ArticlePDF Available

State of the Art of Makerspaces - Success Criteria When Designing Makerspaces for Norwegian Industrial Companies


Abstract and Figures

For supporting the selection of the setup of a new makerspace in Molde, Norway, a pre-study was conducted on the state-of-the-art of makerspaces in Norway and beyond. Data includes: observations and interviews at 13 makerspaces visits in Norway, Denmark and the US, interviews with 11 future users and 1 questionnaire (N=25) answered by members of 8 international makerspace communities.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Procedia CIRP 54 ( 2016 ) 65 70
Available online at
2212-8271 © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
Peer-review under responsibility of the scientific committee of the 6th CIRP Conference on Learning Factories
doi: 10.1016/j.procir.2016.05.069
6th CLF - 6th CIRP Conference on Learning Factories
State of the Art of Makerspaces - Success Criteria when Designing
Makerspaces for Norwegian Industrial Companies
Matilde Bisballe Jensena*, Carl Christian Sole Semba, Sjur Vindalb, Martin Steinerta
aThe Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Institute of Engineering Design and Materials, Richard Birkelands Vei 2B,7491 Trondheim, Norway
bProtoMore, Britvegen 4, 6410 Molde, Norway
* Corresponding author. Tel.: +45 2992 9085. E-mail address:
For supporting the selection of the setup of a new makerspace in Molde, Norway, a pre-study was conducted on the state-of-the-art of
makerspaces in Norway and beyond. Data includes: observations and interviews at 13 makerspaces visits in Norway, Denmark and the US,
interviews with 11 future users and 1 questionnaire (N=25) answered by members of 8 international makerspace communities.
Besides identifying the state-of-the-art of makerspaces concerning Tools, Workspace design, Target group, Business models, Roles and
Activities, User profiles and Stories we determined key parameters to consider when designing and evaluating a new makerspace. These covers:
Activity and Usage, Creating a Community Feeling, and finally to what extend the makerspace manage to educate novel users in the literacies
of a makerspace. In general, our paper contributes with applicable knowledge on implementation of prototype-driven behavior.
© 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Peer-review under responsibility of the scientific committee of the 6th CIRP Conference on Learning Factories.
Keywords: makerspaces; prototypes; rapid prototyping; tools
In a world where the ability to make rapid changes and
where time to market is a key to success, companies need to
look at agile methods as rapid prototyping to speed up their
innovation process [1]. The Arena project iKuben and the
innovation company Molde Kunnskapspark (MKP) are
developing a new makerspace with a focus on rapid
prototyping for the industrial companies, who are members of
the iKuben cluster in Norway. The companies are primarily
providers of services, components and advanced systems in
the maritime sector and oil and gas sector. To secure the
relevance of such makerspace a need for deeper
understanding of such companies and as well as an
investigation of how the traditional makerspaces are working
today was identified and approached. What could be re-used
when developing a makerspace for industrial companies and
what are the success criteria for future evaluation of the newly
opened space ProtoMore.
Ikuben and MKP have since the summer 2015 visited and
interviewed a range of Norwegian and international
makerspaces in addition to interviewing industrial companies.
These data have been the base for how iKuben and MKP have
developed their makerspace, ProtoMore. Even though the pre-
study was conducted with the focus of designing a
makerspace in Molde the findings are relevant for anybody
who are considering building up a makerspace or considering
implementing rapid-prototyping methods into existing
Learning Factories. Hence this paper present findings from
the initial research as well as discuss some of the identified
topics when it comes to relevance for industrial companies.
