Hello Shenzhen is a bilateral residency exchange programme connecting makers in the UK and China. It is a partnership between the British Council, The Shenzhen Foundation for International Exchange and Cooperation and Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab. In March 2017 seven UK makerspaces and creative organisations hosted ten makers from Shenzhen.
March 2017 saw the conclusion of the first series of Hello Shenzhen residencies. Taking place over the next three to five years this programme consists of a series of exchanges, each focused around the practices, interests and challenges core to Shenzhen and UK maker cultures.
While six makerspaces in Shenzhen hosted four week residences for seven British makers, 13 makerspaces and creative organisations across the UK hosted three week residencies for ten Shenzhen makers, each focused on a specific project.
They were selected to take part in the programme and brought with them a wide range of expertise, from industrial design to mechanical engineering as well as providing insights into the unique culture of making and manufacturing in Shenzhen.
The residencies covered a variety of themes, including disability, maker education, community development, sustainability and repair culture.
The Hello Shenzhen bilateral exchange programme will build stronger links between UK and Chinese making practices, supporting meaningful collaboration and deepening learning between the two countries. We believe that forming this connection will inform and develop making practices in both countries, inspiring makers to find new ways of working. In the pilot year of the programme (2016/2017), through in-depth residencies makers in the UK and China will provide collaborative solutions and research, responding to shared issues and interests. Significantly, residency briefs will generated by maker communities and those who support them, covering a variety of themes including sustainability, education, community development and enterprise.