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What Even Is A Maker?

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Presented at Electromagnetic Field 2016.

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What Even Is A Maker?

  1. 1. What Even Is A "Maker"?  How we see ourselves and how other people  see us Em O’Sullivan Electromagnetic Field, Guildford, England 5 August 2016
  2. 2. Who am I? Build Brighton, 2011
  3. 3. Brighton Mini Maker Faire, 2012
  4. 4. Tech support   Academia→ Can the maker movement make technology  more engaging for women?
  5. 5. hackspaces listed on  www.hackspace.org.uk Growing number of community workshops Open Dataset of UK  Makerspaces: A User's Guide,  NESTA, April 2015 65
  6. 6. 'Maker' becoming more wellknown “The test for me now is when we describe  ourself as a makerspace more often than  not people get it.”
  7. 7. Corporatisation “It feels like it's being appropriated now by  much bigger companies who're seeing  the dollar signs.”
  8. 8. Craft resurgence Brighton Etsy Christmas Market, 2015
  9. 9. Coverage in the media
  10. 10. ASTRONOMY BIOLOGY/CHEMISTRY/PHYSICS BOOK­MAKING/BOOK­ BINDING CERAMICS COOKING/BAKING/BREWING DIGITAL FABRICATION/RAPID  PROTOTYPING ELECTRONICS/HARDWARE  HACKING ENGINEERING/MECHANICS FILM­MAKING/PHOTOGRAPHY GARDENING GLASS­BLOWING JEWELLERY MAKING METAL­WORKING PAINTING/DRAWING/ART PAPERCRAFT PROGRAMMING/GAME  DEVELOPMENT PROP­MAKING/MODEL­ MAKING/COSPLAY QUADCOPTER FLYING/RACING ROBOTICS ROCKETRY SEWING & TEXTILES WOOD­WORKING WRITING MUSIC
  11. 11. ASTRONOMY BIOLOGY/CHEMISTRY/PHYSICS BOOK­MAKING/BOOK­ BINDING CERAMICS COOKING/BAKING/BREWING DIGITAL FABRICATION/RAPID  PROTOTYPING ELECTRONICS/HARDWARE  HACKING ENGINEERING/MECHANICS FILM­MAKING/PHOTOGRAPHY GARDENING GLASS­BLOWING JEWELLERY MAKING METAL­WORKING PAINTING/DRAWING/ART PAPERCRAFT PROGRAMMING/GAME  DEVELOPMENT PROP­MAKING/MODEL­ MAKING/COSPLAY QUADCOPTER FLYING/RACING ROBOTICS ROCKETRY SEWING & TEXTILES WOOD­WORKING WRITING MUSIC
  12. 12. ASTRONOMY BIOLOGY/CHEMISTRY/PHYSICS BOOK­MAKING/BOOK­ BINDING CERAMICS COOKING/BAKING/BREWING DIGITAL FABRICATION/RAPID  PROTOTYPING ELECTRONICS/HARDWARE  HACKING ENGINEERING/MECHANICS FILM­MAKING/PHOTOGRAPHY GARDENING GLASS­BLOWING JEWELLERY MAKING METAL­WORKING PAINTING/DRAWING/ART PAPERCRAFT PROGRAMMING/GAME  DEVELOPMENT PROP­MAKING/MODEL­ MAKING/COSPLAY QUADCOPTER FLYING/RACING ROBOTICS ROCKETRY SEWING & TEXTILES WOOD­WORKING WRITING MUSIC
  13. 13. ASTRONOMY BIOLOGY/CHEMISTRY/PHYSICS BOOK­MAKING/BOOK­ BINDING CERAMICS COOKING/BAKING/BREWING DIGITAL FABRICATION/RAPID  PROTOTYPING ELECTRONICS/HARDWARE  HACKING ENGINEERING/MECHANICS FILM­MAKING/PHOTOGRAPHY GARDENING GLASS­BLOWING JEWELLERY MAKING METAL­WORKING PAINTING/DRAWING/ART PAPERCRAFT PROGRAMMING/GAME  DEVELOPMENT PROP­MAKING/MODEL­ MAKING/COSPLAY QUADCOPTER FLYING/RACING ROBOTICS ROCKETRY SEWING & TEXTILES WOOD­WORKING WRITING MUSIC
  14. 14. ASTRONOMY BIOLOGY/CHEMISTRY/PHYSICS BOOK­MAKING/BOOK­ BINDING CERAMICS COOKING/BAKING/BREWING DIGITAL FABRICATION/RAPID  PROTOTYPING ELECTRONICS/HARDWARE  HACKING ENGINEERING/MECHANICS FILM­MAKING/PHOTOGRAPHY GARDENING GLASS­BLOWING JEWELLERY MAKING METAL­WORKING PAINTING/DRAWING/ART PAPERCRAFT PROGRAMMING/GAME  DEVELOPMENT PROP­MAKING/MODEL­ MAKING/COSPLAY QUADCOPTER FLYING/RACING ROBOTICS ROCKETRY SEWING & TEXTILES WOOD­WORKING WRITING MUSIC
  15. 15. “As soon as I think about it I contradict it in  my head.” “I think of making as physical, but then  maybe it isn't. I'm contradicting myself,  aren't I?” 
  16. 16. 4 Key Values of Making
  17. 17. 1. Knowledge & Skills Sharing “A lot of people who come back each  week don't really make stuff for  themselves, they just enjoy hanging  around, being part of the conversation  and collaborating when other people  need help.”
  18. 18. 1. Knowledge & Skills Sharing “This is one of the only ways that I think  [learning] might be accessible to me.  Through co­teaching.”
  19. 19. 1. Knowledge & Skills Sharing “If someone gives you a problem and you  can envisage a solution and work your  way towards that and fix problems along  the way to getting to that solution, it feels  that humans are pre­disposed to that level  of problem­solving and I think it's sensible  to encourage that instead of the rote  learning that you get in the traditional  school sense.”
  20. 20. 2. Community “I didn't so much join a hackspace as  support a peer group, because it's  basically a private members club for  people like us... It's a safe space that never  existed for the likes of us before. Normally  these kinds of place are for other people.  This movement has given us our place.”
  21. 21. 2. Community “A lot of us work alone at home and it's  their one chance in a week or a month to  get out of the house and have a chat with  somebody else who does a similar thing to  them. It brings people together.”
  22. 22. 3. Solving Problems “[All the projects are] interesting because  they solve problems. It always comes back  to 'is it solving a problem'? I don't care  about scale. And if it solves a problem get  on and build it.”
  23. 23. 3. Solving Problems “I want to have access to these things. I  want to have access for myself and I want  to have access so I can help other  people... I really think that a place like this  could, if it was competent, massively help  people.”
  24. 24. 4. Benefits of Making “Looking back at something you've made  and reflecting that you didn't know how to  do that a week before, that sense of pride  is definitely rewarding.”
  25. 25. • They do specific activities • They don't make a living from making • They don't have a certain skill level • They think other people wouldn't recognise them  as a maker Why might someone not think they're a  maker?
  26. 26. @freakatoms http://freakatoms.co.uk

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