The Critical Making Movement. How Using Critical Thinking in Technological Practice can Make a Difference

Jan 25, 2019 – 35C3 – Refreshing Memories. Chaos Computer Club e.V. / Ach je Verlag

This paper summarises the session “The Critical Making Movement: How using critical thinking in technological practice can make a difference”, held at the 35th Chaos Communication Congress between 27-30. December 2018 in Leipzig, Germany. It begins with a short history of the maker movement, summarises current societal impacts achieved in makerspaces and criticism directed towards maker culture. The paper then offers critical thinking as a way to rethink professional practices conducted in makerspaces to achieve a more reflective practice and enable the utilisation of the resources available in makerspaces for a society-oriented and citizen-driven practice. The origins of such critical making practices are touched upon, which lie in critical technical practice, critical design and critical engineering. All 3 – very briefly summarised in this paper – influence current criti- cal making streams in academia as well as citizen-driven projects. The paper also offers a brief insight into current examples of academic syllabuses, research and citizens’ bottom-up projects. Two cases are further elaborated to inspire more grassroots critical making research: EngineeringGood and the Hack-a-Toy workshops in Singapore and LabCOCO with Contos de Ifa in Brazil. ISBN 978-3-947720-31-6

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