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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 9th December 2016 > MAKING A DIFFERENCE

MAKING A DIFFERENCE

Its mission was to change architecture. Did the Turner Prize change Assemble?
BUT IS IT ART? A member of Granby Workshop prepares clay lampshades at the community enterprise set up by design and architecture group Assemble.
BEN QUINTON/GRANBY WORKSHOP

UNTIL RECENTLY, 35 Cairns Street was just another boarded-up house, one in a row of abandoned, two-up, two-down Victorian terraces in a rundown part of Liverpool, northwest England. Soon it will be a home again, part of a tranche of affordable housing sold or rented out by a local charity. But since January 2015, it has been home to Granby Workshop, a profit-making community enterprise that makes and sells ceramics, furniture and textiles.

In the large downstairs room, at a table densely covered with arrays of handcrafted objects, Jade Crompton, a 20-something graduate of Liverpool Hope University and full-time employee at the workshop, is collaging pieces of ceramic decal paper onto plain white tiles, ready to be fired in the kiln that sits in the far corner. She is fulfilling an order from the shop at Tate Modern, the huge gallery that sits on the banks of the Thames in London, more than 200 miles south. Examples of the finished, color-flecked tiles line the bathroom walls upstairs and in several other houses along this street.

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THE ROBOT ECONOMY Next time you stop for gas at a self-serve pump, say hello to the robot in front of you. Its life story can tell you a lot about the robot economy roaring toward us like an EF5 tornado on the prairie. Yeah, your automated gas pump killed a lot of jobs over the years, but its biography might give you hope that the coming wave of automation driven by artificial intelligence (AI) will turn out better for almost all of us than a lot of people seem to think.
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