2.Setting up the data acquisition
The strategy of this work has been highly grounded in the
theory of triangulation which main aim is to get a more
detailed and balanced picture of the situation [2]. The
situation in this case has been the state of makerspaces and
© 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
Peer-review under responsibility of the scientifi c committee of the 6th CIRP Conference on Learning Factories
66 Matilde Bisballe Jensen et al. / Procedia CIRP 54 ( 2016 ) 65 – 70
maker cultures in our aim to build up our own makerspace for
industrial companies in Molde as well as understanding the
future users of this makerspace. Moreover [3]’s definition of
levels of cultures, which consist of artifacts, espoused values
and underlying assumptions has been utilized. Especially
artifacts and values has had an particular foucs since they are
defined by the physical manifestations, which are seen and
observed in the open such as language, routines, sensibilities,
tools, stories and styles.
The research started with the conduction of 13 semi-
structured interviews at 13 makerspaces in Norway and
abroad. Beforehand an interview guide was made with
predefined closed questions, but also allowed open question in
order to establish room for unpredictable findings. The 13
interviewees all had the role of daily managers of the
respective makerspaces. The analysis of the interviews was
done through a cross-case analysis [4]. First relevant artifacts
related to the shared repertoire of the specific maker
communities were defined. These topics ended up being:
Tools, Workspace design, Target group, Business models,
Roles and Activities, User profiles and Stories.
To support findings from the interviews and to get insights
from other stakeholders using makerspaces a questionnaire
was answered by 25 active members of maker communities
all over the world. The questionnaire contained 6 more open-
ended questions such as; What makes a good makerspace?,
How can one facilitate creativity?
Finally, to meet the needs of future users 11 semi-
structured interviews were conducted with workers from the
iKuben cluster.
Below the reader is provided with an overview of the data
foundation (Table 1).
Table 1. The Data Foundation
Stakeholder Research Method
Makerspaces in Norway, Denmark, and the
1.FIX Makerspace - DIGS (NO)
3.Bitraf (NO)
4.Teknoteket Makerspace(NO)
5.Fellesverkstedet (NO)
6.Hackeriet (NO)
7.TrollLabs (NO)
8.Radicand Labs (US) + PRL (US)
10.TechShop (US)
11.AutoDesk (US)
12.Teknologisk Institut (DK)
Interviews (N=13)
Users of different Makerspaces in Norway,
Germany, Netherlands and the US
A questionnaire of
9 qualitative
questions (N=25)
Future users of ProtoMore; Representatives
of 11 companies from the iKuben Cluster Semi-structured
interviews (N=11)
3.Analysis & Findings
In this section the mapping of the makerspaces in relation
to the 5 overall topics; Tools, Workspace design, Target
group, Business models, Roles and Activities, User profiles
and Stories is presented. When necessary the categories of
each topic will be described followed by the results from the
13 different makerspaces. The analysis will be supported by
the observations in the makerspaces as well as findings from
the questionnaire and the iKuben company interviews.
3.1.Which Tools were most dominant
Table 2. Total count of machines in the 13 different Makerspaces
Machine/Tool Total
3D printer 11/13
Laser cutter 10/13
Mechatronics 9/13
CNC mill 9/13
Vinyl cutter 7/13
Sewing machine 6/13
Lathe 6/13
Welding 5/13
Foundry 5/13
Wood-working 5/13
3D scanner 4/13
Printing 3/13
Table 2 shows that the 3D printer, the laser cutter,
mechatronics and the CNC mill were the most dominant rapid
prototyping machines. These tools were also mentioned as
essential tools 15 out of 25 times in the questionnaire.
However, nothing proves whether these tools were used
simply because of their presence or whether they supported
the user needs in the most optimal way. Additionally, simpler
hand tools are also mentioned as important both in the
questionnaire answers and in the interviews at the
makerspaces. This covers drilling machines, hammer, files,
jigsaw etc. moreover, a short distance to nearby building
shops were mentioned by the iKuben companies to be an
advantage. Shopping tools and materials online were simply
too slow in terms of delivery time.
In relation to [5] one of the cornerstones of a communities
is the agreement of a Joint Enterprise. In this study the tools
became essential in defining the Joint Enterprise of a
makerspace since they are essential for the Joint Enterprise of
building and making. Interestingly the size of tools almost
served as annual rings of a tree. The bigger wood- and
metalworking machines were usually acquired after the space
had grown a solid user foundation and hence been running for
several years.
