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sfs researcher presents MAKE-IT on the 33rd Chaos Communication Congress (33C3) in Hamburg

Janosch Sbeih from the Social Research Centre Dortmund facilitated a discussion about similarities, differences and interactions between the hacker scene and the maker movement at the international hacker congress 33C3 in Hamburg. Thereby the characteristics of the EU-research project MAKE-IT were shown to the audience.

33C3 Logo

From 27th to 30th December 2016, about 10.000 hackers, scientists, activists and interested citizens met for the last time for the 33rd Chaos Communication Congress (33C3) in the sold-out CCH trade fair in Hamburg. Janosch Sbeih from the Social Research Centre Dortmund was there to present the EU research project MAKE-IT “Understanding Collective Awareness Platforms with the Maker Movement”. The following discussion elucidated how the maker movement has its roots in the hacker scene and how the first German makerspaces were founded as secessions from established hackerspaces.

Both movements share tools and machinery as well as the mentality to open, reconstruct and modify things to understand them and make them accessible in the spirit “you don’t own it if you can’t open it”. Decentralisation, participation and inclusion are core topics of both sub-cultures which was apparent throughout all aspects of the congress, including its organisation infrastructure. All tasks of the congress, from the recording and translation of lectures to ticket inspections and medical support were executed by self-organised volunteer networks. In contrast to the hacker scene, the maker movement consciously tries through language and public imagery to be more accessible to the public to resist the negative stigma of “hackers”. This allows makerspaces to enter in cooperation with public institutions like schools and libraries and to carry the culture of “hacking” items and production processes into wider society.


MAKE-IT has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon2020 research and innovation programme. Involved project partners are: TNO (Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research), DTI (Danish Technological Institute), ZSI (Centre for Social Innovation Vienna), IAAC (FabLab Barcelona, The Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia), FLZ (FabLab Zagreb), HLW (Happylab Gmbh Vienna), AHHAA (Science Centre AHHAA), CIR (Create it Real ApS) and the Social Research Centre of TU Dortmund University.