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Pop-up ‘maker space’ launched to inspire Townsville

12th May 2016

Free drop-in community workshops in Townsville’s first mobile maker/hacker space are being launched in Townsville this weekend, following a global trend for publically accessible pop-up creative areas.

The QUT collaboration with James Cook University, CityLibraries Townsville and La Luna Youth Arts has resulted in a shipping container being converted into a portable hotbed of creativity, innovation and ideas.

The Mixhaus is a mobile pop-up which offers workshops in electronics, computers, 3D printers, millers and a range of other tools to make and/or design bespoke or hybrid creations, for anything from tiny robots and mini solar cars to clothes you can program and light up.

QUT project coordinator Ally Lankester said maker spaces are community-operated workspaces where anyone interested in computers, machining, technology, science, digital art and electronic art, can meet, create, socialise and collaborate.

“It is very exciting to have been part of developing Townsville’s first maker hacker space with a team of enthusiastic and committed institutions and community members,” Ms Lankester said.

“Mixhaus is seen as a platform for many aspirations: skill sharing, connecting people of all ages and backgrounds, mixing disciplines and creating economic opportunity. Being in a shipping container helps build a sense of community belonging and gives Mixhaus the ability to travel and share skills at schools, public events and places throughout the region.”

People of all ages are encouraged to take part in Mixhaus workshops in Townsville over the next three Sundays.

“An active makerspace community is a really important element for any region that wants to be part of the new innovation economy. It is a place to share, create and learn new skills,” Professor Ian Atkinson, Director of the JCU eResearch Centre, said.

The idea for the Mixhaus came out of a Start-up Weekend held at JCU in November, an event that brought passionate future and existing entrepreneurs together to create real-life start-ups.

The Mixhaus will be at Townsville Bulletin Square/Ogden St this Sunday, May 15 and again on Sunday May 22. It will then move at Ecofiesta at Queens Park on Sunday May 29.

From there it is open to requests from community organisations and schools in the region. Anyone interested in hosting the Mixhaus can contact the organisers or visit www.mixhaus.com.au

The Mixhaus is supported by QUT’s Australian Research Council project: Fostering Digital Participation through Living Labs in Rural and Regional Australia.

Townsville freelance video producer/marketing material designer Justin Reid said: “This is an opportunity for ‘culture jamming’: an exciting place to enhance digital literacy and opportunities for young people to collaborate, develop and share digital, technology and creative skills and ideas and use these ideas to solve problems and look at the world in new ways.”

Workshop 1 - Sunday 15 May 2016, 9am to 12pm

Have fun learning how to code and make a mini solar car, brush-bot or LED Badge.

Where: Victoria Bridge, Ogden St

Workshop 2 - Sunday 22 May 2016, 9am to 12pm

Learn how to sew with conductive thread and add a glowing LED light to your favourite t-shirt.

Where: Victoria Bridge, Ogden St

Workshop 3: Sunday 29 May 2016, 9am to 3pm

Learn how to make a mini sensor for measuring environmental conditions.

Where: Ecofiesta, Queens Park

 

Media contact:

Amanda Weaver, QUT Media, 07 3138 1841, amanda.weaver@qut.edu.au

After hours: Rose Trapnell, 0407 585 901, media@qut.edu.au

QUT - Ally Lankester, Research Assistant Fostering Digital Participation Project: 0448 759 909

JCU - Prof Ian Atkinson, Director eResearch Centre: 0419 863 285

JCU - David Beitey, Online Technologies Manager: 0439 541 965

La Luna Youth Arts – Michelle Hall:  0417 323 103

 

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