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Makers, Materials and Machines: Understanding Experience and Situated Embodied Practice in the Makerspace
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9066-4673
2022 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis explores interaction between humans, materials, and machines, in the context of makerspaces. The concept of making describes a practice that deals with new technologies in combination with craft to create artifacts in physical, digital and hybrid forms. Despite substantial research, there is still a need to examine what practices of making have to offer to Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) research. This particularly concerns investigations of the close relations between the multitudes of different activities, materials, machines and things in such shared spaces.

Making is discussed as a practice of importance for interaction design and conceptualised as involving a particular mindset when engaging with materials and machines. Based on this, my work argues that the phenomenon calls for a deeper reflection on recent movements on material interaction and materiality on the one hand, and perspectives on machine interactions on the other. I explore how situated and embodied practices can be revealed in investigations of makerspace activities. Further, my work describes how makers experience and make sense of the materials and machines that populate makerspaces. Finally, I map out how insights on experience and practice with machines and materials can be conceptualised in a way that become useful for contemporary interaction design practices.

The presented research builds on four qualitative studies, in which I draw on investigations in the makerspace and combine an ethnographic approach with participant observation, design methods and contextual inquiry. The resulting five collaboratively written papers frame making as an experience in itself and discover particular ways of making sense of materials. Further, we study embodied and situated dimensions of 3D printing, as well as practices concerning modding and the maintenance of machines and explore how practitioners may develop a maker mindset. The papers contribute with a set of conceptualisations such as “material literacy” when taking artifacts apart, “machine sensibility”, which practitioners show in their interaction with 3D printing, and the “pliable machine” that emerged from studying modding of a laser cutter. These conceptualizations highlight new aspects and perspectives of maker activities and interactions previously less accounted for.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Computer & Systems Sciences, Stockholm University , 2022. , p. 116
Series
Report Series / Department of Computer & Systems Sciences, ISSN 1101-8526 ; 22-003
Series
Södertörn doctoral dissertations, ISSN 1652-7399 ; 208
Keywords [en]
HCI, making, materials, machines, experience, makerspace, situated practice, embodied interaction, material interaction, maker culture, material turn, digital fabrication, material literacy, machine sensibility, pliable machine
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects Human Aspects of ICT
Research subject
Information Society
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-208467ISBN: 978-91-7911-998-0 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7911-999-7 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-208467DiVA, id: diva2:1693138
Public defence
2022-10-21, Lilla hörsalen, NOD-huset, Borgarfjordsgatan 12, Kista, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European StudiesAvailable from: 2022-09-28 Created: 2022-09-05 Last updated: 2022-11-04Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. "It's a Bomb!" – Material Literacy and Narratives of Making
Open this publication in new window or tab >>"It's a Bomb!" – Material Literacy and Narratives of Making
2017 (English)In: Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2017, p. 121-132Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper analyses a series of events in which a discarded box found in a garbage room is examined and taken apart in the context of a makerspace. The participants' inquiry provided a rich and multifaceted experience in various settings, including puzzle-solving, exploring physical and digital materials, engaging people with different skills. The social engagements with and around the artifacts brought certain interpretative aspects to the fore. Situated acts of interpretation worked as ways of building a coherent narrative and a meaningful experience. In the paper, we highlight the relationship between on the one hand the subjects' skills and motivations to understand and make sense of the technology at hand which we call material literacy, and on the other hand the specific material qualities that encourage or trigger certain interpretations and experiences. The qualities we discuss are: opacity, risk, authenticity, uniqueness, age, and hybridity. This study allows us to reposition the contemporary understanding of makerspaces beyond that of being places for innovation and learning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2017
Keywords
Material literacy, Experience, Taking apart, Material qualities, Maker culture
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Research subject
Man-Machine-Interaction (MMI)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-149540 (URN)10.1145/3025453.3025529 (DOI)000426970500011 ()978-1-4503-4655-9 (ISBN)
Conference
2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Denver, Colorado, USA, May 06 - 11, 2017
Available from: 2017-12-05 Created: 2017-12-05 Last updated: 2022-11-04Bibliographically approved
2. Producing Printability: Articulation Work and Alignment in 3D Printing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Producing Printability: Articulation Work and Alignment in 3D Printing
Show others...
2019 (English)In: Human-Computer Interaction, ISSN 0737-0024, E-ISSN 1532-7051, Vol. 34, no 5-6, p. 433-469Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Three-dimensional printing is widely celebrated as enabling open design and manufacturing practice. With easy-to-use techniques such as automated modeling, fabrication machines ostensibly help designers turn ideas into fully fledged objects. Prior HCI literature focuses on improving printing through optimization and by developing printer and material capabilities. This paper expands such considerations by asking, how do 3D printing practitioners understand and create “printability?” And how might HCI better support the work that holds together printing workflows and changing ecosystems of materials and techniques? We conducted studies in two sites of open design: a technology firm in Silicon Valley, California and a makerspace in Stockholm, Sweden. Deploying workshops and interviews, we examine how practitioners negotiate the print experience, revealing a contingent process held together by trial and error exploration and careful interventions. These insights point to the value of tools and processes to support articulation work, what Strauss and colleagues have called the acts of fitting together people, tasks, and their ordering to accomplish an overarching project. We show that despite the sought-after efficiencies of such manufacturing, 3D printing entails articulation work, particularly acts of alignment, exposing messy modes of production carried out by a varied cast of practitioners, machines, and materials.

