This is the year of firsts! Earlier this year we adapted our usual East Summer School programme into an online version for the first time so that it could continue through the pandemic and now we are thrilled to announce that the first ever East Autumn School is taking place 25 November – 16 December 2020. We are bringing another exciting programme for local young people to offer even more people opportunities to learn, have fun and make new friends.

If you’re aged 15–18, live in Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets or Waltham Forest and are interested in materials and making, art and design, or, science, technology and engineering, why not sign up for the FREE East Autumn School? These one-off online workshops are hands-on, interactive and creative. It’s a great chance to meet new people and have fun! 

Why sign up?

  • Learn a new skill 
  • Discover a new way of looking at the materials and designed objects that surround us every day 
  • Explore the mind-boggling design, science and technology behind computer game avatars, trainers, reusable facemasks, and plastic shopping bags. 
  • Get to grips with the ways that design, science and technology can help with a variety of environmental and social problems

We are bringing this programme to you in collaboration with our East Bank partner, UCL Institute of Making. The UCL Institute of Making aims to provide everyone with a creative home where they can explore all aspects of materials and making – whether that’s making molecules or cities, soup or diamonds. You can see a full list of available workshops below.

Applications are currently closed.

Join the conversation online using #EastAutumnSchool. If you have any questions, please email [email protected] or call 07964 108 914.


  • Date: Wednesday 25 November, 5pm – 7pm

    Age: 15 – 18


    What's the workshop about?

    We're really looking forward to welcoming you to this interactive, online East Autumn School workshop, delivered by George and Josie, who look after the Institute of Making's Makespace

    This  virtual workshop will teach you how to use TinkerCAD, a simple and free online version of the tool that architects, engineers and game designers use to sketch out ideas, design objects to be 3D printed, create architectural models, make animated films, build characters and environ­ments for computer games – and much more!

    You will also learn all about the real-world uses of this exciting digital technology, and explore its possibilities and limitations.


    Who’s delivering the workshop?

    Josie King is a designer and maker joining the Institute of Making for 2020. She previously ran Machines Room, an east London makerspace, and has also taught and delivered activities at Green Labs, Participatory City and Goldsmiths University. Josie's own design practice is rooted in play – less of an artisan, more of a 'master of none’, interested in awkward materials and processes as a way of learning.

    George Walker is a creative technologist, sound engineer and graduate of the Music Informatics BSc course at The University of Sussex. He looks after the digital tools at the Institute of Making (laser cutters, 3D printers etc). and has worked on loads of digital projects from physical music hardware to software art. He is also part of the teams behind the Eyeduino animatronics workshops, the robot Ohbot and the band Fatlion Hi-Fi. He is interested in music, programming, crowdfunding and, of course, making stuff.

  • Date: Tuesday 8 December, 5pm – 7pm

    Age: 15 – 18


    What's the workshop about?

    In this creative and hands-on workshop, you will hear from Tottenham-based textiles designer and founder of Embellished Talk, Rebeckah Kemi Apara. Rebeckah will show you how to customise your own cotton face masks using embroidery, appliqué and embellishment techniques for decorating fabrics. Materials scientist Mark Miodownik will also introduce you to the health and environmental benefits of reusable versus disposable face masks. 


    Who’s delivering the workshop?

    Rebeckah Kemi Apara graduated with a degree in Fashion Textiles at the London College of Fashion in 2007 and specialised in screen-printed textiles. After graduating, she taught herself how to hand sew using embroidery and embellishments. She started Embellished Talk in May 2016 to create a place to explore and continue to learn about textiles through the professional and personal stories of interesting people, artists and designers. As well as personally interviewing designers on the Embellished Talk blog, Rebeckah runs creative workshops where people can learn how to embroider new and old items.

  • Date: Monday 30 November, 5pm – 7pm

    Age: 15 – 18


    What's the workshop about?

    In this workshop, designer and technician Josie King will show you how to create fabric from old plastic shopping bags, and turn these into fresh, reusable messenger bags that should last a lifetime. 

    You don’t need pattern cutting skills or sewing skills for this workshop, just an iron and some baking paper. This workshop will incorporate collage and the construction of garments with the edge of the iron or hair straighteners. 

    We will also be joined by materials scientist and plastic waste expert, Mark Miodownik, who will talk to us about the wonders as well as the evils of plastic, and what we can do about the global waste crisis caused by single-use plastics.

    Who’s delivering the workshop?

    Josie King is a designer and maker who has joined the Institute of Making for 2020 as a technician. She previously ran Machines Room, an East London makerspace, and has also taught and delivered activities at Green Labs, Participatory City and Goldsmiths University. Josie's own design practice is rooted in play – describing herself as 'less of an artisan, more of a master of none’, Josie is interested in awkward materials and processes as a way of learning. 



  • Date: Wednesday 16 December, 5pm – 7pm

    Age: 15 – 18


    What's the workshop about? 

    Join artist and footwear designer Helen Kirkum to design and prototype your own unique, handmade, recycled trainers using waste materials you can find at home. This free-spirited and hands-on workshop will encourage you rethink your existing ideas of what makes a trainer, and encourage you to create your own unexpected and unconventional shoe design. 

    Leave this workshop with an understanding of an alternative way to approach design, through physical objects and collage, as well as a new perspective on the value of waste materials. 

    Who’s delivering the workshop?

    Helen Kirkum is an artist and designer based in east London. Helen is a pioneer of the hacking, reworn and patchwork aesthetic within the trainer industry. Her work combines the hacking and reworking of discarded and recycled sneakers and the craftsmanship of handmade footwear, creating wearable bespoke collages from discarded trainers.

    Helen set up her studio in 2017, where she creates bespoke handmade footwear by reworking discarded components, as well as working as a design consultant, collaborating with brands (like adidas and Lacoste) and teaching.   

    Helen will also be joined in conversation by Institute of Making Director Zoe Laughlin, whose BBC4 TV programme How to Make: The Trainer explores the materials, making, form and function of trainers.