We the Mkshft.org worked with Autodesk, Core77, and iFixit to create the Design for (Your) Product Lifetime competition, a challenge that tasked students to envision a product of the future: durable, repairable, and easily broken down into components for recycling when its useful life was over.

Institute

The Makeshift Institute brings creative solutions from the economic fringe into your business or classroom. Makeshift has a keen eye on the ground: the Caracas skyscraper squatter, the Barcelona apartment hotelier, the Kampala retailer who accepts airtime payments....

Dropped and Made in Laos

During the Vietnam War, more than 250 million bombs fell from Laotian skies, making Laos history’s most heavily bombed country per capita. 30 percent of these bombs failed to detonate and continue to threaten lives. In a resourceful twist, artisans in Naphia village...

Contraband Library

The souvenir counter in Hong Kong’s June 4 Museum is stocked with books and iconic photos of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing. To visitors hailing from Mainland China, these items are off-limits; the Chinese government bans all forms of media referencing...

Enter the Void

A giant hydrogen balloon catches the wind and floats swiftly upwards. The balloon travels 26 kilometers in total. It passes minefields, barbed wire, and steep mountains before releasing its payload on the lesser-known side of the world’s most militarized border:...

Issue 15 Boundaries

This is a pre-order for the Boundaries issue of Makeshift. Note: Free shipping within the United States. USD 5 added at checkout for all other destinations. Digital purchases remove the paywall on web articles. More info in our FAQ. Top of Form This product is...

The Mobility Issue

Chukudus zoom through rural Congo toward the market. Overloaded matatus haul Kenyans to and from work. Hacked tuoloji supply Myanmar with water in the dry season. Our travels form a symphony of movement, coordinated by drivers and guided by norms. Each driver...

The Copycats Issue

In an apartment studio in Belen, a producer mixes technobrega tracks from pop songs. On esoteric websites, gongkai manufacturers swap files for low-cost devices. These makers know copying advances their work, and they do it openly. Incorporating sources of inspiration...

Following the Tracks

At first glance, Kurla’s Platform 8 looks and sounds like any other high-traffic train station in Mumbai. Commuters wearing backpacks over their chests shout orders of deep-fried vada pav at the snack stalls. Merchants pile burlap sacks of onions and potatoes near the...

Combustible Contraband

Gregorio speeds his Ford 350 at 100 kilometers per hour down an unpaved road through the bushes. His truck and two others behind him are each smuggling 100 barrels of Venezuelan gasoline into Colombia—their destination a small ranch near Santa Rosa, in the Caribbean...

Technological Disobedience

Worker, build your machine!” So Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s proclaimed to Cuba’s industrial sector, shortly after the triumph of the  evolutionary movement he helped lead. The year was 1961, and Cuba, increasingly isolated, was experiencing an exodus of foreign companies...

Fuel Hustle

Weaving through Cambodia by motorbike, hugging the Vietnam border, I came to some startling realizations. Firstly, I was running worryingly low on gas, even though I fueled up just 20 minutes ago. Secondly, there didn’t appear to be any gas stations for miles...

Bad Aid

Organic growth is the goal of any economy. Regrettably, such development is lacking in certain parts of the world. In an effort to fill this void, many well-meaning individuals seek to provide impoverished areas with in-kind donations—goods and services given freely...

Little Lagos, Legit in London

You can find it all at Ziyad’s Cash & Carry, a multi-shop storefront occupying a sweet, sprawling, 1,600-square-foot corner spot on Rye Lane in South London. Ziyad, a confident 16-year-old from Afghanistan, manages the property after school and on the weekends. In...

Welcocme

Makeshift:- Makeshift is a multi-platform media and consulting company dedicated to uncovering hidden creativity around the world. We produce under-the-radar stories of entrepreneurs who use innovation and design to solve problems and improve their local communities....

What do gangsters and Google have in common?