3.2.The style and functions of the Workspace
Table 3. Workspaces of the Makerspaces
Functionality Total
Machine Workshop 12/13
Event Space 10/13
Co-working space 7/13
Café Area 5/13
Matilde Bisballe Jensen et al. / Procedia CIRP 54 ( 2016 ) 65 – 70
Quiet Zones 3/13
Table 3 illustrates the mapping of workspaces of the 13
makerspaces. Certain furniture seemed to be common
denominators for the different areas such as office furniture
and white boards for co-working spaces, higher and smaller
tables in the workshop area, sofas and cafe tables in the cafe
areas, a stage in the event space and smaller soundproof
rooms such as the ”phone booth” at Radicand for quiet
spaces. Moreover, the overall mood of the workspace design
had a rough industrial attitude to it. Some furniture was laser
cut, made of old pallets or had origins from older machining
factories. It seems, as the mind-set of a makerspace does not
go well with polished and white surroundings, but instead
rough and colorful spaces. Most furniture was put on wheels
so that rooms quickly could be transformed into whatever
configuration needed.
A big challenge in the machine workshop areas was to
keep things tidy. It was a particular challenge when the users
of the space do not work in the space on a regular basis, but
are more sporadic. Several different solutions on how to
manage the space and make sure everything were put back
into place were identified. An extreme case was seen at
MESH where the challenge of keeping things tidy contributed
to closing down the workshop and refocus towards co-
working and event space rather than a makerspace.
Another identified need was storage capacity (Fig. 1).
Several spaces had plastic boxes of various sizes they offered
to frequent users for personal storage. The companies of
iKuben also expressed their need of having lockable storage
for projects with intellectual property concerns.
Finally, an interesting finding from the iKuben interviews
of the future users of ProtoMore was the need for test-
equipment to test the prototypes. Many of the companies are
in the offshore business and design solutions for subsea. To
build a prototype is therefore tightly connected to testing the
prototype in water. By fulfilling this need ProtoMore would
really differentiate from existing makerspaces, since advanced
testing facilities was not observed at any of the 13
Fig. 1. (a) Storage of Tools at AutoDesk; (b) DIY Storage at Fellesverkstedet;
(c) Storage solutions at Fellesverkstedet
3.3.Target Groups of the Makerspaces
The target group of the spaces can be divided into 6
different categories which can be seen in table 4.
Table 4. Target Groups of the makerspaces
Target Group Description Focus of the
Entrepreneurs Individual or groups of people
building projects for future business. 8/13
Makers Tinkerers who like to make their own 7/13
things and hack exciting things for
non-profitable purposes.
Children Students from primary school and up
to high school (Age 10-17)
Employees Employees at the institution of the
makerspace 3/13
Researchers Doing organized and systematic
investigation on the topic of rapid-
Students In this case students at Stanford
University and The Norwegian
university of Science and Technology
Companies Established organization which
delivers a product or service for
revenue and profit.
As one sees in table 4 a variety of target groups were
identified from private citizens and children to start-ups and
entrepreneurs. This study proves the claim about a so called
industrial production revolution is taking place. The main
finding in the topic is however that none of the Norwegian
makerspaces are targeting already established companies. The
American based company TechShop also started targeting
private users however since their popularity increased they are
now approached by bigger companies e.g. Ford, asking to
collaborate. Interesting these companies stress the importance
of TechShop not starting up a makerspaces inside the
company, but in a nearby area. Currently the companies pay
subscription fees for a predefined number of employees. This
touch a hypotheses that in order to become a success when
targeting established businesses the makerspace must actively
seek to offer something else than the established company
culture provides. This offering can simply be the physical new
destination as well as a meeting point for employees of
different departments. One of the future users of iKuben
formulated the importance of getting out of the bubble. In
prolonging to this statement come several comments
indicating a very positive attitude to working across
disciplines both internally inside the company as well as
collaboration among other iKuben companies.
