Paper presented by Massimo Menichinelli at the 2CO – COmmunicating COmplexity – international design conference 2nd editionRead More ...
DSI – Workshop on Digital Technology to Support Social Innovation @ INSCI2017
DSI – Workshop on Digital Technology to Support Social Innovation
Organized by SINTEF, Cibervoluntarios, Farapi, Politecnico di Milano, TNO, IAAC and supported by the CAPS projects: SOCRATIC, MAKE-IT and OPEN4CITIZENS.
One of the workshops of the 4th International Conference on Internet Science, 22-24 November, 2017, Thessaloniki, Greece.
Find out more at: http://www.socratic.eu/dsi-workshop/
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4th International Conference on Internet Science
MAKE-IT researchers participated in presenting a paper in the main conference and in the organisation of the DSI – Workshop on Digital Technology to Support Social Innovation and in presenting another paper in it.Read More ...
How can we understand collaborative behaviours in Maker projects on platforms?
Makers very often work in collaboration with other people, and several times they share their work online as open source (software, hardware, design, …). I’ve been researching how people work collaboratively especially in Open Design projects for several years, and now a bit also in MAKE-IT as well, especially in how these collaborative behaviours could be understood in connections with platforms and especially Collective Awareness Platforms (CAPS).
Makers (and designers and engineers and …) could engage in Open Design in several ways: designing projects, discussing projects, discussing Open Design itself, building platforms that host Open Design projects (like Fablabs.io, the open source platform of the global Fab Lab network)… and so on. These are among the many activities that could be done in the Open Design world and that have an influence on it, and platforms have an increasingly strong impact on these collaborative behaviours. Understanding collaborative processes by makers on such platforms is also an important steps towards understanding platforms in general. For these reasons I wrote a paper for the Design for Next conference (and published in The Design Journal) and a software library that tries to answer to this research question: how could the analysis of social interactions over time on such platforms improve the understanding of design-related collaborative processes?
Understanding this would enable us to advance our understanding of how platforms connects and influence makers and designers in their collaborative work on Open Design, and to provide support to the activity of Maker and Design researchers and of reflective practitioners as well. In this case I focused on analysing projects managed with the Git software and GitHub platform, which are very popular among software developers especially but also among makers. These tool and platform have been investigated with several approaches, papers and softwares, but not with makers, designers and Open Design as the main focus. Furthermore, it’s hard to find reusable software from these researches so that it would be easier to replicate them, especially for reflective practitioners (you would need to have some programming and data science skills, but several makers already have them!). For this reason I developed a software library in the Python language, since it is arguably the most popular language for data science, and therefore anybody can use the library for extracting data about collaborative behaviours on Git and GitHub; the analysis is up to you, with the tools that you prefer. This is therefore not only research, but also innovation as in disseminating research results and tools to make them available to everybody.
I called this library platform_analysis since its aim is to analyse interactions over time in several platforms; for the moment it works with Git and GitHub, but it will be soon extended to other platforms. The library extracts the data from projects and returns a graph of time-stamped interactions that can be then analysed with social network analysis: interactions can be then analysed for the project as a whole or as they happen through time, and we can see therefore how participants collaborated in a project, in which kind of interactions and when. This would enable researchers and practitioners to understand what is happening in such projects and platforms.
This is one of the software applications or libraries we are releasing from MAKE-IT (we will publish more of them soon!), available for discussion and development in a GitHub repository and for the installation as a Python module. This is based on a couple of previous experimentations and tests, now finally fully integrated and structured in a complete software library that is then much more structured, complete and easier to use for all the researchers and reflective practitioners (designers and makers) for analysing their projects!
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Notes for future research on the impact of the Fab Lab network
For more than 10 years, the global Fab Lab network gathers each year in a conference/symposium/meeting where its members can meet, discuss and share ideas, projects, knowledge and collaboration. This year FAB13, the 13th edition, was held in Santiago de Chile with “Fabricating Society” as its central topic during July 31 – August 6 2017. Unfortunately I could not attend it, so I’m not going to discuss the event, but here you can find pictures and videos of the event and here a complete overview of what happened during FAB13.
