How big is the global maker movement

Critical maker culture

Makerspaces and labs open up new ways to strengthen social self-determination. Citizens can participate in the development and production of artifacts in these rooms. It is characteristic of them that projects are carried out in a decentralized manner due to the democratization of technology and global networking. In this way, new forms of cooperation can be tried out. But under what conditions can the maker culture develop participatory potential and for whom? How are diversity and inclusion promoted through open laboratory structures?

Maker movement

The term “maker movement” describes networks of producers who develop and create new artifacts in a decentralized manner through digital production options such as open source code and rapid prototyping. In many cases, the place of production are so-called labs, which are embedded in an open ecosystem of actors and resources.

Open laboratory structures

A central question in this context is whether open laboratory structures in their different forms - as FabLabs, Makerspaces, Think / Do-Tanks or similar. - enable broader sections of the population to have access to technologies and their own production facilities. The research group focuses on three different areas: gender, sustainability and international development and examines how the promise of a “democratization of technologies” could be kept in order to create more fair access.

These questions are empirically examined and compared internationally in order to localize overarching tendencies and challenges. In addition, through the exploratory method of "critical making" with own design experiments, interventions and drafts, the research object is critically reflected and a contribution to the discourse is formulated, e.g. B. in the form of prototypes as well as performances and exhibitions.

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