At Makespace Oxford, we are passionate about space.
We believe that some of the greatest challenges of our time – social, environmental and otherwise – are linked to the physical spaces we occupy. How our public spaces are designed, how we use them, and who can and can’t access them have huge impacts on our lives and communities.
By challenging the way we use space in our urban centres, we believe we can help to shape a more sustainable and inclusive world where everyone benefits.
Back in 2018, we started to notice a few trends: there were increasing numbers of empty spaces across Oxford. At the same time, less than half of the city’s businesses had a registered space to work from. By putting two problems together to create a solution — the issue of empty and underused buildings, and the lack of affordable space — we turned this into an opportunity.
We take underused spaces across Oxfordshire and revive them into temporary affordable spaces for purpose-led individuals and organisations delivering positive impacts to our local communities. Through these spaces, we aim to foster a diverse, mutually-supportive community that facilitates connection, skill sharing and collaboration, allowing residents to accelerate their growth and become more impactful more quickly.
“With each space we reanimate, we are planting seeds of possibility for a different tomorrow.”
– Dr Dianne Regisford, Communities Advocate, Makespace Oxford
While the use of these spaces may be temporary, our vision is long-term: our work is a catalyst to develop towns and cities that are community owned, people centred and climate safe – now and for future generations. Through the tool of meanwhile space, we’re creating the change we want to see, one empty building at a time.
At Makespace Oxford, we aim to be a diverse and inclusive organisation that is accessible, welcoming, and truly representative of the region of Oxfordshire.
We are working to deepen our connection with our communities and remaking our commitment to equality, equity, diversity and inclusion in five important aspects of Makespace Oxford’s work: Dismantling institutional and structural racism, Confronting Social Inequality, Championing gender and sexuality equality, Upending Ableism and widening Accessibility, and Meeting the ecological crisis.
In the short video below, our Co-founder Andy Edwards shares some background on Makespace Oxford, and discusses how Equity, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion is integral to our work and mission.