Makeshift Takes on Copycats

December 16, 2013 4:56 pm Post a comment

cover-copycats

Today, we pushed out the Copycats Issue, our exploration of creative license–how we take and remix ideas. Our contributors found Nollywood pirates in Nigeria, rhino horn fakes in Vietnam’s black market, and an unexpected new take on open-source in China.

The issue is now available for purchase online and en route to subscribers and over 150 stores around the worldPreview the Copycats Issue here and pick up a copy or subscription in the Makeshift ShopPremium Subscribers will receive photo prints and beautifully crafted cards from Holstee.

Makeshift Institute

December 16, 2013 4:56 pm Post a comment

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The Makeshift team has talked to dozens of current and would-be readers to find out why you read Makeshift. And we stumbled on a need: businesses and classes were looking for curated versions of Makeshift, with a view on informal economies through a lens they were thinking about. It would need some additional analysis or prodding for discussion. And it would preserve the quality print craft that goes into each of our quarterlies.

Funded by Sappi Ideas that Matter, we worked closely with the University of Pennsylvania to pilot our first custom magazine, themed Appropriate Technology. The feedback has been incredible, and we look forward to learning how to help more classes and businesses uncover creative solutions from the economic fringe.

For more information, visit this page or contact institute@mkshft.org.

Launching Crowds at Clinton Global

September 23, 2013 4:49 am Post a comment

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Today marks the launch of the Crowds Issue, and we’re camping out at Clinton Global Initiative, where folks are talking about “mobilizing for impact”. In our exploration of hive minds, we dissected the masses to determine what makes people congregate and what tools make them productive. Our dedicated contributors tracked vigilantes in Guatemala, attended pickpocket school in Spain, and crammed into transit with train pushers in Japan.

The Crowds Issue is now available for purchase online and en route to subscribers and over 100 stores around the world. Preview the Crowds Issue here and pick up a copy or subscription in the Makeshift ShopPremium Subscribers will receive photo prints and Rescue Chocolate.

The Crowds Issue is proudly supported by Return on Innovation and co-curated with Openbox. Look for us with Openbox around CGI today and tomorrow!

Cover photo by Kim Newton

The Trade Issue

July 2, 2013 5:13 am Post a comment

Trade Issue

Our new issue is an exploration of creative exchange. We followed analog wire transfers across the Middle East, swapped organs in China, and dug into the dense trade networks within Uganda’s Nakivale refugee camp. The Trade Issue is now available for purchase online and en route to subscribers and over 50 stores around the world.

Preview the Trade Issue here and pick up a copy or subscription in the Makeshift ShopPremium Subscribers will receive photo prints and cleverly designed wallets crafted in Cairo’s Garbage City, featured in this issue. Thanks to our fantastic contributors and partners for digging up ever-deeper street-level stories.

The Trade Issue is proudly supported by Return on Innovation.

Makeshift Sale at Fab: Save 40%!

April 20, 2013 3:03 am Post a comment

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Considering a subscription for yourself or a friend? Let us sweeten the deal. We’re running a subscription sale with our friends over at Fab, meaning that you get the best damn stories about creativity, innovation, and the informal economy shipped right to your door for up to 40% less!

One year standard subscription – four quarterly issues of inspiring narrative, guaranteed to make your coffee table the envy of the neighborhood: $28

One year premium subscription – the four quarterly issues, plus four 5×7 prints from the magazine and some excellent fair trade products like bangles made from bomb metal in Laos or wallets created from upcycled Indian newsprint: $69

But act soon–the sale ends Monday morning!

The Celebration Issue

April 4, 2013 1:43 pm 1 comment

Celebration

For our Celebratory first annual issue, we rode Cape Town’s church trains, trailed Tijuana’s biker toy runs, and followed 80 million pilgrims to the largest festival in the world. The Celebration Issue is now available for purchase online and en route to subscribers and over 50 stores around the world. Premium Subscribers will receive photo prints and Frank notebooks, which fund school supplies for low-income schools.

Preview the Celebration Issue here and pick up a copy or subscription in the Makeshift StorePremium Subscribers will also enjoy a set of photo prints from the magazine and unique Frank notebooks, which fund supplies for low-income schools. Thanks to our wonderful contributors and partners for crafting another beautiful pulse on informal economies.

The Celebration Issue is proudly supported by Engineering and Humanity Week.

Meet Makeshift

April 4, 2013 1:39 pm Post a comment

Plastiki_9_0139b credit Luca Babini

Hey Makeshifters, wanted to let you know about some upcoming chances to hang with the Makeshift staff. Editors Steve Daniels and Myles Estey will making the rounds at the following conferences:

Clinton Global Initiative U
April 5-7 — St. Louis, MO
Myles Estey

Engineering and Humanity Week
April 6-12 — Dallas, TX
Myles Estey

E&H Week was featured in the Celebration Issue. Pictured, the Plastiki sailboat on display.

