What kind of Maker are you and your students?

We love to play, create, experiment, develop with both traditional hands-on practice and also using the latest technologies available

How old were you when you first got involved in the Maker community?

I started developing the idea of maker learning around 10 years ago at schools in Auckland.

Why did you get into Making? Did anyone introduce you to your area of expertise?

Making is creative play and encourages critical thinking, creative practice, self-management, problem solving and collaborative practice, all key components of future-focused learning. I believe that the education system has discouraged this practice in secondary schools and not valued the rich experiences that kinaesthetic practice brings to our development as learners. There became a misinformed assumption that making was for the lesser thinkers of the school and it became pigeonholed as non-academic and hence less valuable.

What inspires your students when they are working on a project?

Students need to be given briefs that relate to their interests and their view of the world. The projects need to be flexible enough to capture everybody’s imagination

What advice would you give to young people who want to get involved?

Have a go, don’t be scared. Our society stigmatises failure but we need to start to accept it as an essential part of the design process. If we don’t fail during a project, we have not explored our thinking to its limits

Tell us about a Maker that inspires your students.

We study design at many levels from architects such as Richard Meier and Renzo Piano to product designers such as Dieter Rams and Phillippe Starck. In terms of maker practice that allows for effective design, we hold up Bang and Olufsen as an inspiration of a company that embraces maker practice as part of the design process