MakerSpaces and their impact on society is the subject of a report by the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, or RSA. The report argues that MakerSpaces are a peek into a new way of living that incorporates principles of self-reliance, sustainability and open-source thinking.
Here are some key points from the report:
- MakerSpaces are becoming increasingly popular among the general population, not just among Makers, artists and DIY enthusiasts. People of all ages and types are coming together to create, repair and modify things.
- MakerSpaces represent a desire for people to regain control in the wake of rapidly-changing technology and to become more self-reliant and self-sustainable.
- The Maker movement is different from the Arts and Crafts movement that arose in the late 19th century in response to mass production. While the Arts and Crafts movement saw new technology advances as a threat and resisted technological change, the Maker movement embraces and utilizes new technology.
- People get much more out of MakerSpaces than the things they make. Key benefits include self-fulfillment, learning and enterprise (turning ideas into profitable products).
- MakerSpaces reveal a potential new way of living based on the principles of self-reliance, sustainibility and open-source thinking at a time when people are worried about the disintegration of the middle class.
- Challenges for MakerSpaces include governance, finance, membership and ethics and the balance between pragmatic and idealistic ideas and funding.
You can read a summary of the report, How MakerSpaces can Help us Master Technology for a More Human End, on the RSA blog.
RSA is a global network of 28,000 people who support the RSA’s mission to enrich society through ideas and action. Here’s a short video for you to learn more about them: