Fabricating Futures: Envisioning Scenarios for Home Fabrication Technology

  • Joshua G. TanenbaumEmail author
  • Karen Tanenbaum
Part of the Springer Series on Cultural Computing book series (SSCC)


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.


Industrial Revolution Urban Farming Science Fiction Fabrication Technology Digital Game 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Anderson C (2010) In the next industrial revolution, atoms are the new bits. Wired 18(2):58–67, 105–106Google Scholar
  2. Anderson C (2012) Makers: the new industrial revolution. Crown Business, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. Bleecker J (2008) Design fiction: a short slideshow on design, science, fact and fiction. Retrieved September 2011, from
  4. Bleecker J (2009) Design fiction: a short essay on design, science, fact and fiction. Near Future Laboratory. Retrieved September 2, 2011, from
  5. Blythe M (2014) The hitchhiker’s guide to ubicomp: using techniques from literary and critical theory to reframe scientific agendas. Pers Ubiquit Comput 18(4):795–808Google Scholar
  6. Bosch T, Sterling B (2012) Sci-fi writer Bruce Sterling explains the intriguing new concept of design fiction. Future Tense. Retrieved December 13, 2012, from
  7. Doctorow C (2009) Makers: TORGoogle Scholar
  8. Dourish P, Bell G (2014) “Resistance is futile”: reading science fiction alongside ubiquitous computing. Pers Ubiquitous Comput 18(4):769–778Google Scholar
  9. Ellis W, Pope P (2001) Transmetropolitan: filth of the city. DC Comics, Vertigo, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  10. Ellis W, Robertson D (1997) Transmetropolitan, vol 1. DC Comics, Vertigo, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  11. Ellis W, Robertson D (1998) Transmetropolitan: lust for life, vol 2. DC Comics, Vertigo, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  12. Jenkins H (1992) Textual poachers: television fans & participatory culture. Routledge, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  13. Jenkins H (2006a) Convergence culture: where old and new media collide. New York University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  14. Jenkins H (2006b) Fans, bloggers, and gamers: exploring participatory culture. New York University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  15. Kirby D (2010) The future is now: diegetic prototypes and the role of popular films in generating real-world technological development. Soc Stud Sci 40:41–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kirman BTK, Linehan JC, Lawson SF, O’Hara D.-d (2013) CHI and the future robot enslavement of humankind; a retrospective. Paper presented at the CHI’13 – extended abstracts on human factors in computing systems, Paris, FranceGoogle Scholar
  17. Reeves S (2012) Envisioning ubiquitous computing. Paper presented at the CHI’12, Austin, TXGoogle Scholar
  18. Shedroff N, Noessel C (2012) Make it so: interaction design lessons from science fiction. Rosenfeld Media, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Stephenson N (1995) The Diamond Age. Bantam Spectra, New York, NY.Google Scholar
  20. Sterling B (2005) Shaping things. MIT Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  21. Tanenbaum J, Tanenbaum K (2010). The reading glove: designing interactions for object-based tangible storytelling. Paper presented at the international conference on the augmented human, Mageve, France, 2–3 April 2010Google Scholar
  22. Tanenbaum J, Tanenbaum K (2011) Getting your hands on electronic literature: exploring tactile fictions with the reading glove. J Int Digital Media Assoc J (iDMAa) 8(2):46–57Google Scholar
  23. Tanenbaum K, Tanenbaum J, Antle AN, Bizzocchi J, Seif El-Nasr M, Hatala M (2011) Experiencing the reading glove. Paper presented at the international conference on tangible and embedded/embodied interaction (TEI ’11), Funchal, Portugal, 23–26 January 2011Google Scholar
  24. Tanenbaum J, Tanenbaum K, Wakkary R (2012) Steampunk as design fiction. Paper presented at the CHI’12, Austin, TX, USA, 5–10 May 2012Google Scholar
  25. Tanenbaum J, Williams A, Desjardins A, Tanenbaum K (2013a) Democratizing technology: pleasure, utility, and expressiveness in DIY and maker practice. Paper presented at the CHI’13, Paris, FranceGoogle Scholar
  26. Tanenbaum K, Hatala M, Tanenbaum J, Wakkary R, Antle AN (2013b) A case study of intended versus actual experience of adaptivity in a tangible storytelling system. User Modeling User-Adapt Interact, 1–43. doi:  10.1007/s11257-013-9140-9
  27. Weiser M (1991) The computer for the 21st century. Sci Am 265(3):94–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Informatics, Donald Bren School of Information and Computer SciencesUniversity of California-IrvineIrvineUSA

Personalised recommendations