Call for Abstracts : Emerging fabrication models as generators of new socio-technical paradigms.

Rep Rap

The 5th STS Italia Conference titled “A Matter of Design. Making Society through Science and Technology” will be held in Milan, Italy, June 12 through 14, 2014, by the Italian Society of Science and Technology Studies, in collaboration with the Politecnico di Milano Doctoral School in Design.

The deadline for the current a call for abstracts for the 24 thematic sessions is February 14th

The Return of “Production”

The emerging fabrication models as generators of new socio-technical paradigms.

The track aims to foster a scientific debate focused on the socio-technical paradigm shift taking place in the processes of materialization and production of goods and services. Beyond the digital manufacturing platforms and the easy access to physical prototyping, a system of collaborative makerspaces and fablabs is emerging where people are finding new ways to create and share knowledge. Thus, activities in makerspaces/fablabs range from technological empowerment to peer-to-peer project-based technical training to local problem-solving to small-scale high-tech business incubation to grass-roots research. New practices of innovation are growing as well as new artefacts and services are developed using a true social community interaction. The connection of some phenomena of technological change, social, cognitive and economic drives a proliferation of new experiences in production, especially in the western economies (but not only) generating a new scenario of systemic transformation.

Some of these emerging phenomena are related to:

  • The democratization and miniaturization of ICT and manufacturing technologies;
  • The growth of the global population of creative people and designers and a consequent release of the cognitive stock generated by them;
  • The processes of insourcing of the manufacturing industry; the development of new forms of productive activism and indie capitalism;
  • The transformation of the logic of mass production and consumption in the long tail markets and the consequent emergence of a range of tailor-made products and on-demand;
  • The shift of paradigms in education models induced by learning by doing, doing it yourself and doing it with other approaches.
  • The evolution of relational models and community practices and tools for learning and socialization linked to production (from tinkering to open source-innovation).

This scenario enables a two-fold change: the competence of the actors on the processes of design-making and in the development and use of technologies needed to materialize goods and services. This requires a rethinking of the skills involved in the processes of creation and in the spaces of production, including the relationship between people and tools and relationships with the power and the existing authorities. The thematic area described above is an emerging field of studies both from the academic point of view (there is still no an integrated and well-established theoretical vision that can interpret these phenomena in their complexity) and from the experimental and action-research activities made by practitioners.

For more details see

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.