The Challenge

We believe it is essential that our young people have the experience of being ‘creators’ (makers), rather than solely consumers or audience at the effect of technology. Our world needs makers; versatile, emotionally intelligent and agile makers. Makers who make with language, image, code, steel, clay or even policy.


Plymouth, Devon


2018 – Present


Outside the Box

Stats and Facts:

12 schools, 12 creatures
486 children, 486 Arts Award Discovers

Creature Make

In October 2018, local schools were invited to sign up to a workshop for up to 50 children for a whole day’s making. As children entered the gates at Royal William Yard, they were transported into the historical waterside site, home to restaurants, cafés and RIO’s creative studios, Ocean Studios… oh and a giant squid residing on the lawn!

The brief for the first 1000 Makers activity was set: build a single colour, tech-enabled scrap ‘creature’ using only the materials and equipment available. With glue guns plugged in and imaginations fired, they were ready for Creature Make.

Who knew there were so many ways to fold, cut, tape and roll cardboard?!

Our creative practitioner from Outside the Box, Caroline Mercer, introduced new skills, and a team of brilliant and energetic facilitators supported small teams of young people to create different components of the creatures, all the while discussing what the creature would do; how it would change the future; and, in many cases, change the world. A creature that sucked up plastic. A recycling creature with spikes. The bright green ‘Clarkson 2000 Happiness Bobatron’ was a definite favourite among the 12 colourful creatures that gradually filled Ocean Studios main exhibition space and café.

The children also spent time writing stories about their creatures and drawing illustrations of things that had inspired them, including a quick trip to see the giant Squiggly Wiggly Squid, the interactive and acoustic installation created and installed by Mordavaga, an architect-turn-artist collective from Portugal, which provided excellent inspiration for our enthusiastic makers.

After a fortnight of making, the café at Ocean Studios was filled with colourful creatures, representing the creative, inventive and unique experiences had by the young participants.

Future Make

1000 Makers served as the precursor for Future Make, our series of creative-techy-making clubs and activities for children aged 7 – 11.

Future Make comes in many forms; week-long Holiday Clubs, taking place during school holidays; After School Clubs, happening for ten Wednesday’s from 5-6pm; Immersion Days, a full-day classroom takeover; and Pop-Ups, a chance to try out Future Make activities for free.

Find out more here.

How The Project Was Received

The whole day was about a really great positive making experience and allowing time and permission to make, and explore, and create.

Caroline MercerDirector, Outside the Box

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