To co-create or not to co-create? How to decide

08 July 2019 Dee Halligan

We’ve observed growing interest in co-creation; most briefs passing our desks will have some reference to co-creation, co-design, co-production, collaboration, something beginning with c that responds to a new (and welcome) imperative to involve people meaningfully in the processes and projects which affect their lives. However there’s little consensus around definitions of these words, and a lack of consistency around approaches between sectors.

Having used co-creation approaches in many if not most of our projects we know intimately what effort they take and for what reward (spoiler both can be more than you anticipate). So we loved welcoming over 40 libraries, councils, makerspaces, community groups and individual artists and activists down to our Brixton site to spend a day with us and the Crafts Council Make:Shift:Do team, exploring how co-creation can be used strategically to progress their goals with (rather than to) their communities.

We’re now working with the Crafts Council to devise a year long project to support the sector, which will culminate in their next Make:Shift:Do event. Possibly a toolkit, a handbook, a film – who knows? We’ll be co-creating it, so watch this space during the year as it evolves.

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Make:Shift:Do actively involves a diverse audience with cutting-edge approaches to making, changing perceptions of the meaning of ‘craft’ and revealing its real world potential.