The New Revolution: Maker Culture & Open Innovation

People construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world, through experiencing things and reflecting on those experiences. When we encounter something new, we have to reconcile it with our previous ideas and experiences, in the process maybe changing what we believe, or discarding the new information as irrelevant. In any case, we are active creators of our own knowledge, perception and consciousness. To do this, we must ask questions, explore, and assess what we know or shall I say what we don’t know. The best way to learn is to simply start doing and tinkering the world surrounding us.

Since the Industrial Revolution people have become used to mass manufacturing and use & throw mindset. We humans have become very consumerist and market driven, like machines devouring on natural resources without much thinking behind our actions. There is an eagerness to be better than others around; there is a need of a bigger house, a bigger car and more cash in wallet. Everything is about consumption for majority of people living on planet Earth.

 

Open Innovation

There are a few who believe in appropriation and free sharing of knowledge, information and resources. These few people are the Open Source folks. And since the advent of Internet communication and collaboration across international and cultural boundaries has grown exponentially. Collaborative and open work like Wikipedia, Instuctables, Arduino, FabLab are some of the examples which are empowering people to pursue their hobbies and a few services like Etsy, Kickstarter are enabling these hobbyist into becoming full time entrepreneur. Open source hardware, open source software and open design are altering the way we look at things.

Maker Movement

‘Maker culture’ emphasizes learning-through-doing in an informal, networked, peer-led, and shared social environment driven by fun and self-fulfillment. Maker culture encourages novel applications of technologies, and the exploration of intersections between traditionally separate domains. Community interaction and knowledge sharing are often mediated through networked technologies, with websites and social media tools forming the basis of knowledge repositories and a central channel for information sharing and exchange of ideas, and focused through social meetings in shared makerspaces/hackerspaces.

And my generation, Millennials (especially in India) were supposed to go to schools and learn maths, science, history and all. No one really paid attention to equip us in something as trivial as sewing a button or changing a tyre because this was never supposed to be one of the purpose of Education. A lot of us have education but we really don’t have a clue about the real world. The Maker Movement is helping us gain the life skills which we missed out in our schools through DIY (Do-It-Yourself) or should I say DIT (Do-It-Together).

In future Makers will continue to be found in fields ranging from food to crafts to science to technology. And together, they will push each other forward to invent and build new and innovative things. Many technologies that will drive this growing population are not even built yet. In effect, the maker movement has only just begun.

 

The Intent

The intent behind setting up this blog is to map my adventure down the maker lane and as a repository of my work during my Graduation Project at National Institute of Design. The core objective of the project is to explore the opportunities which co-creation, open source and maker culture can facilitate. As having worked on the open source hardware and software in the past I feel that there is huge potential in co-creating systems, processes, environments and products with different stakeholders. This project will be the foundation for the work I imagine myself doing in the coming years. And I feel that open source and making has a huge potential in bringing people closer to each other and enriching lives.

I find sharing knowledge, experiences and making something with my own hands as a karmic and spiritual journey towards something higher in purpose. As Dr. V.S. Ramachandran ponders “Are we merely chimps with a software upgrade?” I think

We are the creators of our own world. I would like to build mine and not just buy it from a nearby supermarket.

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