Two young drug dealers marvel at the ingenuity of their Chicken McNuggets and imagine the innovator who must have become incredibly rich off his invention. An older, more experienced dealer, D’Angelo Barksdale, mocks their naiveté, explaining that the man who invented...

Remote Relief

After the 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, tools like Ushahidi used the ubiquitous mobile phone as a platform, allowing remote volunteers to translate, triage, and ultimately direct aid to where it was needed most. Uncategorized Aid “My name is Jean Wani my...

Issue 10 Powering Up

Making It Moving It Using It through Mkshft “The smell of oil hangs heavy in the air.” “Nobody can stop us from tapping into the grid and taking electricity.” “It starts out feeling like tickles. Then your arms cramp up. And then you can’t...

The Resistance Issue

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...

Makeshift Mobile—for Free!

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...

The Resistance Issue

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...

Makeshift Mobile—for Free!

We’re excited to announce the launch of MKSHFT 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...

The Best Designs for Your Product Lifetime

We worked with Autodesk, Core77, and iFixit to create the Design for (Your) Product Lifetime competition, a challenge that tasked students to envision a product of the future: durable, repairable, and easily broken down into components for recycling when its useful...

The Road to Relevance

A pile of children’s shoes marks the entrance to the Busia Community Library. The library walls don’t exactly shine white, and the ubiquitous Kenyan dust tints the floor a dull reddish-brown that no amount of scrubbing can erase. But the pile of shoes is...

What do gangsters and Google have in common ?

Two young drug dealers marvel at the ingenuity of their Chicken McNuggets and imagine the innovator who must have become incredibly rich off his invention. An older, more experienced dealer, D’Angelo Barksdale, mocks their naiveté, explaining that the man who invented...

Shadow Goods

Not long ago, I bought a bottle of whiskey at a liquor store in midtown Manhattan. It was only when I got home that I noticed some fine print on the bottom of the label that differentiates the Scotch from any other I had ever bought. The added words said that the...

Thai Flood Hacks

While flooding in Thailand continues to affect millions of inhabitants, cause hundreds of deaths, and drive up global rice prices, many are dealing with conditions with some serious makeshift ingenuity. The Tumblr site Thai Flood Hacks has already documented dozens of...

Thin Wire

Down an unlit side street in Khartoum, Sudan, a crumpled, dirty note slides out from under a rotting rubber band. Then another. And another. A hand counts the notes on the receiving end. A gift of cash from abroad has both travelled a thousand miles and yet not at...

Meet a Maker: Whit Alexander Electrifies Ghana

Business,Technology September 28, 2012 12:41 pm Whit Alexander worked for Microsoft, helped develop the maps for the first Encarta encyclopedia, and created the best-selling board game Cranium. He’s now the founder and CEO of Burro, based in Koforidua, Ghana. Burro is...

Pleasure Hacking

Tricia Wang visits China's cyber cafes to investigate a national phenomenon that's breaking through the Great Firewall and building community. 200 computer screens, stationed one foot apart, flicker through smoky air and fluorescent lighting. Some have as many as four...

The Resistance Issue

Mkshft.org came with another news. An electrician in Johannesburg sneaks illegal wires through a crowded slum while, halfway around the world, a journalist launches a toy drone with a camera over Zuccotti Park. These are hackers not just of technology but also of...

Technological Disobedience

So Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s proclaimed to Cuba’s industrial sector, shortly after the triumph of the  evolutionary movement he helped lead. The year was 1961, and Cuba, increasingly isolated, was experiencing an exodus of foreign companies and investment due to the...

Horny Demand

Every evening, Le Van Tuan would drink a tall glass of rice wine. To combat the ensuing hangover, he ground rhino horn into a glass of water. This, he said, would also prevent disease. Want to know more? Read about it on MKSHFT.org Many Vietnamese believe rhino horns...

Waste Not

Lebanon has a trash problem. Since July 2015, residents have regularly set afire mountains of garbage to manage the ever-growing piles that have lined city streets, overrun river beds, and spilled down mountainsides ever since the government failed to find a...