A makerspace is a place where people with shared interests and diverse skills can gather to work on projects while sharing ideas, equipment and knowledge. Étude will introduce the concept of a makerspace and collect data through a series of focus groups, interviews and experiential making events hosted throughout the county.
The six-month study is being done in coordination with the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corp. and the City of Sheboygan, which are funding the study.
SCEDC Executive Director Joseph Sheehan compares a makerspace to a gym membership, relating that the membership offers access to instructional classes, recreational use of the facility and tools and layers of social structures that are accessible to people of all ages and skill sets. Instead of physical fitness, a makerspace membership would be an investment in creative or technical fitness.
People join makerspaces for access to tools and classes and maintain their membership because of the community. Working near others, instead of at home in a basement or garage, means that members can quickly get feedback, learn a new skill, problem-solve and connect.
The initial proposal for the FreshTech Makerspace study will be based on NextFab-Wilmington in Wilmington, Del.
Étude will conduct the FreshTech makerspace study in coordination with ongoing efforts to create Sheboygan County’s innovation district, FreshTech. The study will build off the FreshTech Summit held in September with leaders in the private and public sector in Sheboygan County.
For those interested in being a part of the study, please contact the Etude Group at [email protected]