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John Miller

John Miller, All Makers Now? Conference Chair

Affiliation: Mark Product, Cornwall

Key words: Education, Making, Innovation

Conference Activity: Chair, Digital Making in Education, Thurs 10th July

John Miller is a director at MARK Product Ltd, the furniture company he co-founded in 2008. At that time John was Director of the School of Design at Falmouth University – MARK was a spin-out company from his work in building networks between Cornish manufacturers and the national furniture and interiors industry. Previously (2001-2005) John ran London’s Furniture Works industry resource centre, and established Metropolitan Works with its Digital Manufacturing Centre – a major investment in computer-aided manufacturing equipment.

Now full time in business, John maintains a close interest in the education sector, contributing through external examining, the Design Guild Mark Committee of the Furniture Makers Company and is currently on the advisory board of the Creative Education Academies Trust. John co-founded ‘Design Ed in Cornwall’ in 2008 – a celebration of designing and making in Cornish schools, and continues to campaign for and promote the value of making in schools – most recently with the Making Designers exhibition in 2013.

He sees the realm of digital production as both an opportunity and a threat for design education. On the one hand promising a democratisation and opening up of design and manufacturing – ‘all makers now’. On the other hand presenting a potential IT barrier to those young people motivated by using their whole hands rather than just their fingertips, and perhaps leading to a reduced engagement in ‘conventional’ craft and mass manufacturing processes

One question that arises from your project:
does the use of digital technology present a barrier to young people motivated by using their whole hands rather than just their fingertips?