Concept Symbols Atypo Phases The book

Archaeological Museum

Maker Faire

Maker Contact
In this section, which is intended to depict and define the Makers, the Fab Labs and the Hacker Spaces, I have chosen to highlight some concise definitions found on Wikipedia.
I am convinced in fact that Wikipedia illustrates well the sharing attitude that is typical of these milieux, and that it may hence be regarded as a primary source.
Sisal Twinner Machine, Nairobi, August 2010

Maker culture
The maker culture is a contemporary culture or subculture representing a technology-based extension of DIY culture. Typical interests enjoyed by the maker culture include engineering-oriented pursuits such as electronics, robotics, 3-D printing, and the use of CNC tools, as well as more traditional activities such as metalworking, woodworking, and traditional arts and crafts. The subculture stresses new and unique applications of technologies, and encourages invention and prototyping. There is a strong focus on using and learning practical skills and applying them creatively.
Everything old is new again.
Hobbyists have made custom things for a long time. Evidence is in ham radio and RC modelling where very early innovation came from the garage, the shed or the loft. Similarly, the evolution of hobbies into for-profit businesses has a long history.
A famous example is in the relationship between the Homebrew Computer Club and Apple Inc., in which Steve Jobs became involved in the maker subculture through his early interest in Heathkit electronics kits. "The kits taught Steve Jobs that products were manifestations of human ingenuity, not magical objects dropped from the sky", writes a business author, who goes on to quote Jobs as saying "It gave a tremendous level of self-confidence, that through exploration and learning one could understand seemingly very complex things in one's environment".
"Maker-Culture" re-brands pursuits and processes that extend into prehistory — making things and communicating how. That re-branding helps shift focus onto the new pursuits and processes enabled and reshaped by recent innovations: Internet, open-source memes & means, and the growing ubiquity of computing tools in smaller, faster, cheaper, more flexible forms.
Greater emphasis on some memes distinguishes the newer "Maker-Culture":
-- If it can be imagined it can be made.
-- The first step in making a thing, even a non-physical thing, is visualizing it.
... and computers can greatly aid that visualization, including sketching, drawing, simulation, analysis, and prototyping.
-- A most effective step in refining/developing a thing is collaborating with others on it.
... and Internet can greatly aid that collaboration
... and digital repositories are especially useful where data is used to directly reproduce objects and their derivatives.
-- Begin with the end in mind.
-- Making things always combines form with function; the art of making should be appreciated and celebrated.

Innovative traffic-light, Nairobi, 2010
A hackerspace (also referred to as a hacklab, makerspace, or hackspace) is a community-operated workspace where people with common interests, often in computers, technology, science, digital art or electronic art, can meet, socialise and/or collaborate.
Hackerspaces can be viewed as open community labs incorporating elements of machine shops, workshops and/or studios wherehackers can come together to share resources and knowledge to build and make things.
Many hackerspaces participate in the use and development of free software, open hardware, and alternative media. They are often physically located in infoshops, social centers, adult education centers, public schools, or on university campuses, but may relocate to industrial or warehouse space when they need more room.
Hackerspaces with open membership became common within Germany in the 90s in the orbit of the German Chaos Computer Club, with the C-base being probably the most impressive example. The concept however was limited to less than a dozen of spaces within Germany, and did not spread beyond borders at first. Most likely this was because initial founding costs were prohibitive for small groups without the support of a large organization like the CCC.
In 2006, Paul Bohm came up with a fundraising strategy based on the Street Performer Protocol to build Metalab in Vienna, Austria, and became its founding director. He and others started the Hackerspaces.org community in 2007 which maintains a list of many hackerspaces, and documents patterns on how to start and run them. As of 2012, there are an estimated 700 to 1,100 active hackerspaces all over the world and the numbers are growing.
Most recently the advent of crowdfunding and Kickstarter have put the tools required to build hackerspaces within reach of an even wider audience. Right now those tools are for example used by Bilal Ghalib, who had previously worked on a Hackerspace documentary, and others to bring the hackerspace concept to the Middle East.
The specific activities that take place at hackerspaces vary from place to place. In general, hackerspaces function as centers for peer learning and knowledge sharing, in the form of workshops, presentations, and lectures. They usually also offer social activities for their members, such as game nights and parties. They typically provide space for members to work on their individual projects, or to collaborate on group projects with other members. Hackerspaces may also operate computer tool lending libraries, or physical tool lending libraries.
The building or facility the hackerspace occupies is important, because it provides physical infrastructure that members need to complete their projects. In addition to space, most hackerspaces provide electrical power, computer servers and networking withInternet connectivity. Well-equipped hackerspaces may provide machine tools, audio equipment, video projectors, game consoles, electronic instrumentation (such as oscilloscopes and signal generators), electronic components and raw materials for hacking, and various other tools for electronics fabrication and building things. Some hackerspaces provide food storage and food preparation equipment, and may teach courses in basic or advanced cooking. Tools and material for sewing, craft, and art are also important at many hackerspaces.
A workshop at HackerspaceSG in Singapore
Fab lab
A fab lab (fabrication laboratory) is a small-scale workshop offering (personal) digital fabrication.
A fab lab is generally equipped with an array of flexible computer controlled tools that cover several different length scales and various materials, with the aim to make "almost anything". This includes technology-enabled products generally perceived as limited to mass production.
While fab labs have yet to compete with mass production and its associated economies of scale in fabricating widely distributed products, they have already shown the potential to empower individuals to create smart devices for themselves. These devices can be tailored to local or personal needs in ways that are not practical or economical using mass production.
Photo of the Amsterdam FabLab at the Waag Society