Finalist 2019



Makedo is a simple to use, open-ended system of tools for creative cardboard construction.

Makedo enables children to see value in everyday cardboard and to independently repurpose it into imaginative, playful and useful creations, all the while planting a seed of critical thinking into the minds of tomorrows problem solvers.

Makedo comes to life in collaborative creative environments such as classrooms, maker-spaces, museums and homes.

Makedo was first launched to market in 2010. After a comprehensive two-year design review of the entire Makedo system, 2019 marks the introduction of the new set of Makedo tools.

Design Excellence

Hearing that a child played with the box more than the toy is a familiar story. Reclaimed everyday cardboard is an ideal open-ended construction material allowing for easy and inexpensive making and play.

Traditional tools such as tape and sharp blades are not optimal. Tape is messy, inefficient and a contaminant in the recycling stream, whilst sharp blades present a known safety risk.

Makedo has been designed using a child-centric, purpose-specific approach. The outcome is a unique system comprised of seven reusable components to empower kids and adults to connect, cut and sculpt cardboard safely and easily.

Design Impact

The global education landscape is undergoing monumental shifts as it endeavours to adapt to 21st century learning. Many products in the realm of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) curriculum are tech-related and not ideally suited to young learners.

Makedo provides low cost, no-tech access to STEM curriculum. Capabilities such as curiosity, independent thinking, logical reasoning, collaboration, creativity and problem solving are easily introduced into any learning environment. As Makedo is completely open-ended, it can be applied for all ages and all learning areas.

Makedo is currently used in schools across 6 continents.

Design Transformation

The design thinking Makedo teaches was the approach applied in the redesign of the Makedo tools - experimentation, adaptation and invention.

Innovations and design considerations ensure each tool is functional, safe and durable within an education environment.

SCRU/SCRU XL: connects up to three/six layers of cardboard.
SCRU-DRIVER: connect cardboard as simply as righty tighty, lefty loosey.
SAFE-SAW JNR.: flexible plastic blade to saw cardboard, not fingers.
SAFE-SAW: steel blade with no sharp edges to swiftly saw cardboard.
FOLD-ROLLER: perforate lines to sculpt cardboard like a pro.
MINI-TOOL: for parallel and cooperative making.

Design Innovation

Makedo is a design thinking tool. Just as many architects today credit Lego for inspiring their love of the built environment, Makedo endeavours to inspire the inventors, makers and thinkers of tomorrow.

Emphasising process over outcome, with Makedo students are given a platform to independently explore their hypotheses in a safe, exciting way where mistakes turn into discoveries.
Through a process of experimentation, adaptation and invention, ordinary cardboard becomes that imagined thing; from 'minds eye' to 'I made it’.

It is this critical thinking that will enable future generations to solve the problems they inherit and build a better world.

Other Key Features

Open-source: Makedo provides freely downloadable 3D-printer and laser-cutting files to enhance and extend the Makedo system. Parts include brackets, hinges and more.

Makedo Knowledge HUB: a freely available, growing resource of hosted content providing instructions, inspiration, Makedo creations, tips & tricks and education case studies.

Packaging: a big consideration for the 2019 release of Makedo was a near complete reduction in packaging plastic. New kits employ a cardboard Toolbox tray which is both functional, reusable and recyclable.

Creation illustrations by Bill Hope @billhope_art

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