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In Your Network - Bruce Newlands

Bruce Newlands runs MAKLAB which is currently looking to set up in London's Somerset House and provide manufacturing space in the heart of the capital. He wants to connect with Fellows working with young people and is looking for support for the MAKLAB project. MAKLAB is one of the Fellows' projects on the new RSA crowdfunding page on Kickstarter.  Find out what he has to say:

1) Please give a brief explanation of what it is you do and why?
Aside from running my own architectural practice, I am the director of a social enterprise called MAKLAB. MAKLAB is a space where we offer open access to some extraordinary digital making technologies to everyone and anyone. Technologies such as 3d printing, 3d scanning, peer to peer learning and other digital paradigms are at the heart of what we do.

Working with RSA, we have launched a membership based crowd funding campaign to try and expend our model to London, specifically at Somerset House as part of Makerversity.

2) Why did you join the Fellowship?
I joined RSA Scotland because the aims of the society accord with my own interests and passions, the full range from the arts, manufacturing & commerce and how when these spheres are combined, some quite extraordinary things happen. I wanted to be part of creating those opportunities for others.

3) In what capacity do you think you could contribute to society/the Fellowship?
I have organised some events with RSA Scotland tackling topics as diverse as digital manufacturing to the circular economy.

4) What would you change in society given the chance?
I would like to give as many young people as possible every chance to be creative and to become critical consumers of products.

5) What recent bit of news have you heard which inspires you?
MAKLAB is exploring how we work with other social enterprises that tackle drug & alcohol rehabilitation, autism and homelessness. The work of these social enterprises inspires me and I am delighted to be working with people of their calibre, integrity & passion.

6) What did you learn last week?
I learned that ‘doing’ has a lot more power than ‘talking.’ – I’d like to see more ‘doing’.

7) Tell us about another interesting Fellow you have spoken to.
Michael Holliday leads Tog Studio, a ‘live build’ group who have delivered self build community projects on the Isel of Tiree with MAKLAB’s help, we think Michael’s and the Tog team’s work is inspiring and we hope to work with them in the future to go even further.

8) What would you like to connect with Fellows about? Please tell us if there is anything you would like from other Fellows 
You (Fellows) could help us in a number of ways. Firstly, by supporting us directly through our crowdfunding campaign; perhaps consider pledging a scholar membership for a young person in education or a full maker membership to help a young person starting out in business; both will support a young maker for a year. This initiative could unleash creativity, skills and confidence in a young person from London.  

Secondly, please consider whether you might be able to help / volunteer your skills on the occasional evening - we deliver training on everything from electronics, product design & programming.

Lastly, please make others in your network aware of our campaign and encourage them to support our crowdfunding campaign. Find out more and pledge your support on our RSA Kickstarter page here.

Bruce Newlands

Bruce Newlands



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