Keywords
Human computer interaction, User interfaces, 3-D printing, Articulation works, Automated modeling, Manufacturing practices, Printing workflows, Silicon valley, Stockholm, Sweden, Trial and error, 3D printers
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Research subject
Information Society
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-179061 (URN)10.1080/07370024.2019.1566001 (DOI)000480290400003 ()
Available from: 2020-02-17 Created: 2020-02-17 Last updated: 2022-11-04Bibliographically approved
3. Machine Sensibility: Unpacking the Embodied and Situated Dimensions of 3D Printing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Machine Sensibility: Unpacking the Embodied and Situated Dimensions of 3D Printing
2020 (English)In: Proceedings of the 11th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction: Shaping Experiences, Shaping Society (NordiCHI '20), New York: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) , 2020, p. 1-13, article id 53Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper offers a conceptual contribution to understand 3D printing practice. We have studied conversations between 3D printing practitioners who discuss failed and discarded printed artifacts and analyzed how they make sense of the printing process. Based on findings of interactions with the machine itself, materials used, and designs applied, this study contributes to the field of HCI by highlighting the embodied and situated dimensions of 3D printing. Introducing the concept of machine sensibility, we characterize our findings around: i) assessing printability, ii) monitoring and intervening and iii) reading the prints. We use the term machine to highlight the importance of understanding the materiality of the 3D printer, and sensibility, to address critical interactions and abilities that surfaced in studying this practice. The concept allows researchers to put 3D printing practice in the context of contemporary interaction design research and helps to understand challenges of material-machine-design interdependencies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2020
Keywords
3D printing, machine sensibility, personal fabrication, embodied interaction, 3D printing practice, failure, material turn, human machine interaction
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Man-Machine-Interaction (MMI)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-188949 (URN)10.1145/3419249.3420166 (DOI)9781450375795 (ISBN)
Conference
NordiCHI '20: Shaping Experiences, Shaping Society, Tallinn, Estonia, October 25 - 29, 2020
Available from: 2021-01-14 Created: 2021-01-14 Last updated: 2022-11-04Bibliographically approved
4. Becoming a Maker Pedagogue: Exploring Practices of Making and Developing a Maker Mindset for Preschools
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Becoming a Maker Pedagogue: Exploring Practices of Making and Developing a Maker Mindset for Preschools
2021 (English)In: Proceedings of 5th FabLearn Europe / MakeEd conference 2021, New York: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2021, article id 6Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Making has with its mindset and hands-on agenda found ways into all levels of education. From primary school to higher education, in after-school curricula and public places of learning, making has made a considerable impact. In early childhood education, teachers and their professional development are however less in focus. We present a municipality-driven project of training nine preschool teachers with a maker mindset. Our data builds on teachers’ experience and practice, shared in two workshops and 16 blog posts. The pedagogues’ reflections of their own and learners’ actions make way for how ‘making’ impacts them as educators. We use Resnick’s four P’s: Projects, Peers, Passion, Play and contribute Places and Presentation as additional elements of creative learning. We show that developing a maker mindset entails openness, curiosity, co-creation, responsiveness and the willingness to include technology and materials into professional practice, which is key towards becoming a maker pedagogue. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2021
Keywords
maker pedagogue, early childhood education, maker mindset, makerspace, four P’s, creative learning, municipality makerspace
National Category
Information Systems Educational Sciences
Research subject
Man-Machine-Interaction (MMI)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-200364 (URN)10.1145/3466725.3466756 (DOI)978-1-4503-8989-1 (ISBN)
Conference
FabLearn Europe / MakeEd 2021, St. Gallen, Switzerland (virtual), June 2-3, 2021
Available from: 2022-01-04 Created: 2022-01-04 Last updated: 2022-11-04Bibliographically approved
5. Modding the Pliable Machine: Unpacking the Creative and Social Practice of Upkeep at the Makerspace
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Modding the Pliable Machine: Unpacking the Creative and Social Practice of Upkeep at the Makerspace
2022 (English)In: C&C '22: Creativity and Cognition, New York, NY, USA: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2022, p. 220-233Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

As digital fabrication machines have become more accessible and widely available, practitioners in maker communities have become increasingly responsive to the opportunities to achieve bespoke modifications, known colloquially as ‘modding’. Drawing on interviews with five experienced makers who engage in modding a laser cutter, along with ethnographic observations of maker-machine interactions, we analyse makers’ experiences and ‘war stories’ to frame modding as a prevalent but less explored maker activity. We highlight how makers care for machines, how they cope with risks when engaging in modding, and how mods are essentially creative projects. Based on our findings, we present the conceptualisation of the ‘pliable machine’ – a socio-technical system constituted by, (1) an accessible machine that can be altered, (2) maker skills that go beyond intended use, and (3) a surrounding ‘maker culture’ of caring, sharing and experimentation. Treating the machine as a material offers an alternative perspective on our interactions with technology; we show how the laser cutter becomes pliable in the hands of those who mod.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York, NY, USA: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2022
Keywords
Modding, pliable machine, laser cutter, digital fabrication, makerspace, maker culture
National Category
Human Aspects of ICT
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-207683 (URN)10.1145/3527927.3532804 (DOI)
Conference
Creativity and Cognition (C&C '22)
Available from: 2022-08-05 Created: 2022-08-05 Last updated: 2023-01-18Bibliographically approved

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Landwehr Sydow, Sophie

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  • en-GB
  • en-US
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Output format
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