What is the power of thinking by making?
Making is the act resulting in something coming to be. The arts and crafts movement preceded today’s ‘maker’ culture. ‘Traditional’ forms of making were passed down from master to apprentice, through years of repetition. Today we are witnessing a growing popularity of more experimental and innovative making: less rehearsed but also less reliable(?).
In reaction to globalized mass production, throw-away cultures, consumerism and the omnipresence of chain stores, new types of community spaces like fablabs, makerspace or hackerspaces pop up in our neighborhoods.
Here we find community interaction and knowledge sharing on both local and global level, with the help of networked technologies. These social environments promote informal, peer-led shared learning often motivated by fun and self-fulfillment. People come to gain practical skills, learn how to repair, reuse, improve and tweaking designs.
The potential to enable more participatory approaches and create new pathways into important topics is clear, but this path is not for all of us.
Should we all make the shift and become makers? It may be frustrating to master a new skill in this busy world. Should we take the time to move from frustration to pleasure and start to think through materials and skills?