This paper describes a peer-production movement, the hackerspace movement, its members and values. The emergence of hackerspaces, fablabs and makerspaces is changing how hacker communities and other like-minded communities function. Thus, an understanding of the nature of hackerspaces helps in detailing the features of contemporary peer-production. Building on previous work on ’fabbing’, two different sets of results are presented: (1) empirical observations from a longitudinal study of hackerspace participants; and (2) a theoretical description of hacker generations as a larger context in which peer-production can be located. With regard to (1), research data has been collected through prolonged observation of hackerspace communities and two surveys.


hackerspace makerspace fablab community open source motivation survey fabbing peer-production movement sustainability 


  1. 1.
    Aalbers, M.: Motivation for participation in an open source community (2004), (accessed June 12, 2010 )
  2. 2.
    Barber, R.: Hackers profiled - who are they and what are their motivations? Computer Fraud & Security (2), 14–17 (2001) ISSN 1361-3723, doi:10.1016/S1361-3723(01)02017-6Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bonaccorsi, A., Rossi, C.: Comparing motivations of individual programmers and firms to take part in the open source movement: From community to business. Knowledge, Technology & Policy 18(4), 40–64 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bloom, J.: The geneticist in the garage (2009), (retrieved June 9, 2011)
  5. 5.
    Farr, N.: Respect the Past, Examine the Present, Build the Future (2009), (retrieved October 27, 2011)
  6. 6.
    Flowers, S.: Harnessing the hackers: The emergence and exploitation of outlaw innovation. Research Policy 37(2), 177–193 (2008)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Gershenfeld, N.: Fab: the coming revolution on your desktop - from personal computers to personal fabrication. Basic Books (2007)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Gollin, M.: Theft or innovation? Nature 463(7284), 1022–1023 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Lakhani, K., Wolf, R.: Why hackers do what they do: Understanding Motivation Effort in Free. Open Source Software Projects (2005)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Lakhani, K., Von Hippel, E.: How open source software works. Research Policy 32(6), 923–943 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Levy, S.: Hackers: Heroes of the computer revolution. Anchor Press/Doubleday Garden City, NY (1984)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Lin, Y.: Hacker culture and the FLOSS innovation. In: Handbook of Research on Open Source Software: Technological, Economic, and Social Perspectives, p. 34 (2007)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Mackey, P.: DIY Bio: A Growing Movement Takes on Aging (2010), (retrieved July 6, 2011)
  14. 14.
    Mikkonen, T., Vadén, T., Vainio, N.: The Protestant ethic strikes back: Open source developers and the ethic of capitalism. First Monday 12(2), 1–12 (2007)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Moilanen, J.: Hackerspaces, members and involvement, survey study (2010), (retrieved July 6, 2011)
  16. 16.
    Moilanen, J.: Over 500 active hackerspaces (2011), (retrieved July 6, 2011)
  17. 17.
    Mosher, D.: DIY Biotech Hacker Space Opens in NYC (2010), (retrieved June 9, 2011)
  18. 18.
    Oldenburg, R.: The great good place: Cafes, coffee shops, bookstores, bars, hair salons, and other hangouts at the heart of a community. Da Capo Press (1999)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Oldenburg, R.: Celebrating the third place: inspiring stories about the “great good places” at the heart of our communities. Da Capo Press (2001)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Raymond, E.: The cathedral and the bazaar: musings on Linux and open source by an accidental revolutionary. O’Reilly & Associates, Inc., Sebastopol (2001)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Rosenbaum, R.: Secrets of the little blue box, copy of original article (1971), (retrieved June 12, 2010)
  22. 22.
    Sauer, R.: Why develop open-source software? The role of non-pecuniary benefits, monetary rewards, and open-source licence type. Oxford Review of Economic Policy 23(4), 605 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Sterling, B.: The hacker crackdown (2002), (retrieved July 18, 2010)
  24. 24.
    Taylor, P.: From hackers to hacktivists: speed bumps on the global superhighway? New Media & Society 7(5), 625 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Torvalds, L., Diamond, D.: Just for fun: The story of an accidental revolutionary. Harper Paperbacks (2002)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Troxler, P.: Commons-based peer-production of physical goods - is there room for a hybrid innovation ecology? (2010), (retrieved October 15, 2010)

Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jarkko Moilanen
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Information SciencesUniversity of TampereTampereenFinland

Personalised recommendations