Makeshift is a field guide to hidden creativity. We believe ingenuity can be found anywhere if you know where to look. Let us tag along on your creative pursuit.
Makeshift was a magazine covering stories hidden creativity in unlikely corners of the world. Its quarterly print magazine and YouTube channel showcased fog-harvesting farmers in Peru, tunnel-carving smugglers in Egypt, and time-banking cooperators in Greece. With 400 contributors in 80 countries, Makeshift kept a pulse on informal economies, black markets, and digital underworlds not covered anywhere else.
After publishing Making Do, based on my research on informal metalworkers in Kenya, I began to connect with researchers, journalists, photographers, and makers exploring underground ingenuity elsewhere. Out of the hive minds of these contributors Makeshift was born. Operating with a team of 15 across 8 countries, Makeshift became a case study in distributed creative work. We produced 15 quarterly issues with a circulation of 100,000 readers globally. Our YouTube channel reached hundreds of thousands of more. Our educational materials taught university graduate students. Our galleries and events brought our community together.
I have always loved the way a magazine serves as a handheld portal into a specific cultural phenomenon. For me, Makeshift was a gateway into the unruly and endlessly clever world of makers who, by virtue of operating informally, went otherwise undocumented. Their stories yearned to be told through a material and portable medium.
Read more about my experience founding Makeshift in my articles on how to start a magazine, redesigning our print quarterly and website, and managing a globally distributed team.