Maker Culture  /  Insights

Applying Research to Maker Ecosystems

Contributor:

Jen Schachter

Robert W. Deutsch Research Fellow

Date:

May 4, 2017

Location:

Baltimore, MD

Jen Schachter is a Robert W. Deutch Research Fellow who is currently pursuing ongoing research tied to the maker culture, movement, and workforce development, through involvement in a variety of projects. Through site visits to makerspaces and interviews, she is translating how maker networks originate organically within the frame of research which is quantifiable. She brings her fabrication and installation design experience from her work with Under Armour, Digital Harbor Foundation, Nation of Makers and Tested with Adam Savage of Mythbusters.

Background

Jen has started collecting interviews from makerspaces nation wide to pull possible criteria for maker competencies.

These ecosystems can then inform and create new projects, employment opportunities, teams and resources. how networks originate organically within the frame of research which is quantifiable. Website resource to showcase stories

Challenge

As it stands, there aren’t sets of competencies to evaluate specific disciplines, for example, printmaking and carpentry. She wants to explore how these skills could be quantified via credentialing and micro badging systems. From here, she then wishes to identify a digital competency currency that mirrors how these connections exist organically. She wants to encourage a network of skill sharing and skill learning to engage makers to grow and to encourage the uninitiated. This will hopefully nurture a culture of connections, networking and engagement.

Solution

Jen continues to collect interviews to inform a written survey to measure maker competencies. It is also her aim to capture stories via a website to authentically capture the network of stories that embodies Maker Culture. Active makers can connect with other spaces, mentor fledgeling spaces and inspire the uninitiated to dive into a skill.

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