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New Maker Libraries in UK and South Africa

12 June 2014
by Mel Spencer

Following an open call launched  by Daniel Charny and Thomas Heatherwick in Cape Town earlier this year, the Maker Library Network is thrilled to announce four new venues joining the Network, who will become hosts to Maker Libraries in 2014.

Maker Library: Machines Room at Lime Wharf, London

The Machines Room at Lime Wharf in the East end of London, founded by Thomas Ermacora, is a prototyping lab for individual makers and startups. Part of the FabLab network, the makerspace features 3D printers, laser cutter, CNC machines and more. Machines Room is open to visitors but particularly encourages ‘makers in becoming’ to use the facilities to prototype their ambitions, with resident makers available to coach them.

The Maker Library at the Machines Room at Lime Wharf will be launched on Thursday 12 June, 5.45pm by Daniel Charny with Thomas Ermacora.  

Maker Library:  The Bank, Cape Town

The Bank is a contemporary design space promoting innovation, collaboration, mentorship, idea exchange and business development. The bank endeavours to form and develop relationships between industry professionals, corporate entities and independent thinkers.  South African designer Heath Nash is Maker Librarian at Bank and will run a programme of events and workshops focusing on the reuse of waste materials in craft and design.

Maker Library: Museum of African Design (MOAD), Johannesburg

The Museum of African Design is the first museum on the African continent dedicated to design. A cultural hub, rather than a collecting institution, “MOAD” devotes itself to exploring the ever changing African continent and diaspora. 

MOAD’s vision for the future as a unique institution in South Africa, is to create a space where cultural engineers from across the continent can come and share their ideas and work. Through exhibitions, outreach, and partnerships with creative spaces across Africa and institutions around the world, MOAD is becoming a platform for creativity and innovation.

 Maker Library: Workspace, Cape Town

Workspace is a shared DIY workshop where members pay an hourly or monthly rate to make use of the workshop facilities which include automotive repair, woodworking, engineering, pottery, glass and 3d printing.  

Workspace follows the Business for Development model which means encouraging existing artisans and tradespeople to utilise their skills by providing them with the necessary tools and equipment and developing new emerging talent, enabling them to enter the economy with the training and skills they require.


Commissioned by the British Council as part of the Connect ZA season, the Maker Library Network is a new initiative that promotes collaboration and knowledge-sharing between designers and makers.Maker Libraries are creative spaces that combine reading, showing and making. This new type of library, whilst encouraging local development, is also part of a new international mentoring network. Maker Libraries are comprised of three elements: a library, a gallery and a makespace. They are all connected via online platform where Makers can share resources, take part in mentoring sessions and exchange skills and ideas. Watch our video to find out more!