Well-making in social design: Opening the potential for makerspaces in social design projects

Nicholas Gant, Katie Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article highlights well-being outcomes reported by participants in three social design projects where making has featured as a community engagement and research tool. The spaces created through the projects are framed as makerspaces, a well-documented model of physical locations designed purposefully to support people making and mending together, often in a community setting. Using reflections from the perspectives of two practitioner researchers on co-designing, making and using these spaces, the article is part of ongoing research on developing ideas about well-being and making. We call these spaces well-maker-spaces. The aim of this article is to expand understanding of how makerspaces as a social design tool benefit participants and communities. Drawing on evidence generated through art-based research of ways that making with others contributes to well-being, we propose that makerspaces in social design projects can proactively support well-being alongside other social and environmental outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291 - 306
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Applied Arts and Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research has in part been supported by funding from The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AH/K005243/1),The Dreamcatcher Foundation, The British Council DICE Fund and Cathedral Group PLC.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Intellect Ltd Article. English language.


  • making
  • Craft
  • Design and Health
  • design for sustainability
  • well-being
  • design research
  • community
  • social change
  • community engagement


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