New York Forum Africa
June 14-16 — Libreville, Gabon
Steve Daniels

The Communication Issue

December 12, 2012 3:46 pm Post a comment

For our exploration of Communication, we visit cyber cafes in Nigeria, mobile cinemas in India, and China’s Great Firewall. The Communication Issue is now available in the online and en route to subscribers and over 50 stores around the world.

Preview the Communication Issue here and pick up a copy or subscription in the Makeshift StorePremium Subscribers will also enjoy a set of photo prints from the magazine and unique Hiptipico pouches handcrafted by artisans in Guatemala.. Thanks to our wonderful contributors and partners for crafting this beautiful pulse on informal economies.

Informal Economy Symposium

August 31, 2012 2:56 pm Post a comment

A sign that informal economies are hotter than a welding torch: the consultants at Barcelona’s Claro Partners are hosting the Informal Economy Symposium this October. Speakers include our own founding editor Steve Daniels, along with Keith Hart, the father of informal economies, and Makeshift contributors Niti Bhan, Alexa Clay, and Adam White. If you want to explore underground markets in all their breadth and depth—or hang with the Makeshift crew—go secure your spot.

How will the informal economy impact the global business landscape?

If the global informal economy were a country, it would have the world’s second largest GDP. It is the fastest growing sector of both emerging and developed markets. This means that now is a critical moment for businesses to investigate the scope of the informal economy, and the challenges and opportunities it poses for them.

Informal commercial practices can no longer be dismissed as black, underground, or shadow activities. These practices– from street vending to P2P networks– are deeply connected to formal economic structures. Our goal is to investigate these relationships, understand how they work, and discover opportunities for creating new value within this emerging context.

October 12
Barcelona, Spain

Informal Economy Symposium

Makeshift Mobile—for Free!

July 17, 2012 7:09 am Post a comment

We’re excited to announce the launch of Makeshift Mobile, the same quarterly magazine you love adapted to your iPad or Android tablet. Starting today, you can swipe and swivel your way through the Re-culture Issue, with high-quality videos embedded. Mobility and Resistance will follow shortly.

Makeshift for iPad
Makeshift for Android

Better yet, we’re extending an offer to anyone who participates in our reader survey, which will provide critical information for us to improve the magazine and find the right foundations and advertisers to support our work. We can’t express how much we appreciate your participation. The survey is completely anonymous.

So what’s the deal? Any existing print subscriber (as of 7/12) will receive a free one-year tablet subscription. Everyone else will receive a free download of the Re-culture Issue. These credits will be linked to your account so you can use them forever, across devices.

This is all developed in-house and hasn’t been tested widely yet. Please report any bugs or difficulties to support@mkshft.org.

The Resistance Issue

July 17, 2012 7:06 am Post a comment

Issue Three takes on “creative opposition” in informal economies around the world. For our exploration of Resistance, we visit weapon makers in Libya, renegade electricians in South Africa, and durability testers in China. The Resistance Issue is now available online and en route to over 50 stores around the world.

Preview the Resistance Issue here and pick up a copy or subscription in the Makeshift StorePremium Subscribers will also enjoy a set of photo prints from the magazine and beautiful peaceBOMB bracelet made in Laos out of scrap bomb metal. Thanks to our wonderful contributors and partners for crafting this beautiful pulse on informal economies.

Makeshift + TED

June 22, 2012 3:38 am 3 comments

“The strive for washing machine is stronger than the strive for democracy.” So says statistician and TED idea-star Hans Rosling from Mogadishu. He’s there for an unlikely TEDx event in one of the world’s most dangerous and lawless cities. It’s a testament to the power of TEDx, which he calls “an emerging international civil society organization… organized like a network… of creative people”.

This weekend, Makeshift joins that network in Edinburgh for TEDGlobal. We’re thrilled to have over a thousand copies of our Mobility Issue in gift bags to help spread some street-level love. Editor Steve Daniels will be there feeding updates at mkshft.org@mkshftmag, and @steveddaniels.

Makeshift Takes on SXSW

March 9, 2012 6:39 pm Post a comment

If you’re in Austin this weekend, you’re surely eagerly awaiting the influx of hipsters the world ’round for the one-of-a-kind technology-music-film fest known as South by Southwest! I will be there reppin’ Makeshift, and you can find me in the locales below. Should be an exciting, jam-packed week. It’s my first time, so I hope to see some friendly Makeshift faces.

Good Capitalist Lounge

Makeshift is partnering with the Good Capitalist Lounge to bring you world-bettering ingenuity. Guests will enjoy complementary copies of our Mobility Issue and subscription discounts. I will also be leading a discussion:

Makeshift Innovation
Sunday,  March 11
3:30pm

Register here for free (Tickets are limited)

SXSW Interactive

I will be sitting on a panel called “Street-Level Genius” with some real geniuses in the field.

