“Making” the Future: Conclusion of Making & the Maker Movement blog post series

December 14, 2015

The Maker movement evolved out of Punk and DIY culture and has grown at a rapid pace over the past six years, spurred by the creation of Make Magazine and the Maker Faire. A manifesto has been published (Hatch, 2014) and ‘how-to’ guides on making and building makerspaces abound (Makerspace.com, 2012; Bagley, 2014; Kemp, 2013; Lang, 2013). Touted as havens for techies, artists, and entrepreneurs, makerspaces are being developed at an astounding rate, both domestically and internationally. Makerspaces are community-operated facilities that provide access to the tools of production, usually wood shops, metal shops, and digital fabrication technology.

STEM, DASTEM, and STEAM in Making: Debating America’s Economic Future in the 21st Century

September 3, 2014

As noted in the previous post, Democratized Tools of Production: New Technologies Spurring the Maker Movement, the power and opportunity purported to emerge from the maker movement is strongly focused on STEM education and the ‘tools of production’. This post will focus on the history of STEM, how other schools of thought have critiqued and added new areas to STEM, and the relationship of these issues to ‘making’ and the maker movement.

Democratized tools of production: New technologies spurring the maker movement

August 18, 2014

The discourse surrounding the Maker Movement, particularly in the political spectrum, focuses heavily on STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education, manufacturing, and jobs (Kalil, Extreme Marshmellow Canons, 2012). It is the technology and tools that are ushering in “the new industrial revolution” (Anderson, 2012). Through democratizing access to these tools, “anyone can change the world” (Hatch, 2014 p.10). Makerspaces are said to give communities facing social and economic challenges the ability to create jobs, innovate, and grow small businesses, through access to the tools of production (Barjarin, 2014) (Gershenfeld, 2005).

Examining the maker movement through discourse analysis: An introduction

July 30, 2014

The extensive discourse regarding ‘making’ and the maker movement is primarily centered on the opportunities that ‘making’ creates for society, particularly for manufacturing, entrepreneurship, and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. Through this blog post series, “Making and the maker movement: A democratizing force or an example of cultural reproduction?” (this is the first blog post out of a series of 5), I aim to critically examine this discourse, not in an attempt to discredit the movement and its supporters, but rather to draw attention to the issues and challenges of the maker movement and how these may be addressed. These point-of-view pieces will draw on literature, media, and conversations with people who are actively engaged in the movement.