year I’ve been invited to nominate for the Design Museum’s Designs of the Year, so took the opportunity to look back at what I’ve put forward since 2008. It’s mostly been product or furniture and increasingly social and digital. There’s always a wheelchair, usually a medical product and something that hasn’t quite fit into one of the categories. As was the case with a service design project in 2010. For this year’s show, expertly curated by Gemma Curtin and elegantly designed by Huntington Narud, I nominated:  Chair 4 Life, a wheelchair that adapts to its users, by Renfrew Group; The Seaboard Grand, a keyboard without keys by Roli [Product category winner] and Peek, a pocket-sized ophthalmology department by PeekVision [Digital category winner]. One category winner will go on to be named the overall winner.


Next week, From Now On will be working from South Africa, with the British Council Connect ZA team, to launch the The Maker Library Network on the EXPO events stage of Design Indaba. and as part of the events opening the World Design Capital 2014.

The project has developed exponentially since our small sketch last October. Six Maker Libraries across the UK and South Africa are ready to go as the foundation for a new open design platform that connects makers across the UK and South Africa. To do so, we’re setting up a series of stimulating creative environments that combine a makespace, gallery and library, and regularly collaborate with an online community of makers and mentors.

The British Council team will also be launching an Open Call in search of new librarians in South Africa to join and set up their own Maker Libraries and grow the network. If you are in Cape Town, come visit our librarians Heath Nash and Tetsuo Mukai from Study O Portable at Guild, or Thingking at Design Indaba. In the UK, please check out our MLs at Makerversity London with Candyce, at MAKlab in Glasgow with Richard, or in the courtyard of GRAS in Edinburgh with Gunnar and Stuart. More info on the Open Call Soon.


Earlier this year, Daniel Charny was invited by the British Council Arts team to visit South Africa and come up with a proposal for the design and makers strand of their Connect ZA Programme, headed by Tom Porter and managed by Sarah Mann. A team including curator Catriona Duffy of Panel, designer Mil Stricevic and architects Stuart Falconer of GRAS and James Binning of Assemble travelled together to Jo’burg and Capetown, met fantastic people and visited significant places for the creative community.

A few months later and From Now On are happily working closely with the BC’s Arts teams in the UK and SA. The first sketch of the project ,code name The Maker Library Network and aimed at creating connections between young creatives and audiences in the UK and South Africa has just taken place at the Open Government Partnership Summit with ThingKing in Cape Town and Makerversity in London. More about this exciting open design network project soon.

You can check out the very first sketch trial mock up doodle experiment on and tell us what you think !


University for the Creative Arts Research & Enterprise invited Daniel Charny to give one of two keynote presentations alongside musician Matthew Herbert on their Staff Conference Customise! themed day. The talk entitled [Insert Title Here] was a joint conversation/presentation with Professor Ulrich Lehmann surveying and reflecting on the impact of MC (Mass Customisation).

Curating for THE GREAT RECOVERY, Inviting BRIGHT SPARKS and Launching

Royal Society of the Arts (RSA) Design Directors Nat Hunter and Sophie Matthews commissioned Daniel Charny to curate the stand of their new perception changing initiative The Great Recovery at 100% Design 2012. The stand, designed by Thomas.Matthews, presented a collaboration with Islington Council’s repair and reuse shop Bright Sparks founded by Diye Wariebi of Digibridge combining a 3d printer making missing parts (see first pict below of Jim with his Emaker Huxley). Other exhibits included new designs reusing discarded components by recent RCA graduate Gaspard Tine-Beres and hosted the launch of pilot project (more about how this project soon).


Lodz Design Festival, Forum Design and Architecture, 19.10.12 Targowa 35, IV floor, will be hosting a series of talks curated by Maria Jeglinska interrogating what the Economist recently titled the Third Industrial Revolution. Speakers include: Aaron Makaruk, Antonia Nottenbohm, Jacek KolodziejskiNitzan Cohen, Johanna Agerman RossPrzemyslaw “Mac” Stopa and Daniel Charny. Charny will be presenting the thinking behind the Victoria and Albert Museum’s exhibition Power of Making and talking about attitudes to making and skills in the 21st century. Here is an excerpt from the introduction:

‘It seems we are in the midst of a great awakening of making, or even as some have declared the dawn of the next (maker driven?) industrial revolution.

The reality is that although most people can make, most just don’t. In fact fewer and fewer people, especially those who live in cities, actually know how to make the things they use, need or want; or even how these things are made. This is one of the most dramatic and unfortunate legacies of the Industrial Revolution which has shaped the world we live in. Distance and lack of understanding are impacting also on governments and educational institutions, which are failing to see that making is very much part of the future. Making is the universal infrastructure of production – be it technical or artistic, scientific or cultural. Making is a type of applied thinking that is at the core of creating new knowledge of all kinds, and the sensibilities of making should actively be made a part of our future.’


This years London Design Festival started for Daniel Charny with the curating of the Great Recovery stand for RSA at 100% Design, designed by Thomas Matthews; then talking at the first Global Design Forum with Thomas Heatherwick about working with clients; the next day with Monocle’s design editor Hugo Macdonald about the LDF role in generating new work see podcast on Section D #50. Day 5 as ‘Design Brain’ on Dezeen Live with Marcus Fairs talking about authenticity; Day 6 was judging and presenting at Be Open Think Tank design awards; and day 6 was the most exciting launching of the new initiative with James Carrigan and the amazing Fixperts team.


Design & Making is a series of essays exploring the importance of craft and design today published by Danish Crafts. Editor-in-Chief Max Fraser, editors Birgitte Jahn, Kristian Kastoft, Anders Kongskov Olsen, Nina Tolstrup. Contributors Daniel Charny, Magnus Englund, Grant Gibson, Lesley Jackson, Birgitte Jahn, William KnightLibby Sellers and Paul de Zwart.

[images from Design & Making graphic design by Richard Ardagh Studio]