3.4.Different types of business models
Table 5. Business Model of the makerspaces
Business Model Description Focus of the
Membership based: Usually a monthly fee the
users pay for access to the
Courses/workshops: Cover for the course.
With/without exclusivity of
workshop and with/without
Office space: Monthly or yearly rental of
offices or desks. 4/13
Rent of Machines: Pay per use for machines and
material. 4/13
Café/bar: Drink and/or food sale.3/13
Events: Cover for the event. 3/13
68 Matilde Bisballe Jensen et al. / Procedia CIRP 54 ( 2016 ) 65 – 70
Sponsors or Publicly
Financed: Funding from government
through a school, museum,
educational program etc.
Entrance: Pay for each entry to the
facilities. 2/13
Internal Budget: Covered by the internal
budget of the company.
Tuition: Funding from the student's
tuition through the school,
where the makerspace is
Table 5 illustrates how 9/14 of the makerspaces had a
business model with a starting point in the functionalities of
the makerspace - that is renting out the machines on an hourly
basis, Renting out office spaces or meeting rooms or having
profit through café activities. Several of the makerspaces that
rented out machines also facilitated introduction courses to
the different machines.
The Technological Institute in Denmark is publicly
financed and their equipment is free to use two days a week.
The impressive workshop at AutoDesk in San Francisco was
the only visited makerspace inside a private company. Here
the main function of the workshop was to test how
Autodesk’s main product - 3D-modelling software - supported
the actual prototyping machines when the employees of
AutoDesk built their projects. Secondly, it was used as a
(impressive) showcase for visitors.
The different business models identified were seen to serve
different target groups of the makerspaces so that e.g. makers
would pay by the hour whereas entrepreneurs more often
would pay a monthly fee. When interviewing the future users
from the iKuben cluster their comments concerned the topic
of providing freedom and flexibility. This concerned easy
access, which meant no complicated booking systems or
timely papers to fill out.
3.5.Observed paid Roles and Activities
Table 6. Paid Roles in the Makerspaces
Role Description Focus of the
Machine Workshop
responsible: Maintain machines, help users
and provide a welcoming and
safe atmosphere.
facilitators/Teachers: Organize and facilitate
workshops or courses.
Event Manager: Maintain an attractive
schedule of courses,
workshops, seminars etc.
especially focusing on
external stakeholders.
Cafe Worker: Employees in the café 4/13
Manager: Focussing on the members
renting office spaces and their
everyday challenges.
Researchers: Generating new knowledge on
rapid-prototyping related
The roles of the spaces can be divided into 6 different
categories, which are represented in table 6. In prolonging of
the challenge of keeping the machine workshop tidy an
important role in the makerspace became a Machine
Workshop Responsible (MWR). Table 6 show that 11 out of
13 of the makerspaces prioritized such an employee. However
many of the MWRs covered several other tasks. As an
example the workers a FIX Makerspace and Republikken are
both being Machine Workshop Responsible as well as
Workshop Facilitators and Community Managers. It was
considered a luxury to have resources for an employee only
doing this particular job (In the workshop at AutoDesk they
had 2 full-time workshop responsible). Noteworthy having a
person constantly in the makerspace area was observed to
create a sort of personality to the space rather than just being a
space with machines. Hence the role as MWR could have the
potential to be a constant cornerstone of the community one
seeks to build.
Teaching activities were also identified in 6/13 of the
makerspaces. The part of the curriculum with hard skills
covered most often how to use the machines, CAD-software
and Arduino programming.
From the iKuben interviews the facilitator role was found
to be the most important. There seemed to be a willingness to
innovate, but a need for having external facilitators to
challenge existing applied organisational methods.
