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Wednesday, June 15 • 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Session 3 - Building Bridges: a Makerspace Manifesto

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Makerspaces, a phenomena currently gaining ground on college campuses, enable the quintessentially human activity of “making.” Yet the human is only a fragment of the equation of making: the objects, both those made and those used for making (i.e. technology), have an equal if not greater part. Maker technology converges with object-oriented thinking and the transhuman. In what ways do makerspaces intersect our humanist past and our (potential) posthumanist future? How do makerspaces interact with and reflect our understanding of humanity and our world? What does this mean for an educational makerspace? Can this impact other campus concerns, like diversity? 

This session proposes theoretical models underlying “makerspace,” situated within frameworks of media ecology and political economy, while looking at the sites and modes of making already existent on campus and how they intersect with the concerns and possibilities of a “makerspace” or “makercorps.” While this may be a seemingly unconventional lens, it provides a structural analysis of the place of a makerspace in a Liberal Arts environment. Applying this paradigm highlights positive and negative effects of a makerspace, and can therefore be used to make a makerspace that challenges our already-made assumptions, and supports flexibility and inclusivity. Through careful analysis and rupture, makerspaces at institutions of higher education can be an opportunity—particularly as the digital emerges from its isolated box and begins to be assumed, rather than stated (e.g. “design” instead of “digital design”)—to revitalize conceptions of technology by holistically incorporating tech into multiple facets of campus life.

avatar for Kyle Burnham

Kyle Burnham

Educational Technologist, Hamilton College
Kyle Burnham is an Educational Technologist at Hamilton College, from where she had previously graduated with a degree in Comparative Literature. She specializes in digital design for physical objects (currently, only 2D at Hamilton, with 3D soon to come), having always been intrigued... Read More →

Wednesday June 15, 2016 3:00pm - 4:00pm EDT
Science Addition 214