Arduino and access: value tensions in the maker movement


This paper applies the construct of value tensions to an empirical investigation. Specifically, this work surfaces values tensions in data collected from a prominent online discussion forum about the Arduino electronics prototyping platform. Findings show how two value tensions—easy access versus technical opportunity, and amateur versus expert practices—inform different sentiments toward creative technologies.

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    Direct quotes were not included in order to protect the identity of the commenters. While commenters likely know they are contributing to a public forum, they do not expect to be quoted in publications. An internet search could reveal the source of any quoted content and lead to other identifying information such as a personal website or twitter handle. For a further discussion on handling online user data see Kozinets’ Netnography (2010).


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The author would like to thank the attendees and organizers of the workshop Value Sensitive Design: Charting the Next Decade for organizing the special edition, as well as the reviewers for their insightful feedback. The author is grateful for Benji Xie and Marc Schmalz’s assistance using Beautiful Soup, as well as the support and comments from classmates and colleagues at the University of Washington.

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Correspondence to Nick Logler.

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Logler, N. Arduino and access: value tensions in the maker movement. Ethics Inf Technol (2018).

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  • Arduino
  • Creative technology
  • Maker movement
  • Value sensitive design
  • Value tensions