3.6.User profiles and literacies of the makerspace
The user profiles of the spaces can be divided into 2
different categories: novel users and extreme users. In this
study both profiles were seen in all makerspaces with the
exception of AutoDesk who only had extreme users and at
MESH where the makerspace was closed down. Still the
democratizing of rapid-prototyping tools through public and
semi-public makerspaces means that the original user profile
of such machinery, being production and mechanical
engineers, has changed into more novel users approaching the
tools for the first time and thereby having very limited
experience on the capabilities of such machines and
equipment. In this study examples of both novel users as
hobbyists and students trying out the tools for the first time by
downloading pre made models or designing simple figures,
were identified. The counterpoints were experienced builders
with complex building projects e.g. a jet sleigh (Fig. 2). [6]
define the literacies of makers to cover; 1. Craftsman skills, 2.
Digital skills, 3. Mastery of rapid prototyping machines, 4.
Knowledge on Material Selection, 5. Improvisation, and 6.
Experimentation. The facilitated courses of the makerspaces
were observed to cover skill 1-3 whereas 4-6 came with
experience in the lab.
Matilde Bisballe Jensen et al. / Procedia CIRP 54 ( 2016 ) 65 – 70
Fig. 2. Example of a project of an Extreme User; A Jet Sleigh
3.7.The Stories and Attitudes
Both the novel and extreme user had in common that they
to a high degree define the community of the makerspace.
Both through the interviews at the makerspaces and through
the answers of the questionnaire it was mentioned several
times how a makerspace is not about the tools, but about
”It (the space, red.) is awesome partly because you have
loads of useful tools, but mainly because there are loads of
cool people hanging around.”
Member of Technologia Incognita
This was seen in the way the users and their projects
becomes the “success stories” of the makerspaces. All
makerspaces had case stories which employees spoke of with
a pride. Also, both user profiles were observed to do
volunteering work in the makerspaces such as clean ups,
interior projects or just hanging out in their free time. The
attitude of the different makerspaces were identified through
posters expressing mentoring sentences that at the same time
supports the essential paradigms of the maker culture:
”I have not Failed. I've just found 10000 ways that won't
Poster at Dansk Teknologisk Institut (DK)
“Stop Sketching Start Building,”
Poster at MESH (NO)
Also the playful attitude was identified in certain humorous
initiatives from morbid warning signs to wheels deciding
where to get the daily lunch (Fig. 3).
Fig. 3. (a) Poster at Radicand lab; (b) Lunch Wheel at AutoDesk
Finally different traditions defining the stories at the
different makerspaces were observed. This could be the first
object a user had to make before getting access to the
workshop. At Stanford it was a magnifier, which demanded a
part from each machine in the machine workshop. Others had
the ritual of making a Polaroid picture of new members,
which was hung on the wall with all the other members. Other
again had certain traditions as barbeques and other social
gatherings. It might seem as small details however according
[5] these rituals and traditions are what makes the community
differ from others and increase the community feeling.
The pre-research provided inspiration on how to design
ProtoMore as well as to suggest criteria to indicate the success
of a makerspace. These concerned three overall topics;
Activity and Usage, Creating a Community Feeling, and to
what extend the makerspace manage to transform novel users
into experienced ones. The three topics will be explained in
the following. Each section ends by defining questions to be
answered to evaluate the continuous process of implementing
and evaluating any given makerspaces.
4.1.A successful makerspace is a used yet tidy makerspace
The activity-level in a makerspace define the success of a
makerspace. This can simply be measured by how much the
machines are used and how many visitors the makerspace has.
Even when certain tools breaks this should be considered as a
small success, as long as nobody got hurt, since it is a witness
of activity. When it comes to keeping the makerspace tidy the
machine workshop responsible should to develop strict
cleaning guidelines as well as a well-understood status 0 for
the machine workshop. This should be introduced to all users
of the machine workshop before they start using the
makerspace. These guidelines are particularly needed in the
machine workshop areas or unmanned café areas. The
evaluating questions targeting activity and tidiness are as
How many days were the machines in the machine
workshop used individually?
What is the number of monthly visitors?
