Critical Making

On January, 14th 2021, the Critical Making project was officially kicked off! We are beyond excited that the work of so many GIG members led to GIG being part of a great consortium in this 30-month-project! 

While you are here, feel free to learn more about critical making in GIG: check out a Talk at 35C3 by Regina Sipos, Saad Chinoy and Ricardo Freire Ruiz, a Workshop at Communities & Technologies 2019 hosted by Regina Sipos and Victoria Wenzelmann, and the Session on Sustainable Making at DOTS 2019. And then enjoy the rabbit hole of awesome things that result from critical thinking applied by a maker community!

About the Project

The Coronavirus  (Covid-19) pandemic has shown the importance of the global maker community for a rapid response to the lack of medical hardware supplies and reveals the great social innovation potential of the maker movement. 

In Critical Making we want to add scientific insights into the potentials of the maker movement for critical, socially responsible making, and show how these communities can offer new opportunities for young makers of all genders to contribute to an open society via open innovation.  

Thus, we will study grassroots innovation processes taking place in maker spaces, hackerspaces, fablabs, etc. and online spaces and relate them to RRI practices. More specifically, we will search for and analyse existing innovation and co-design processes taking place in these open spaces to find out in how far they reflect or contradict RRI principles. 

Following a mixed method approach will enable us to collect data, analyze it, actively improve practices and develop theories and synthesize findings. Next to analysing existing practices, we will co-design, evaluate and disseminate concrete interventions that aim to foster RRI principles in the maker movement. In three case actions the project will specifically look at aspects of gender, openness and the recruitment of young talents: 

  1. A case will increase the gender awareness practices in the maker community. This is achieved through piloting 3-4 co-created measures to counteract the existing gender imbalance in maker spaces and in online spaces and create guidelines on gender awareness
  2. A case will support the engagement of young people in maker spaces and further R&I activities via maker space actions and educational programmes that expand the formal curriculum with skills for responsible research and innovation
  3. A case will provide methods to strengthen the social responsibility of the open hardware movement. This is achieved by piloting a mentoring programme for RRI aware, open hardware business innovations with a special emphasis on projects that advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through open science, social innovations or environmental sustainability.

As a result we will co-define measures how to better implement RRI principles in the open innovation movement taking place across maker communities. Our findings will provide hands-on input for practitioners in the field and will enrich the scientific knowledge base in the RRI community on innovation processes outside of academia, aiming to harness the full innovation potential of the global grassroots maker movement.

The consortium partners are: Zentrum Für Soziale Innovation GmbH (Austria), Technische Universität Berlin (Germany), Teknologian tutkimuskeskus VTT Oy (Finland)Wikifactory Europe SL (Spain), and Global Innovation Gathering e.V. (Global network, formally registered in Germany)

Stay up to date!

If you want to get updates about our work, please send a short email to

cm {at} globalinnovationgathering {dot} org

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 101006285