Chapter

Creativity in the Digital Age

Part of the series Springer Series on Cultural Computing pp 193-221

Fabricating Futures: Envisioning Scenarios for Home Fabrication Technology

  • Joshua G. TanenbaumAffiliated withDepartment of Informatics, Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences, University of California-Irvine Email author 
  • , Karen TanenbaumAffiliated withDepartment of Informatics, Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences, University of California-Irvine

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

Making and Maker culture are growing at such prodigious speed that there are very few people whose lives aren’t touched by them, even if they don’t realize it. The scope of activities and practices that fit under the heading of Maker Culture is vast: woodworking, electronic prototyping, robotics, urban farming, software development, fire-art, weaving, circuit-bending, citizen science, prop-making, cosplay, reenactment, soapbox racer rallies, home genetic sequencing, bio-art, homesteading, knitting, rocketry, and many other more obscure practices all fit inside the “tent” of Making. Making is many things: it is a practice, a set of values, a culture and a community, a return to the past, an embracing of the future, and a new mode of production and consumption. While much of the best making involves a return to lost handcrafts and traditional “boutique” production techniques, one cannot underestimate the impact of recent innovations in small-scale fabrication technologies. Machines that used to only be available at industrial scales, at prices that could only be borne by large corporations, are now becoming accessible to the home Maker. And some machines, like 3D printers, are creating new workflows and prototyping processes that defy traditional industrial production methods.