Jonny Austin is one of the 3 original founders of Makespace, and one of the 4 current directors
I’m Jonny, and along with Laura and Simon I am a founding director of Makespace. For those of you that haven’t met me, that’s likely because I moved to Oxford in 2017 and have only managed fleeting trips to Makespace since, normally to laser-cut a last minute present or extract something from my box that I need back at home.
Each visit I’m amazed at how smoothly the space is running and all the fantastic things people are doing. It’s easy to forget the number of spaces we looked around before picking this one, and how empty it used to feel before a community of people had stepped forward to help maintain and run an incredible load of equipment. Makespace is absolutely one of the things I miss most about not living in Cambridge!
As Makespace grows and flourishes, just staying on top of the day-to-day of the space from a distance is taking as much time and energy as I used to spend actively contributing to Makespace, so I think it’s really important for some other people with a bit more time (and crucially, who live somewhere near Makespace) to step up to the board and help keep the space running and evolving.
Therefore the Christmas party on 12th will be my last as a director, and I’ll be standing down before the end of the year. I’m going to stay involved with the board in a more ‘non executive’ capacity: by stepping aside from the more operational tasks of being a director I will free myself to support the directors on less day-to-day tasks with the time I do have…. and I’m still going to be needing to make presents or contraptions for work, so I’m not going to disappear completely. Despite this, I thought the party would be a nice chance to say ‘hello, and goodbye’ to people I haven’t seen for a while.
It’s also a chance for me to finally find out what people are making at Makespace…..
One of the things I feel like we’ve never quite nailed at Makespace (until now!) is keeping a clear record of what people have made or started in the space… I know for my part I have a bunch of things I don’t quite consider ‘finished’ and so have never really been finally documented. Aside from the important documentation, archival and storytelling aspects of this, I’d personally love to see what you’ve made before I step down – so even if it’s not quite done, please take a picture and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org before the Christmas party where we can showcase it! It doesn’t need to be finished, or big, or clever, but if you’ve worked on it here, we’d love to know.