What I’d like to talk about here is that these FAB events usually have a small research track where members of the community present scientific papers about their activities and research, and this year its topic followed closely the topic of the main conference: “Fab Labs and Society” (and I was part of the program committee and reviewed some contributions). You can read the complete book of the proceedings here and download it here, and since some papers were only available as abstracts for the conference you can find the final version of all papers here. Beside the papers, the editors of the proceedings kindly invited me and other researchers to provide an article for the proceedings without a peer review evaluation (more like a book chapter), and I wrote a short chapter with notes for future research on the impact of the Fab Lab network. This short contribution aims at proposing a set of research questions for the Fab Lab network, that should be considered more as notes shared among members of the community than as a structured research proposal. Furthermore, this was the opportunity to reflect about how to improve our understanding of the impact of the Fab Lab network and of the Maker movement, a very strategic issue that I think it is still under researched. Luckily, MAKE-IT is one of the first contributions towards exploring this dimension, and in the article I also explains why I think MAKE-IT could be useful for researchers and the Fab Lab network in this direction.
You can read the article in the book of proceedings or its draft here below, under the Publication page, or on Academia.edu here and on ResearchGate here.
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A workshop on digital technology to support social innovation: call for papers
INSCI, the International Conference on Internet Science, is one of the main research events about CAPS, and last year we presented a paper at the INSCI2016 edition in Florence:
The international conference on Internet Science aims at progressing and investigating on topics of high relevance with Internet’s impact on society, governance, and innovation. It focuses on the contribution and role of Internet science on the current and future multidisciplinary understanding of societies transformations, governance shifts and innovation quests. Its main objective is to allow an open and productive dialogue between all the disciplines which study the Internet as a socio-technical system under any technological or humanistic perspectives.
The edition of this year will be the 4th International Conference on Internet Science (22-24 November, 2017) in Thessaloniki, (Greece), and beside submitting papers, we are also organising one of its workshops called DSI – Workshop on Digital Technology to Support Social Innovation. The workshop is organized by SINTEF, Cibervoluntarios, Farapi, Politecnico di Milano, TNO, IAAC | Fab City Research Lab (I’m one of the organizers) and supported by the CAPS projects SOCRATIC, MAKE-IT and OPEN4CITIZENS.
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The advent of the Web 2.0 enabled the growth of user-generated content, virtual communities and new forms of collaboration over the internet. Since then, multiple platforms, such as the CAPS platforms , have emerged tapping into collective knowledge for fostering awareness, collaboration and innovation.
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D3.1: case study on 10 different Maker initiatives
Want to know more about Maker initiatives? How they are organized? How the Maker community forms around the initiative and how makers learn from each other? Which values are important and which impact is created in Maker initiatives?
These are the fundamental research questions that we have addressed in case studies in 10 different Maker initiatives in Europe. We have conducted in total 39 interviews with managers of these initiatives and makers which build the basis for in-depth case descriptions that range from Makerspaces and Fab Labs such as Fab Lab Barcelona in Spain, Happylab Vienna in Austria, DTI Fab Lab in Denmark, HRW Fab Lab and Dezentrale in Germany, and Fab Lab Zagreb in Croatia to companies operating at the interface between making and industry, such as Arduino in Italy, Smart Bending Factory in the Netherlands and Create It Real in Denmark and a Maker Faire, namely the Mini Maker Faire Tartu in Estonia.
We just released the results of the case study in Deliverable D3.1 here below or also on its page, where you can also comment it.
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Design for Next
The 12th EAD Conference is hosted by Sapienza University of Rome in Italy, and it will foster discussion among designers, academics and experts about the articulated scenario of contemporary design and its perspectives, with intent to nurture diversity and interdisciplinarity.
MAKE-IT participated with the presentation of two peer-reviewed papers:
- Makers’ ambitions to do socially valuable things
- A data-driven approach for understanding Open Design. Mapping social interactions in collaborative processes on GitHub