Skip to main content
Design / Portraits / Events / “All independent, all interdependent”: the strength of the make network here

“All independent, all interdependent”: the strength of the make network here

For its 2020 Intelligence de la main awards, in the Pathway category, the jury assembled by the Bettencourt Foundation rewarded Nicolas and Christine Bard, founders of the Make ici network. More than fablabs or “makerspace”, they prefer to use the term manufactures to identify their different places in France, which bring together artisans, designers, architects and digital manufacturing professionals.

Network of collaborative and solidarity-based factories, the strength of Make ICI today is to have succeeded in creating in several regions of France, places that are true ecosystems of the creative industry. The residents have the common points of being entrepreneurs, of placing design at the heart of their activities – either by being designers or by working with designers – and of pooling their skills to develop. Because these spaces include various support systems for entrepreneurship, often absent from initial training. And it is this bet on collective intelligence that the Bettencourt Foundation wanted to reward, by distinguishing the founding couple in the Parcours category.

Comment définissez-vous vos manufactures ?

Christine and Nicolas Bard : The most common term for this concept is makerspace but we wanted a French word. Our places are for-profit social and solidarity factories, the profits of which are fully reinvested. Our ambition is to help a generation of craftsmen to make a good living from their know-how. To do this, we have brought together a set of devices which, in our view, constitute the key elements of success: common access to traditional and digital equipment; a companionship with other craftsmen which allows to break the isolation; proximity to other disciplines while in France, knowledge is too separate. Finally, solidarity at all stages of the activity – from design to market access. MAKE ICI’s philosophy? All independent, all interdependent. Being independent is as important as being able to get help when needed. At MAKE HERE, struggling entrepreneurs always have someone nearby to lend a hand.

Que signifie le prix Intelligence de la main/ Parcours pour vous ?


ChB&NB. Nous sommes très fiers d’avoir été distingués, d’autant que nous connaissons l’exigence de la Fondation en termes d’excellence et d’innovation. Cette reconnaissance est très importante pour nous car elle vient valider notre façon de penser l’artisanat d’art. Notre initiative est souvent observée avec intérêt mais on nous reproche de n’être pas assez puriste. Nous pensons, au contraire, que les artisans ne peuvent rester dans l’entre-soi. Ils doivent travailler avec des designers, des industriels... Un ferronnier d’art peut créer un prototype pour Airbus; une maroquinière, formée par Hermès, fabriquer la ceinture qui servira de récompense pour le concours de danse hip-hop créé par la marque Redbull, comme cela fut le cas pour deux de nos résidents. L’artisanat d’art doit s’ancrer dans le XXIe siècle ; conjuguer les savoir-faire ancestraux avec les techniques, et les désirs, de demain.

Quels projets allez-vous développer grâce à cette récompense ?

ChB & NB . It will give us the opportunity to inaugurate new factories, four of which are already planned, with an anchoring in the specific know-how of the regions where we are going to be established. The one in rue Ordener in Paris will be organized around work on wood, metal, leather and textiles. In Wasquehal, between Lille and Roubaix, we are going to invest in the former printing works of the Trois Suisses catalogs and will naturally promote textile know-how. In Tours, we have forged a partnership with the National Theater to work around the performing arts, notably with costume workshops. Each location will house around 30% of local know-how. One way to boost the French industrial fabric, and give the regions all their vitality.

« Histoires d’ICI » est une websérie qui présente différents résidents du réseau. Découvrez ci-dessous le parcours de l’Atelier Noue.

Find the article “Collaborate to train and develop” on the Make Here network in the number 205 of Intramuros. The call for applications for the 2021 Hand Intelligence Awards is open: find the information to apply here .