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Circular Makerspaces: the founder's view

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journal contribution
posted on 18.05.2017 by Sharon Prendeville, Grit Hartung, Clare Brass, Erica Purvis, Ashley Hall
Makerspaces – open access design and fabrication workshops – provide new contexts for design practice through ‘distributed production’. The global community of makerspaces has evolved quickly and in turn, substantial hype is attributed to its potential for radical sustainable innovation. In this article, we explore this potential in the context of the new ‘circular economy’ agenda. We focus the research on the critical role of makerspace managers/founders who are recognised as gatekeepers to circular practices. The research method is action-led including expert interviews (academics and founders/managers) as well as two generative context-mapping workshops, run at selected makerspaces in collaboration with their founders/managers. We unearth everyday ‘how-to’ guidance to interweave circular practices within makerspaces from the outset by: fostering an enabling culture; building local connections; nurturing individual/community capacities; and stimulating practical know-how. However, while the research reveals immense opportunities to cultivate circular literacy from within makerspaces, the prospects to ask more profound questions about our economy, through makerspace practices, are found to be compromised by day-to-day concerns. The insights from this research can act as a starting point for future work in this emerging research area.

Funding

This research was in-part supported by an EPSRC-funded re-distributed manufacturing network grant awarded to the Royal College of Art in 2015 [grant number EP/M017591/1].

History

School

  • Loughborough University London

Published in

International Journal of Sustainable Engineering

Pages

1 - 17

Citation

PRENDEVILLE, S. ... et al, 2017. Circular Makerspaces: the founder's view. International Journal of Sustainable Engineering, 10 (4-5), pp. 272-288.

Publisher

© Taylor and Francis

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

Acceptance date

29/03/2017

Publication date

2017

Notes

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Sustainable Engineering on 4 May 2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/19397038.2017.1317876.

ISSN

1939-7038

eISSN

1939-7046

Language

en

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