Thursday, May 15, 2014
To make or not to make-that is the question
Makerspace asks certain intellectual, social and political questions. It begins very simply.
If I was not bound by the restrictions of some figure of authority, what might I make? If I could make anything I wanted to make out of any material or combination of materials, colors and textures, what would it be?
In the digital age the question easily moves to computer assisted empowerment. If I could design the object at a computer and have it manufactured, what would it be? How would it fit in with the world of non-digital objects?
More recently the questions goes further, if this design could include electrical conductivity, perhaps wires, and those wires could connect with other computer chips and some possible combination of an infinite arrays of sensors, power sources and gears and network transmitting capacity, what might it be or do?
And then if there is one of these objects and it can communicate, can it communicate with others of its kind? Can it communicate wirelessly? For what distance? For what purpose? Can, will, it communicate with more than its kind and if so what or who and how and why?
Am I willing to put this design in a public space and share it with anyone?
Politics is the allocation of resources. These resources include money, materials, the tools of creation and a person's time. In this making what resources will be consumed or reused and eventually discarded? What might be the impact of making a larger quantity, perhaps an almost infinite quantity be on the human social space and environment? If the impact is significant, then what regulates its creation?
If answers to the above questions are sufficiently interesting and supportive, then how do I make it? What learning resources, tools and experience do I need to make, compose or build it?
To make or not to make, that is the question.
The Maker Movement Manifesto