70 Matilde Bisballe Jensen et al. / Procedia CIRP 54 ( 2016 ) 65 – 70
How many workshops with a fee were facilitated this
How many free events/activities were arranged this month?
How much does the current workspace differ from the
originally designed Status 0? (Is the workshop tidy)?
4.2.Creating a community feeling - Offering Something
A particular challenge when designing makerspaces
targeting industrial companies is to overcome the already
established well-defined community and cultures. Hence, the
key to mobilize a makerspace community seems to be
providing the companies with something their current
workplaces cannot. This might be the feeling of freedom to do
something else, allowing internal and external cross-
disciplinary projects and simply to have fun.
The design of the space can support the message of
offering something else by using rough furniture, colourful
areas and inspiring furniture maybe even made by community
members themselves. These visual details seem to stress the
message: “We do think differently here”. This message can
also be communicated in the established booking system of
the space that needs to be simple and easy.
Another demand that was mentioned often in the
interviews with the iKuben companies was facilitating cross-
disciplinary projects both internal and external of the
companies. This would open up for networking and
knowledge sharing. Such events could moreover as a bonus
initiate success-stories, humorous initiatives and other rituals,
which were found essential during the interviews with the
The evaluating questions for the criteria are as follows:
How many people attended activities with and without
How many self initiated (humorous) projects or artifacts
has been installed in the workspace?
How many steps does a potential users have to go through
to book the equipment in the makerspace? Can these be
How many activities included workers from several
different companies?
4.3.Providing novel users with the makerspace literacies
A successful makerspace manages to transform novel users
into confident users by educating them in the maker literacies.
(6) defines the literacies of makers to cover; 1. craftsman
skills, 2. digital skills, 3. mastery of rapid prototyping
machines, 4. knowledge on material selection, 5.
improvisation and 6. experimentation. The first three can be
facilitated through courses and teaching. However the last
three come with experience and hence we suggest to measure
the amount of returning visitors to the machine workshop has
and whether they use one type of machine or several.
Out of the overall number of visitors how many had been
here before?
How many times were the different machines used?
This paper addresses the research question: How to design
a makerspace targeting Norwegian Industrial Companies? By
the conduction of a triangulated study consisting of interviews
of managers at 13 different makerspaces, interviews with 11
future users and finally a questionnaire (N=25) of current
members of other makerspaces we map the current State-of-
the-Art of makerspaces in Norway and beyond. We conclude
the main challenges when designing maker spaces for existing
companies to consist of; Keeping the space used, yet tidy;
Overcoming cooperate cultures and traditions and finally;
Transforming novel users into experienced ones.
To make sure a makerspace has solved this challenge we
end by suggesting success criteria and questions to ask when
evaluating the performance of a makerspace. With these
suggestions we contribute with applicable knowledge on
implementation of prototype-driven behavior in general.
Thanks to Ikuben and Molde Kunnskapspark for collecting
data for this work.. This research is supported by the Research
Council of Norway (RCN) through its user-driven
research (BIA) funding scheme, project number 236739/O30.
[1] Leifer LJ, Steinert M. Dancing with ambiguity: Causality behavior ,
design thinking , and triple-loop-learning. 2012;10(2011):151–73.
[2] Berg B. Qualitative research methods for the social sciences [Internet].
Fourth. 2004. 305 p. Available from:
[3] Schein EH. Organizational culture and leadership. 3rd ed. San Francisco:
Jossey-Bass; 2004. 437 p.
[4] Eisenhardt KM. Building Theories from Case Study Research. Acadamy
Manag. 1989;14(4).
[5] Wenger E. Communities of Practice and Social Learning Systems.
Organ Artic. 2000;7(2):225–46.
[6] Hielscher S, Smith A. Community-Based Digital Fabrication
Workshops: A review of the research literature. SPRU Work Pap Ser.