Street-Level Genius: An African Maker Safari
Monday, March 12
9:45am

More information here

TED@SXSW

I will be speaking at TED@SXSW on Monday evening.

Unleashing Hidden Creativity
Monday, March 12

More information here

Photo by SkyHigh Photography

The Mobility Issue

February 28, 2012 11:06 pm Post a comment

Makeshift’s second quarterly issue, themed Mobility, is officially en route to a doorstep or newsstand near you! From fuel smuggling in Cambodia to Jeep Parades in Colombia, the Mobility Issue takes you on a tour of how people move themselves and their possessions at the street level.

Preview the Mobility Issue here and pick up a copy or subscription in the Makeshift Store. Premium Subscribers will also enjoy a set of photo prints from the magazine and delicious, fair trade Madecasse Chocolate direct from Madagascar. Digital subscriptions will be up and running within the next two weeks. Thanks to our wonderful contributors and partners for crafting this beautiful pulse on informal economies.

Makeshift 2.0

February 26, 2012 9:34 pm Post a comment

Big shifts are afoot here at Makeshift HQ. When we released the Re-culture Issue in October, we were a small global network of editors Skyping our way to a print magazine. But our vision was bigger: we wanted to be the premiere source of media on street-level innovation. Since then, we’ve built a team rooted in New York, expanded distribution worldwide, and hosted events in New York, Providence, and Mexico City. Today, we announce the next evolution of Makeshift.

Based on your feedback over the past few months, we’re launching several new projects this week: the Mobility Issue of the Makeshift Quarterly, a completely overhauled website and brand new Makeshift Online, and digital subscriptions of the Makeshift Quarterly. The Mobility Issue is already out the door and en route to our subscribers. The new Makeshift Online will serve as our online magazine updated regularly. And a digital version of the quarterly will be available starting next week through Zinio.

We’re particularly ecstatic about Makeshift Online, which will allow us to engage with our readers and contributors more regularly. You’ll notice online articles are organized differently from print—by topic, geography, and media type. Over the coming months, we’ll be rolling out new editorial columns and video series (this week we launched The Works) from our contributors around the world and produced with incredible partners. Makeshift Online will be an ongoing pulse of informal economies, from black market innovators to collaborative consumers. To stay plugged in off the site, follow our RSS, Twitter, or Facebook feeds. As for the Makeshift Blog, we’ll be sticking to updates from the staff on what’s going on at Makeshift.

One thing you’ll find fewer of online is our print articles. The Makeshift Quarterly is a curated and themed package of dispatches, features, photos, and infographics from our global network on the ground. It feels different from our website, and we want to embrace our various media channels for what they are. So we’re posting three articles from each issue, plus an infographic and the entire Observed photo section, to give you a taste of what’s in store in the quarterly. But you’ll need to subscribe to the print or digital version for full access.

Makeshift 2.0 will bring more content, more forms of media, more engagement, and more choices for readers. We couldn’t be more excited and can’t wait to hear your feedback!

Re-culture Prints

December 7, 2011 5:48 am Post a comment

With 700 parcels mailed in the last week, Makeshift’s shipping department is up and running! For those already receiving the hard copy, we’ve been thrilled by all the feedback—reader input always appreciated around here…

Select Kickstarter backers will notice three stunning prints from the magazine, along with a specially designed postcard. Each comes from one of Makeshift’s early collaborators, found below. We are thankful to have their work in our magazine, and hope you take the time to check out their work.

These are available for purchase at the Makeshift Store as a set of prints or with a premium subscription. Read on for more details on each of the prints.

Read more…

We Had a Launch Party!

October 13, 2011 5:16 am Post a comment


If you missed it by now, you really missed it. Two weeks ago, Makeshift launched with a bump, thump, and a boom on a fun Friday night in Rhode Island. With a lot of balls in play, we couldn’t find the time to write about it. But now, we’ve got a blog…

Let’s set the stage. September 30 – October 2, Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) played excellent hosts to the Better World by Design conference. Chock-full of designers, planners, thinkers, makers, and doers, dull moments were rare. Least of all at the Makeshift launch party, hosted by our friends at Providence’s brand new co-working studio ANCHOR.

Powered by the sounds of bicycle DJ Damian Ewens and his crew in their “I Wub-Wub-Wub Dubstep” tees, laughs over Trinity brews and sweaty dancing with Big Nazo monsters greatly outweighed serious conversation in the main room. Much needed change from many a long computer night.

Just outside the dance party, the first Makeshift exhibition. A fine collection of backpack speakers from Mexico, a nebulizer from Nicaragua, magazine copies, photos from our amazing contributors, and the fabled E-Charka from India—a traditional yarn producing device reworked to harness enough energy from the spinning to produce electricity—sparked all kinds of crazy conversations.

And if you missed it, no sweat. We got a bigger and better one comin’ at cha next spring at a secret location in NYC. A ton of interesting gadgetry from around the world and lots of boogey awaits…