Defining the “Maker” Space: Collaboration and Innovation Across Disciplines

Monday, January 27, 2-3 p.m.

Williams Building 013, a.k.a., English Department “Common Room” (basement level)

Digital Collaboratories occur in multiple forms – symbolic, intellectual, virtual, and physical. One unique model combines the intellectual and physical center to result in something like a “maker” space – a simultaneously brick-and-mortar and virtual location where students and scholars can collaborate on specific projects, where partnerships get formed, and where field experts can work within and across their disciplines building repositories, tools, or theory. But “maker” spaces require a unique kind of infrastructure and a commitment to inter-disciplinary thinking. What ethic should drive these spaces so as to make them sustainable? How do we ensure that they serve cross-, inter-, and extra-disciplinary functions, when there are varying (often divergent) definitions of “digital” work? Join us at this semester’s first Digital Scholars meeting to consider various models of such spaces where they have occurred, and to discuss the possibilities for such a space at FSU. Participants will be encouraged to consider real examples of institutional collaborations or “maker”-space projects that show potential for innovating across disciplines. They will also be invited to discuss projects or ideas of their own that could benefit from such a collaborative arrangement, or have benefited without it.

Participants are invited to read the following:

to browse the following projects:

and/or to visit the following collaboratories:



1 thought on “Defining the “Maker” Space: Collaboration and Innovation Across Disciplines

  1. I enjoyed Dr. Marty’s talk about the nascent iMaker space at FSU. Though maker culture is not an area of familiarity for me, I am intrigued by the possibilities therein. Neil Fraistat’s description of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) was inspiring, though it was pointed out in the meeting that many (most?) institutions do not have the resources to host such an elaborate lab. It seems more realistic to expect maker labs in institutions to begin small, with perhaps a space and handful of computers, perhaps a few thousand dollars worth of other equipment. A few faculty might be persuaded to take ownership of the space.
    But intriguing to me, as I pointed out in the meeting, is the potential for maker labs to function as “third places” where interdisciplinary work might be undertaken. It seems important to think about not only how technology and technologists might serve the humanities, but how the humanities might serve in return. How do we understand made artifacts as texts? How does the notion of authorship connect with making? And so on.

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