More Related Content

Recently uploaded(20)


CSCW 2020: Tensions between Access and Control in Makerspaces

  1. Tensions between Access and Control in Makerspaces Jacob Logas Ruican Zhong Stephanie Almeida Sauvik Das
  2. Makerspace Values Equity AccessInclusion
  3. Mission Complications Interview 16 Administrators Survey 48 Users
  4. Makers to Administrators • Retain maker mindset • Goals align with Maker Culture • Seek to maximize makerspace access
  5. Why Control?
  6. Safety
  7. Enforced Requirements
  8. Staffing • Usually Volunteers • Regular 9-5 hours • Conflicting responsibilities • Stretched thin while working
  9. Control and Safety ≈
  10. Exceptions
  11. Demand • Demand exceeds supply • Staff shortage exacerbates • Compromise for viability • Safety policies kept intact
  12. Staff Relationship • Improve relationship • Extensive leeway • Anytime access • Safety protocols relaxed • Extends to friends of staff • Builds core competency • Create user to staff pipeline
  13. Trust • Administrator trust • Interpersonal • Competency • Motives
  14. Administrator Bandwidth
  15. User Frustration “I was doing a hackathon project and was forbidden to enter the space late in the evening, while admins and lab PIs could still use the space.” “If students forget their access card, they are not allowed to use the machines. Regardless of past usage history.” “[Training] feels long and most of the information gets forgotten…” “I’ve done it [training] before at another makerspace.”
  16. How can access control be custom tailored for makerspaces? Context!
  17. Makerspace Tailored Control

Editor's Notes

  1. Notes: Doesn’t need to define things as much Mostly should just talk about how Makerspaces have this tension Access v Control Where those come from (e.g., maker culture, safety concerns) How existing control systems map/don’t map to desired outcomes Spread across multiple slides
  2. The maker movement seeks to increase inclusion, equity, and access in STEAM. Makerspaces were built to accomplish this, democratizing expensive tools and software (such as wood shops, 3D printers, musical instruments, and professional modeling software) and providing mentors to aid in learning. Through the interviews, we confirmed the tenants of maker culture are important factors in access control policy, but safety, the second-most important factor, often determines access control policies. However, administrators allow for flexibility in enforcement of policies though must do so personally as access control systems are designed for rigid interpretations of policy. From analysis of user needs and exception motivations, we concluded that context is key to better access control in makerspaces.
  3. However, we hypothesized the makerspaces’ mission is complicated by access control. To test our hypothesis, we performed semi-structured interviews with 16 makerspace administrators And surveyed 48 makerspace users between March and May 2020 About policy and access control.
  4. Most of the administrators we spoke with identified as makers and agreed with tenants of the maker movement. Particularly, they identified with the idea that maker tools and education are to be democratized for greater public access. Administrators generally voiced a desire for their makerspace to be even more open and accessible. (~18s)
  5. Though of the 16 interviewees we spoke with, only one was willing to give unlimited access to their users (a small, for-profit enterprise). Why is this? If the goal of makerspaces is to have the greatest amount of access, shouldn’t more be willing to be open 24/7? Why enforce control if access is of utmost importance? (~22s)
  6. Control is necessary because makerspaces contain expensive machinery that is dangerous or easily broken if mishandled. Thus, controlled access to the tools is necessary to maintain a viable makerspace.
  7. Access to the equipment often requires an orientation or strict adherence to safety procedures. These are enforced by the administrator and staff personally. Though makerspaces are generally under-funded and understaffed.
  8. As administrators rely on the staff to maintain control, makerspaces are closed when none are available. Makerspaces we interviewed cannot, for example, afford to have staff present after 5 or 6 pm. Some even have issues staffing throughout the day, because their staff works on a volunteer basis and have other responsibilities. When staff are in the makerspace, they are stretched thin with administrative and custodial tasks leaving little time for mentorship.
  9. The aforementioned factors of control illustrated a trend in policies. Many makerspace policies exist solely for safety reasons. From this, we align control with the desired safety of the makerspace. Safety is an admirable goal and one that administrators rarely wish to dismiss outright (though it is does occur).
  10. Though in our interviews, we discovered most policies are flexible with exceptions being made regularly. Exceptions are situational and vary from administrator to administrator, but three reasons were consistently mentioned. (~13s)
  11. First, exceptions are made to keep up with demand. With staffing shortages, administrators must make concessions to keep up. These exceptions though are only allowed if it can be done safely or if the administrator trusts the requester. (~17s)
  12. Second, exceptions can improve the working relationship with staff. Administrators we interviewed gave makerspace staff extensive leeway, at times even extending it to friends of staff. This works both to build competency among staff and to entice users to become staff. (~15s)
  13. Third, exceptions are given to users with whom the administrator has built a level of trust. This can include interpersonal trust, trust in their abilities, or trust in their motives. (~10s)
  14. Though as mentioned before, makerspaces are understaffed, and administrators do not have the capacity to personally approve or deny every request; or prevent unapproved access. So makerspaces use digital access control systems. These are meant to alleviate some staff responsibilities but instead complicates their duties, requiring them to compensate for the system’s failings. This is a result of existing systems not mapping to the makerspace model of access, leaving gaps for staff to fill. Though this creates a problem for more than just administrators…
  15. Users reported feeling unduly impeded by the current state of access control. No amount of familiarity, demonstrated competency, or negotiation with existing systems will grant access. Instead, users must either find staff who have the authority and time to override it or be locked out of the resource. (~26s)
  16. So, the question becomes: how can access control be custom tailored for makerspaces? To us, the answer is clear: context. Every exception administrators told us about were the result of contextual reasoning. Access decisions were based on whether the user was trustworthy, competent, staff, or even had a convincing reason why they needed access.
  17. We can foresee future work that uses our findings here to develop a new class of access control. One that integrates makerspace usage metrics with a learning agent to integrate context in automated access decisions. Through advances in conversational agents, a user might even be able to negotiate for access as they would with administrators. Overall, integrating our findings into the design of makerspace-centric access control will help makerspaces fulfill their mission.