Maker culture and material-centered interaction design


The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies

Project type


Making is relevant, as it explores both the encounter with and interactions in between physical and computational materials within the situated context of the act of creation. This doctoral research project tackles maker practice, analyses the makerspace as site and the people and their experiences within it with the help of ethnographic fieldwork and participant observation. Coming from a HCI perspective, we are using the notions of experience and expertise as a lens to explore different facets of making.

Making serves hereby as an explorative playground for us to understand how to approach and design with emerging materials and tools, by analysing how makers engage and interact with the materials, and relate to it's impact on society (i.e in schools) and industry (small scale fabrication & startups) and eventually what can be learned from that. By chosing maker practice as instances where various materials meet and are regarded in equal terms, we are moving beyond the physical-digital divide, and link our research to the discourse around the “material turn” within interaction design, which spurred as a result of a growing interest in the materiality of computation. Making and maker practice is therefore a fruitful example of the emerging relations between materials, their structure and scale, and occurring interactions with them.

By bringing a North European perspective to the table, the project is examining the role of the makerspace and its driving forces in contrast to the maker movements impact in other contexts (research predominatly conducted in North America and China). Current research evolves around material and immaterial aspects of making as well as 3D printing. By introducing “material literacy” we explore the relation between the interpretation of emerging artifacts and their role in maker settings.

Martin Jonsson - Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor
School of Natural Science, Technology and Environmental Studies

Jakob Tholander, Docent vid DSV, Stockholm Universitet (Supervisor)

Research area / geographic area

Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies Media Technology Media Baltic Eastern Europe

Project time

2014 — 2020


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