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Digital DIY: a social, cultural and economical phenomenon


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a general introduction to the Digital DIY phenomenon, and how and why the DiDIY project intends to study it. Background and conference report at

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Digital DIY: a social, cultural and economical phenomenon

  1. 1. Digital DIY: a social, cultural and economical phenomenon fOSSa Nantes 24 September 2015 by Marco Fioretti
  2. 2. CC BY-SA Marco Fioretti What is Digital DIY? ● a social, NOT technical phenomenon, based on – Much easier and cheaper production of all sorts of“products”, including “unique” or «smart» ones – accessibility of the related knowledge ● whose greatest «enemies» are NOT technical limits, as much as legal, social and political barriers
  3. 3. CC BY-SA Marco Fioretti Impacts of Digital DIY? ● DiDIY touches many sensitive areas, from privacy and culture to responsibility, safety and fairness ● Far-ranging consequences on rights, responsibilities and opportunities of individuals, organizations and society
  4. 4. CC BY-SA Marco Fioretti DiDIY: often, still searching for PURPOSE «Hey, I finally 3D printed something useful!» (and it's a LOW-tech spare part!)
  5. 5. CC BY-SA Marco Fioretti ...and still distant from people ● 3D print is a buzzword exploited by mainstream media ● But for the general public, DiDIY as a whole is still: ● even more remote than... Free/Open Source Software ● very far from being really known, or even perceived as really relevant
  6. 6. CC BY-SA Marco Fioretti DiDIY: MUCH more than 3D printing and/or High Tech The biggest, most relevant impacts of DiDIY will come from its arrival into «low- tech» sectors and basic needs of society: Agriculture Furniture clothing
  7. 7. CC BY-SA Marco Fioretti A 3D printer in every home? ● Probably a terrible idea. Above all: WHY? WHAT FOR? Image: Marcello Casal Jr./Agência Brasil, from Wikipedia - CC By 2.5 ● Whereas an pay-per-use «Digital DIY center»: – in every city block... – properly supported and regulated ● May have a HUGE impact
  8. 8. CC BY-SA Marco Fioretti DiDIY in organization and work ● scarcely related to the skills of individuals ● promotes reliance on individual initiative and Commons based peer production ● challenges traditional institutions and norms that establish control ● changes workplace processes and structures
  9. 9. CC BY-SA Marco Fioretti Digital DIY Education and Research new teaching and learning opportunities, from primary schools to universities
  10. 10. CC BY-SA Marco Fioretti Digital DIY and Creativity ● DiDIY is an ethos and mindset ● impacts on individual creativity ● brings disruptive innovation on the whole society ● makes possible stronger connections between hands-on creative practices, networked people, and shared, open design processes
  11. 11. CC BY-SA Marco Fioretti Digital DIY and Ethics ● “The ability to reproduce potentially anything MAY mean ‘radical abundance’ but surely means radical dissolution” ● extends Pirate Bay-level “piracy”, or sharing, to the physical realm ● But, unlike music, physical objects can be directly, physically HARMFUL: – “forget” weapons or viruses: think medical devices, furniture, car parts... – raising whole new issues of ‘consumer’ safety and property rights ● Digital DIY forces societies to renegotiate general ethical norms, that is what is “the right thing to do” ● Being prepared for this requires specific research
  12. 12. CC BY-SA Marco Fioretti DiDIY project: a Human-centric Digital Age «The DiDIY Project proposal addresses the call ICT 31-2014 Human-centric Digital Age of the Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies, Information and Communication Technologies Horizon 2020 work programme.»
  13. 13. CC BY-SA Marco Fioretti DiDIY project objectives ● understand the impacts of DiDIY on society ● foster a DiDIY-based, human-centric development in Europe ● driven and shaped by social and cultural strategies, not technology ● produce useful results for European teachers, researchers and (primarily) policy-makers
  14. 14. CC BY-SA Marco Fioretti The DiDIY Project approach ● multidisciplinary expertise: process engineering, ethics, management, sociology, FOSS/Open HW... ● human-centric, multi-perspective study of how DiDIY is reshaping ● organization and work ● education and research ● creative society and design ● legal systems and ethics
  15. 15. CC BY-SA Marco Fioretti From Digitally manufactured weapons: can they be controlled?
  16. 16. CC BY-SA Marco Fioretti From (2) Beyond "Right to Repair": the Right to Keep Buying
  17. 17. CC BY-SA Marco Fioretti From (3) Milan Makerspaces: from furniture to wearables
  18. 18. CC BY-SA Marco Fioretti From (4) DIY Flu? Design-at- home- viruses?
  19. 19. CC BY-SA Marco Fioretti From (5) «Reshaping craftmen's work through Digital DIY» Inside... Auchan
  20. 20. CC BY-SA Marco Fioretti From (6) «Ulisse: a fantastic example of Digital DIY in education»
  21. 21. CC BY-SA Marco Fioretti DiDIY for artisans and SMEs ● Current insurance, consumer or environmental rules may block DiDIY usage in SMEs ● It is necessary to: – catalog and analyse the legal issues that could hinder or help growth of DiDIY in European companies – distinguish between rules that are out of date and – actual needs for new, positive regulation of DiDIY Source
  22. 22. CC BY-SA Marco Fioretti Biourbanism and Digital DIY ● Biourbanism: «making the places we inhabit worth living thanks to sustainable, small-scale and self- organized actions» Biourbanism could not avoid DiDIY components and practices, even if it wanted to! Source:
  23. 23. CC BY-SA Marco Fioretti DiDIY first results ● Foundational interpretation of DiDIY ● DiDIY Knowledge Framework - Initial version! ● First Analysis of how DiDIY is reshaping education and research All published at
  24. 24. CC BY-SA Marco Fioretti Some Questions, and one Help Request ● How to involve as early as possible local administrations , business associations, teachers...? ● Besides IPR... What reforms are needed? ● Survey coming!
  25. 25. CC BY-SA Marco Fioretti Please submit your «DiDIY cases»!
  26. 26. CC BY-SA Marco Fioretti Thanks! ● Questions? ● Thanks for your help! ● See you at ● But first, this afternoon... at Wouter's presentation: «DiDIY and legal rights» This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 644344. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this website do not necessarily reflect the views of the EC.