A topological space for design, participation and production
Álvaro, Sandra (2019), “Atopological space for design, participation and productio” at The Jornal of Peer Production, Issue #13 open (April 2019)
‘Space of transformation’ is a concept borrowed from Serres’ communication theory and here redefined after the evolution of the post-digital milieu and the materialistic critique of the same. Hackerspaces, fablabs, medialabs and other shared machines shops are defined here as spaces of transformation, places for the encounter between humans and non-humans, where disciplines are bridged together, hitherto severed, giving place to collective practices related to education, production and society.
Shared machine shops are sited locally but also connected globally. Online, they share innovative forms of production, education and collective organization, giving place to a complex ecosystem. This article presents an analysis of the topology of this ecosystem conducted by means of tracking and visualizing the online interactions between the hackerspaces listed at the platform Hackerspaces.org. The application of network analysis is aimed to answer the research questions: First, how shared machine shops are locally and globally connected? Second, what links hackerspaces among them and these with new social issues? The concept of shared machine shops as spaces of transformation and the study of their mutual relations allows for an understanding of the transformative capacity of these spaces and how they are producing a new space for social innovation through its mutual interchange of information.
hackerspaces, network analysis, design, social innovation, space of transformation