IDI Seminar Series: Commoning Care in Grassroots Maker Communities

Virtual event

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Speaker: Dr Cindy Kohtala (Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Design, Aalto University, FI)

Cindy Kohtala studies DIY makers who design, make, invent and innovate in shared community technology workshops (fab labs, makerspaces, hacklabs and other niche spaces), from a Science & Technology Studies perspective foregrounding design and socio-environmental sustainability. She examines makers’ techno-utopian imaginaries in enacting a ‘new industrial revolution’ and how makers self-organize and act to democratize and localize material production.

She also lectures and writes about design-for-sustainability, Product-Service System design, open design, co-design, distributed economies and design activism, and she has been involved in several urban activism initiatives in Helsinki. 

Designing the Commons: Seminars Series

This seminar series is organised by the Institute for Design Innovation, Loughborough University London as part of the ‘Counter-Framing Design‘ project.

The concept of the commons is mutable and its relevance in the age of digital capitalism hotly contested. Yet, at the onset of the COVID crisis, new commons emerged that responded to frontline struggles in crucial and urgent ways – through the formation of solidarity networks, digital knowledge commons to contest hegemonic digital infrastructures and support mutual aid, alongside community groups who acted to reclaim decaying public spaces in the face of physical distance measures. At the same time, concepts of commons emerge in new visions of the Welfare state (Cottam, 2020)*, that risk being jeopardised by idealist interpretations thereof. Conceiving the commons as a shared collective practice, this interdisciplinary seminar series will focus on these issues and debates to unravel the relevance of commons today, through the lens of design. 

How to attend

This event will be hosted online via Microsoft Teams. If you would like to join, please email the event organiser, Dr Sharon Prendeville, who will provide further joining instructions.