Maker culture

Maker culture encourages informal, shared social learning focused on the construction of artefacts ranging from robots and 3D-printed models to clothing and more traditional handicrafts. Maker culture emphasises experimentation, innovation, and the testing of theory through practical, self-directed tasks. It is characterised by playful learning and encourages both the acceptance of risk taking (learning by making mistakes) and rapid iterative development. Feedback is provided through immediate testing, personal reflection, and peer validation. Learning is supported via informal mentoring and progression through a community of practice. Its popularity has increased due to the recent proliferation of affordable computing hardware and 3D printers, and available open-source software. Critics argue it is simply a rebranding of traditional hobby pursuits. Proponents contend that recent evolutions in networking technologies and hardware have enabled wider dissemination and sharing of ideas for maker learning, underpinned by a powerful pedagogy that emphasises learning through social making.

2 Responses to Maker culture

  1. Liz FitzGerald says:

    Yes I agree Mark – a nice example is the “Men’s Sheds” movement, which I believe originated in Australia but is now taking off here in the UK – see for example the Camden Town Shed. A really good way for a potentially isolated group of people in the community to come together and learn informally, in a brilliantly social setting.

  2. Mark Gaved says:

    Is ‘Maker Culture’ simply traditional hobbies with internet connections and cheaper hardware? or is it more than that?

    I think something else is going on – a reaction against the ‘closed box’ model of accepting modern devices as not being suitable to explore, the desire to engage with technologies at a fundamental level , and also a cross generational sharing of different expertises.

    What do you think?

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