The sharing economy – why it’s good for business

To kick off Clerkenwell Design Week, we gathered around the table a group of friends and people that we admire; from strategists to critics, editors to educators, architects, designers and makers; those that help shape and communicate how people behave.

Apart from having a decent breakfast of eggs on toast and Comins tea, we wanted to share our enthusiasm for our Fixperts Residency, and probe them to share their thoughts and ideas.

It used to be difficult to get people talking about making, when everyone used to focus on craft and design but the conversation was engaging, enthusiastic and thought provoking from discussing the making skills of today’s design students , to designing  for good and making from waste, through to brain storming about how Fixperts could reach out to a wider audience.

Apple’s Jonathan Ive complains ‘I can’t find designers that can make.’ and after 20 years in design education,  Fixperts co-founder Daniel Charny has noticed that students making skills have gone down.  But it’s not just in the design world that we’re losing connection with fixing. It’s a problem of the developing world which is why we think Fixperts is highly relevant today.

Fixperts is about fixing and helping someone else. It encourages everyone, not just designers, to use their creative and making skills to improve someone else’s life. A fix is captured on film, and uploaded to the Fixperts website, an open knowledge sharing platform. That’s another reason we think it’s so relevant as pretty much anyone with a smart phone can produce a short film and share knowledge. It’s a compelling experience, practical, creative and fun.

We discussed why Benchmark have got involved with Fixperts.  Apart from a massive pool of knowledge which allows us to raise the bar for the Fix, we believe we’ll benefit from having a Fixpert in the heart of our workshop for joined up thinking and cross pollination. That’s why we think companies should engage with the Fixperts residency programme. Put simply, it’s good for business.  During the Fixperts Residency at Benchmark we will focus on improving new life – for example maternity and youth. Our Fixpert will be getting to know the local community and looking for FixPartners. We can’t wait to see the results.

As James Carrigan, co-founder of Fixperts told us – it’s about identifying problems and finding solutions and it all comes from a conversation….

See Sean and Daniel interviewed by LSN Global, the online platform of The Future Laboratory – ‘The Future Makers’:


Our table included:

Charlotte Abrahams, Writer and Curator, Design and Applied Arts

James Carrigan, Co-founder Sugru, and Co-founder Fixperts

Daniel Charny, Designer, Curator and Educator. Co-founder Fixperts

Ursula Davies, MD, Makerversity

Grant Gibson, Editor, Crafts

Pete Jennings, Director, Piercy & Co

Corinne Julius, Design Critic

Steph MacDonald, Co-founder, 6a Architects

Alon Meron, Designer and Fixperts Mentor

Kirsty Minns, creative director, The Future Laboratory

Angus Montgomery, editor. Design Week

David Nicholls, features director, House & Garden

Michael Marriott, Designer

Simon Maidment, Head of Design, Kingston University

Martin Raymond, Co-founder, The Future Laboratory

Vicky Richardson, Director of Architecture. Design and Fashion, British Council

Lynda Relph-Knight, Design writer and Consultant, The Drum

Jana Scholze, Curator of contemporary furniture, V&A

Sean Sutcliffe, MD and Co-founder Benchmark

Katie Treggiden, Founder, Confessions of a Design Geek

John Voss, Associate, 6a Architects

Jane Withers, Curator and Design Consultant



Posted on: 1st June, 2015 By: Benchmark Category: Projects