Bill Thompson – How to work in a world of makers

Bill Thompson visited Dundee last week to discuss how people are working in a world of makers. Bill started his lecture by introducing us to his 3D printed mini-bill, which he later divulged had been crafted in a womb shaped scanner & 3D printing unit. This intriguing project was created by digital agency Developing Dreams and Brighton based Italian artist Emilia Telese and was recently showcased as part of The Brighton Digital Festival. Bill stated that it is exciting projects like this that make him question what will happen in a world where 3D printing is readily available. It is this type of project (that encourage the public to interact with this brilliant technology) that help to promote the idea that in this new world of makers – a very important role for the maker is also to be a sharer.

bill thompson, dundee, lecture, djcad, makers, bbc, journalist

He explained that spaces like the Cambridge Makespace (if you are in Scotland check out MAKlab) highlight that a big part of this developing maker culture is learning from each other. So spaces like this are incredibly important for fostering a new model of working – where people are encouraged to explore making in a more social space.

bill thompson, dundee, lecture, djcad, makers, bbc, journalist

Bill then whittled through a number of fascinating projects, technology and ideas. He moved from discussing how every aspect of current life is changing the way our brains function, to how the literate brain is functionally different to the non literary brain (read Proust & The Squid).

bill thompson, dundee, lecture, djcad, makers, bbc, journalist

He mentioned John Naughton’s recent writing on technology in open and closed societies, and acknowledged the work of philosopher Karl Popper that explored an open society. He later touched on the need to learn to code – or at the very least to understand the language of coders.

He finished with this short clip of a Raspberry PI stuffed teddy bear programmed to jump from space down to Earth. Bill resonated that the development of maker culture is fostering exciting new possibilities and encouraged us to help build/be part of that exciting new world.

bill thompson, dundee, lecture, djcad, makers, bbc, journalist

I subsequently listened to this short discussion of Karl Popper on Radio 4 ( and will endeavour to read more about Popper), I read this article by Nick Marsh on why he is not learning to code and I ordered the book Proust & the Squid.  So it was nice to gain a few new insights into the world and confirm a few of my existing thoughts on the subject. I am glad my friends encouraged me to head along to the Bill’s lecture, as I had thought that my mind was not quite ready for more thinking that evening & rather more ready for more drinking.

Words & Images © Hazel Saunderson

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