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MAKE-IT tests app for maker faires and develops future scenarios for the Maker Movement at the Maker Faire Ruhr

An international research team of the MAKE-IT project tests web-app on the Maker Faire Ruhr to enable lasting connections between visitors and exhibitors. Maker Faire visitors and sfs-scientists Dr. Bastian Pelka, Janosch Sbeih und Marthe Zirngiebl co-developed future scenarios for the Maker Movement in an interactive workshop.


Dressed-up steampunkers roaming around on three meter high Jules-Verne-like vehicles on the parking lot of Dortmund’s working world exhibition (DASA); kids grouping together in front of the LEGO stop-motion-film stand; portable DNA laboratories that can be bought from exhibiting bio-hackers; and of course various 3D printers and other exhibited maker technologies turned the second edition of the Maker Faire Ruhr into a mixture of trade and fun fair of the Maker Movement which was hosted on 25th/26th March 2017 in the midst of DASA’s permanent exhibition.

Of course, the European research project MAKE-IT could not miss this international event in Dortmund and was represented with the MAKE-IT team of the Social Research Centre Dortmund (sfs) and research partners of the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO). The Dutch partners led with selected exhibitors a pilot test of a web-based application with the goal to create lasting connections between exhibitors and visitors on maker faires. By scanning the exhibitors’ QR-codes, visitors can reach an individualised website which connects them to the exhibitor’s website, webshop, social media channels and other online presences. 

sfs scientist Bastian Pelka presented in a workshop insights from the MAKE-IT project and subsequently facilitated an interactive simulation game with his colleagues Marthe Zirngiebl and Janosch Sbeih where participants would take on the role of policy makers, scientists, business and civil society representatives to discuss three future scenarios of the Maker Movement from these particular standpoints. The first scenario describes how the Maker Movement shapes public institutions (e.g. schools and libraries) to form inclusive learning spaces with new potentials. The second scenario depicts a future where the Maker Movement develops into a civil society-based open source, peer-to-peer manufacturing economy. In contrast, the third scenario represents the possibility of the Maker Movement focusing mainly on the research and development needs of established industry. The participants discussed the presented scenarios and put forward pros, cons and recommendations for each scenario from their particular standpoints.

The Maker Faire Ruhr proved to be a successful event for the MAKE-IT project with the first pilot test of its web-app which will be implemented in a matured form on future maker faires. The co-developed scenarios will be further elaborated on in future events like the XIX. Convention of Applied Social Sciences and eventually published in its final report at the end of this year.

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.


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