Making shouldn’t be anything new, but the maker movement is pretending otherwise. Or so they said. Are YOU sure?

I have only discovered now this piece from 2014 that makes, among others, the following arguments:

  • Most of us (programmers) have been too busy playing with digital worlds to learn how to master hands-on skills [as in the past].
  • This is what bothers me when I see things like digital fabrication or robotics billed as the “game changer”… These tools should be situated in a larger context of construction, architecture, mechanics, textiles, etc.
  • Instead, we see them elevated to a high status because, as best as I can tell, they let programmers who’ve been lost in a world of material-less abstractions actually apply their skills to something physical, something real.
  • Making shouldn’t be anything new, but the maker movement is pretending otherwise
  • The maker movement isn’t born out of a desire to say, “I made this!”, but rather from those immersed in the digital saying, “Look, I can make actual things! See? I’m not just playing pretend, this really is making something!”
  • The maker movement is born out of a uniquely digital insecurity, of those who’ve spent their lives making things that don’t physically exist and suddenly found a way out.

I beg to differ

From 2015 to 2017 I have worked in the EU-funded DiDIY (Digital DIY) project, and am still studying the same topics. During DiDIY, we did several work that partially contradicts, and partially goes beyond, the statements above. Some of those results are listed below. I invite everybody to let me know what you think, and if you know of any similar projects happening today.

"Making should not be anything new". But maybe it already is /img/didiy-manifesto.jpg
The DiDIY Manifesto for a Creative Society