Makers & the City: New perspectives on Artisans and Localized production

Letizia Chiappini
URBEUR, Università degli Studi Milano-Bicocca, Milan, IT

Elanor Colleoni
Dipartimento di Scienze Umane per la formazione « Riccardo Massa », Università degli Studi Milano-Bicocca, Milan, IT

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Abstract

The makers movement, a new wave of Do-it-yourself culture, emerged by the recent introduction on low-budget digital fabrication that allows de-centralize production of high-tech goods, such as 3d printer and laser-cut. This movement reflects interesting characteristics and mechanisms that interrelate with urban transformation and developments of societal change under late capitalism. Indeed, in a global economy, the city can handle the development of offline networks, improving the exchange of information and knowledge and therefore allow the concentration of activities, events and resources. Notwithstanding technologies that appear to allow for frictionless communication and interaction across space, overcoming geographical distance in the process, the city retains its centrality and continues to harbour concentrated hubs of activity. Indeed, despite the fact that technology and the production of material objects is part of makers phenomenon, it remains embedded in the city. As Michael Storper (2013: 147) wonders “why does interaction remain local in such a borderless world of knowledge flows, in particular in technology ? ».

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