Post Workshop

Thanks to all for participating and discussing with us!



Here are some (subjective and random) notes that we took during the workshop:

Please feel free to add, comment, or question!! (If you would like to contribute a picture as well, please email it to me for putting it online: )

What is apparent is the number of questions that were raised, emphasizing the need to further research and reflect on trends in personal and industrial fabrication…

  • Uniqueness vs. mass produced goods – what to prefer? Does an artifact have an identity that is related to its fabrication? Products may reveal their history that can be traced through the appearance and performance; For instance, prototypes are not as polished as merchandize products, making its production more visible… When is a product finished? Is this one of the key differences between making and industrial fabrication when it comes to the goods that are produced?
  • Will everybody make use of personal fabrication opportunities (FabLabs, etc.)?
    Do you make your own clothes even if you own a sewing machine“?
  • Does fabrication structures, processes, and innovations need governance? Or are they self-governed? Should they be self-governed?
  • Do new trends come bottom-up or top-down? Are top-down efforts valued and accepted?
  • In personal fabrication: does the ideology (of democratization, “empowerment”, etc.) hold? Does practice meet this ideology? Many forms of mythos, ethos, black and white narratives are involved… What normative aspects are related to fabrication? How does the researcher influence the perspective on fabrication based on her/his opinion on activism, economics, politics?
  • In regards to the institutionalization of fabrication: do we need individual or collective rules? Who is responsible?
  • Who benefits from trends in fabrication? “Goldminers or shovel makers?
  • Who has the ownership of means of production, of goods, of blueprints, of processes?
  • Are all humans, who are involved in fabrication (industrial, personal, …) visible? Who is overseen? How complex are the networks of roles, means, rules, …? What about the relation between makers, workers, designers, engineers, researchers, policy makers? How do these roles change? Do we have hybrid roles, such as makers being designers being engineers? Is it Do-it-Yourself or rather Do-it-for-Yourself? What difference does it make?
  • Who is empowered by trends in fabrication? Is it a form of (self-)empowerment? Is empowerment the adequate term for what is (or should be) happening? Are people part of the new maker cultures for fun? Is this culturally different?
  • Innovation based on humans’ beliefs what is possible, thinking about the impossible
  • Do the produced goods, prototypes, etc. support reflection (e.g., in research, in society)? Is the artifact, the object, enough for reflection? Is another form of documentation needed? If yes, what would it be?

 Many different layers constitute production (e.g., material and immaterial layers), some of which are invisible (although they are material, especially in software production) – should they be visible? If yes, who should make them visible?
  • What role does appropriation play in the different layers?
  • When do we talk about fabrication, production, manufacturing?
  • How do trends in fabrication influence education, if at all? Should they?
  • What role do privacy issues play in fabrication? -> also critical for researching fabrication sites

Here are pictures of the subgroups’ posters…

IMG_1505 IMG_1510 IMG_1514


… and here the objects that characterize the participants’ work…




Thanks, Marie, for the following two pictures:

© A.M. Tsaasan
© A.M. Tsaasan
© A.M. Tsaasan
© A.M. Tsaasan


And here are Austin’s pictures:

© Austin Henderson
© Austin Henderson
© Austin Henderson
© Austin Henderson
© Austin Henderson
© Austin Henderson



One thought on “Post Workshop”

  1. Hello all,

    Thank you so much for creating a thought provoking seminar, I didn’t quite realize how strongly I’m biased toward unique object production and my committee chair will be baring the brunt of this revelation as I untangle what this means for my research.

    On a more practical note: I’m working with Girl Scouts of Orange County – a local volunteer group here – using maker spaces to help with pro-STEM identity development in young people and to better understand factors which support adults in donating their time to teach the next generation.

    This project is in the very very early stages and I would love to collaborate with others who are interested in inter-generational teaching/learning in maker spaces.

    Best wishes,

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