“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.

Power, Access, Status: The Discourse of Race, Gender, and Class in the Maker Movement

March 18, 2015

This blog post is the fourth of five of the blog post series, “Making and the maker movement: A democratizing force or an example of cultural reproduction?” See the first blog post, second blog post, and third blog post.

Spaces and ‘Maker’ activities are promoted as being inclusive, open spaces. Yet, as Dunbar-Hester writes in Radical Inclusion? Locating Accountability in Technical DIY,
The promotion of a sphere in which “universal” technical (or civic) participation occurs may require bracketing inequalities of access and status, which obviously fails to reflect a social reality where certain groups enjoy privilege and dominance relative to other groups. (Dunbar-Hester, 2014)

Libraries & makerspaces: A revolution?

June 13, 2014

One of TASCHA’s recent research projects is focusing on innovation spaces (including makerspaces), and what the implications and opportunities are for libraries. We are working on crystallizing some aspects of this research and where we see it heading. We’re lucky to have maker movement maven Lauren Britton here with us in Seattle for a week to help us flesh out our ideas and contribute her expertise in the area. Lauren was one of (if not THE only) groundbreaking leaders of the makerspace movement within libraries. To maximize Lauren’s time with us, we invited our colleagues and students from the University of Washington to join us for an informal discussion on libraries and makerspaces. Lauren kicked off our discussion by providing a background on makerspaces, definining a makerspace for us, and shared her experience setting up a makerspace in the Fayetteville Public Library in central New York. We went on to discuss how libraries and makerspaces fit together compared to other places makerspaces exist, some of what she has learned over the past few years, and where things might be heading for makerspaces in libraries. Here’s a recap of our lively and informative discussion.