Global Makerspace(s) – Critical Perspectives, Positions and Practices

In times of terrestrial turmoil – of intersecting social, cultural and environmental crisis, new tactics and concepts are needed to re-envision and re-describe how we want to live in the future. As global urbanization accelerates, informal settlements, not least in cities in the Global South, will be where the majority of new urban dwellers will live. The way in which these dwellings are assembled, knowledge and resources (geopolitically) produced and consumed, will greatly influence the possibilities of transitioning towards global sustainability, addressing urgent issues such as climate change, poverty and resource depletion.

The movement of maker- and hackspaces currently emerging across the globe demonstrate an inclusive Bottom-up approach towards collaborative production, consumption and learning. Embedded in a global community, yet confronting local issues, they employ open knowledge and open source technologies to experiment with and probe out alternative perspectives, positions and practices.

In dialogue with a series of critical makerspaces from e.g. Ghana, Togo, Jordan, Colombia and Indonesia, and in close collaboration with MA students from architecture and urban planning, this inter- and transdisciplinary studio class reflected on the relationships between power and participation, technology and accessibility, digital and physical commons. How might these communities incite modes of sustainable urban transformation, forming critical cultures that foster counter tactics and practices, in order to envision and prototype alternative urban futures?

This course took place as a collaboration with Prof. Dr. Philipp Misselwitz and Dr. Moritz Ahlert from Habitat Unit (International Urbanism and Design, TU Berlin).

The introduction to this course took place on the 06.11.2020 at 10:00 via Zoom.
michelle.christensen(at) und florian.conradi(at)

Prof. Dr. Michelle Christensen & Prof. Dr. Florian Conradi
Technische Universität Berlin
Faculty I - Humanities and Educational Sciences
Institute of History and Philosophy of Science, Technology, and Literature