Innovation, Economic Driver, Disruption: Utopias and Critiques of Making and Hacking
Silvia Lindtner (University of Michigan)
Denisa Kera
Shaowen Bardzell (Indiana University)
Jeffrey Bardzell (Indiana University)
Anita Chan (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)
Friday 2 September, 16:00-17:45, 18:00-19:45, Saturday 3 September, 9:00-10:45, 11:00-12:45, 12:30-14:15 (UTC+0)

Short abstract:

This track investigates how STS can interject criticality in contemporary "making" and "hacking" discourses, while taking seriously underlying desires of utopian world making. We invite debate, paper and workshop submissions that explore questions of prototyping, labor, exclusion, center-periphery.

Long abstract:

Sites and practices of making and hacking (including but not limited to open source software and hardware, repair, hackerspaces, DIY bio, internet of things) are celebrated in the public media, by governments and recently also corporations as emergent forms of technology innovation. They are heralded as a new era of computing, taken up in policy programs in regions in China, Taiwan, US, EU, Indonesia, Singapore, Africa, and more, aimed at cultivating a mindset of entrepreneurialism and innovation thinking. In parallel, a critical line of work has emerged that questions the naive utopianism of democracy and individual empowerment visible in maker discourse. What counts as making or hacking often excludes long-standing sites of technology production as a way of asserting hegemony of established (largely Western) sites technological innovation. And yet, these two perspectives also share a common interest in making and hacking as a form of knowledge production and critical intervention into what counts as site of expertise in R&D, visible in efforts such as "critical making" and "research through design."

This track invites paper, open debate and workshop submissions to investigate how STS can interject criticality in contemporary making and hacking discourses and practices, while taking seriously the desire to craft alternatives. We invite proposals that address any combination of the following:

- Making and hacking at the so-called periphery that challenge dominant models of technoscientific innovation

- Reflections on the epistemic functions of the prototype, the open source hardware platform, CNC machines, and so on.

- Reorganization of work and labor

SESSIONS: 4/5/4/5/4

Accepted papers: