Why Is Making So Valuable?

In the digital age, making has become one of our most common activities. This is in large part due to the accessibility of tools, the development of smarter design software and the internet, and also due to a shift in mindset. It is now more possible than ever to turn ideas into tangible products.

Makers are people who take things and turn them into something that they value. This could be something physical, such as a sculpture, or it might be an activity, such as a video game or computer program. Making is an iterative process and many makers make multiple drafts before arriving at a final product. Makers often enjoy the challenge of finding creative solutions that work within constraints.

For example, a maker might take an object like a plastic cup and try to make it float. They might have to think about materials, weight, buoyancy and other factors. They might then test their creations in different water bodies and observe how the material performs in each context. They may then change their designs to improve the final outcome.

Crafting can also help us find meaning in our experiences and cope with difficult emotions. It can also provide a way for us to express our identities and to share our values with others. In fact, some of the most popular hobbies in the UK – knitting, crocheting and sewing – are arts and crafts.

A plethora of tutorials and products on the market mean that it is easier than ever to get into making. However, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and end up with a collection of supplies that are not being used. Some makers can also be prone to over-promising and under-delivering, leading to frustration and a sense of failure.

Whether you’re an experienced maker or just starting out, it’s important to remember that the purpose of making is to create something that has a positive impact. In order to do this, we need to understand that making is a complex, iterative process that requires an awareness of our own limitations and the limits of the technology. This will enable us to build quality, sustainable projects and ensure that we’re always learning along the way. By adopting this approach, we can move away from a culture of Jack of all Trades, Master of None to one where making is seen as a valuable and worthwhile pursuit.