We are working to build capacity in construction skills for the green economy. In May 2023 we launched Make Workshops: a series of practical and accessible construction skills workshops led by leading material specialists from across the UK. There is a significant skills gap in the UK and we lack the technical knowledge and skills required to transition to a low carbon construction economy. The interdisciplinary courses bridge architecture and construction and aim to broaden access to these critically important techniques and practices.
Many perspectives are under-represented in construction and architecture. 50% of the MC Lab workshops are led by women, and to date a quarter of the places have been made available at subsidised rates to ensure access for people who are economically discouraged from professional growth opportunities like this. The courses in contemporary hemp and straw construction techniques have been hugely successful with excellent feedback.
These workshops are the early expression of our long-term intention to establish a permanent learning and research centre – forging new cultures of making from ancient materials and contemporary technology. Material Cultures are currently seeking support to complete the delivery of the Phase 2 workshops which will allow the project to continue and provide accessible subsidised places, applying lessons learned to improve our delivery and impact as well as focussing on expanding outreach to under-represented groups.
Unit 15, Regent Studios, 8 Andrews Road, London E8 4QN