Accepted Paper:

The Construction of Makers and Digital Fabrication Technologies, The Case Study of Israeli Makers  

Author:

Noa Morag Yaar (IDC/ Bar Ilan University)

Paper short abstract:

The Makers' movement defines Makers and delineates their practices. This article will present the construction of Israeli Makers. I argue that the unique link between craft and digital practices allows a diversity that is overlooked by the Makers' movement.

Paper long abstract:

Personal Digital Fabrication technologies serve as a vehicle for the Makers' movement, as they increasingly invade our homes and communal spaces. The movement promotes statements and produces definitions for who uses this technology (aka the "Makers"), their practices, places they produce at and their values and beliefs.

Following STS literature on co-construction of users and technology, this article will show how statements of the Makers' movement create a narrow definition on the nature of the technology, its users and their actions (Cowan 1987; Woolgar 1991; Akrich & Latour 1992). The article will show how these meanings are inconsistent with my early findings of women crafters who make at home, or in the academia, or in communal spaces in Israel and express a variety of meanings and motivations. Through their stories, I will show how they use the technology, what they produce, what their motivations are, and how they incorporate the technology into their existing manufacturing process.

I argue that personal digital fabrication tools develop a new productivity space, a space that allows for new productive technological work due to the unique link between digital and material practices. The space allows more people, in particular crafters, to join. The space consists of distributed practices, new roles, allows for diverse doing and asks for creativity that relies on prior material knowledge.

Panel T107
Maker Movement, FabLabs, Hackerspace and improvisation: Science, Technology and Education by other means?