Our reasearch indicated that there are enourmous benifits in terms of mental health and general well-being in the areas of creative endeavour. Whether it's a poem, a chair, a structure or an excel sheet, reasearch shows that endorphins go popping when we 'create things'.
Our aim with Cobble was to create an enviornment where anyone and everyone could learn about making and creating things in their community by individuals working in groups and collaberating with each other.
We recognised early on that part of the failure in the visibility of makerspaces was that they relied on social media to spread the message. As such, we chose to take an analog approach to surveying the public, and mounted a ballot box to the back of our bikes. We cycled to Grand Canal Docks where Facebook HQ and other international companies are located in order to get a wider demographic response.
We asked the public “What Skills Do You Want To Learn?” We also made our own pop-up makerspace, wherein we invited people to sit and make jewellery for example. We created an Instagram and Twitter account in order to advertise our efforts, and to help us make contact with the makerspaces.
In our research, we discovered there were clear indications that artistic engagement had significant positive effects on health; improved self-esteem, increased immune system, decrease in anxiety, stress and pain reduction, the restoration of positive emotions, with tremendous physiological and psychological outcomes including enhancement in self worth and identity.
Comfortable with our conclusions, we began creating maps to explain how the Cobble Fair operate would from start to finish. This was the most meticulous part of the process and meant spending many hours on the phone and conducting interviews with people from all walks of life such as, the self-employed, councilors, the un-employed, community organisers and individuals on commitees of all sorts around our hometowns, the Dublin region and various other Counties throughout Ireland and England including organisations in America and Australia.
We conceived the idea of localised events for the community to be carried out by the community. The plan was that the temporary maker fair would entice groups to get involved in making, and helping resolve issues in the locality in a fun and creative way. We began to examine the infrastructure needed to facilitate this concept as well the actual structures and activities that would make make this idea a reality.
As part of the Cobble experience, users are incouraged to make their own fair structures. Choosing from a database of already existing strutural designs, developed by an open - source community, the users will be given manuals on how to construct their fair complex.
We created a blog to map every step we made throughout the project. This blog, we believe is a comprehensive analysis of our research which we would love to share with everyone. We discussed diversity within creative spaces, the related problems and possible solutions. We interviewed with people who are at the leading edge of creative enterprises both here and abroad and present them feedback on recurring issues as they relate to the area of creativity.