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Maker Culture

“Maker – someone who creates or invents things, either using traditional crafts or technology”
Cambridge Dictionary

As some would argue, making and makerspaces have always existed. It is an inherent part of human nature to create, design and build things with our hands and with tools. But what is the Maker culture and how did the Maker movement begin?

In its simplest definition, the Maker culture is the activities and ideas of people who create or invent things, either using traditional crafts or technology, it is meant to reignite the artisan spirit.

Certain aspects of the Maker culture such as hobbyists, arts and crafts groups, shop classes, practical education and science fairs have existed for ages, but the Maker movement gained steam in the early part of 2005 when Make: magazine started publishing information about maker-related projects, that gave the movement its impetus.

“When I talk about the maker movement, I make an effort to stay away from the word “inventor”—most people just don’t identify themselves that way. “Maker,” on the other hand, describes each one of us, no matter how we live our lives or what
our goals might be” Dale Dougherty (Make: Magazine founder)

One major characteristic of this movement, which distinguishes it from previous versions of people simply making things, is the impact of community-building and the collaboration of people working to make things within a single space. Today, the typical activities of Maker movement range from assembly of products by using low-cost or even broken electronics and raw materials to the employment of new technologies such as 3D printing, 3D scanning, e-textiles. All activities have in common a strong do-it- yourself orientation adopting a hands-on approach.

Some of the popular fields that are addressed within the Maker culture are art, metal-working and jewelry making, calligraphy, design, and technology. Products that are produced within these communities have a focus on sustainable development, helping the environment, and improving the local culture. The movement can be seen in classrooms, offices, museums, libraries, and much more. FabLabs, Hackerspaces and Makerspaces are the physical representations of the Maker movement: these spaces seek to provide communities, businesses and entrepreneurs with the infrastructures and manufacturing equipment indispensable to turn their ideas and concepts into reality.

Maker culture is taking off worldwide and it is benefitting the world in many different ways. It is about dreaming, designing and building anything without the old barriers of the cost and availability of tools. By attending group events in our Makerspace, checking out or reaching out to share your skills, you are not only adding to this amazing culture and movement, but you are learning and improving your personal skills as well!

Source: Futures of Work: Perspectives from the Maker Movement, 2018

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