... "State of the Art of Makerspaces -Success Criteria When Designing Makerspaces for Norwegian Industrial Companies." [16] was an analysis that used true/false questions to assess how widespread a category element was. For example, for the "Tool dominance" section, 11 out of 13 surveyed makerspaces had a 3D printer, but only 5 out of 13 spaces had a foundry. ...
... The way a makerspace provides funding can impact its relationship to its members, as many spaces directly tie access to membership fees [16]. Examining the structure of a makerspace is often done from the lens of administration styles. ...
... Other spaces are classified by what paid roles exist, as opposed to volunteers. [16]. It can be difficult to compare spaces by this aspect, as while a higher education makerspace may have no explicit entry fee, their funding can come from tuition or additional fees for students. ...
... From the perspective of entrepreneurial platform, it focuses on the construction of service functions of the platform. These services include the supply of technology, financial support, training in entrepreneurship, the facilities for cooperation, and more [12,13]. The entrepreneurial ecology refers to how the external environment supports the construction and operation of maker-space. ...
Full-text available
Most of the existing studies on maker-space focus on internal subjects (such as makers) or external factors (such as policy support, ecological environment, and more). There has been relatively little discussion on the design of a series of mechanisms of maker-space. This paper theorizes the operating mechanism for platform services, resource gathering, network connections and endogenous cultural protection for the maker-space. It uses the method of fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) to analyze data from 63 maker-spaces in Zhejiang Province. The study proposes a reasonable mechanism design scheme for maker-space. The results show that the innovativeness of a maker-space is the result of the synergistic effect of various operating mechanisms. Among them, the platform service function, the channel for gathering resources, the formal linkages, and the culture for sharing achievements are indispensable support mechanisms for maker-spaces. Two effective ways to promote innovation in maker-space are outlined: first, preventing interventions from external resource providers; second, building an inclusive culture of trial and error.
... A recent publication by Rieken et al. (2019) makes a comprehensive review of literature on such companies referred to as "corporate makerspaces", where the employees and other invited components (for example suppliers, customers, etc.) will have the chance to work and collaborate on innovative ideas and projects, and are therefore advantageous for the company's innovation processes. Some studies have in particular provided details on this matter (see Liotard 2017;Jensen et al. 2016;Lô and Diochon 2018). The vital aspect of education and learning in MSs has been explored in several publications (see for example, Hynes and Hynes 2018;Martin 2015), and some attempts have been made to study the role of MSs on fostering innovation and entrepreneurship (Halbinger 2018;Mortara and Parisot 2018). ...
Given the growing importance and worldwide diffusion of new workplaces, this chapter presents an interdisciplinary overview on the core topic of this book through an up-to-date literature review of the phenomenon of emerging workplaces, more specifically coworking spaces and makers spaces. In other words, the aim is to provide a comprehensive review of research on coworking spaces and maker spaces as ‘third places’ for work, which are becoming alternative solutions within the context of the digital revolution and the rise of sharing economy. Here, such workplaces are considered at crossroads with different disciplines of business/management, economics, geography, sociology, planning, and other sciences. The review, therefore, covers studies conducted by scholars in varied fields, which are published in journals or presented in conferences, as well as unpublished thesis and working papers within the period 2001–2019. These studies have focused on several aspects of coworking spaces and maker spaces, which can be grouped in the following categories: (i) spatial characteristics (typologies and location factors); (ii) coworkers and socio-economics patterns (proximity features; social interaction and community making; economic performance; well-being); (iii) effects on the urban context in cities of different sizes. Considering the still very young topic of emerging workplaces, this review concludes by building a theoretical foundation, while highlighting the gap in the literature and proposing future research lines.
... FabLabs and makerspaces are small-scale workshop areas that offer the opportunity for digital fabrication and rapid prototyping for anyone interested in developing original ideas for solving problems [6]. These spaces are generally equipped with the necessary tools for digital and physical fabrication, including computers, 3D printers, plotters, laser engraving and cutting machines, vinyl cutters, CNC mill, welding, mechatronics hardware, and woodworking [7]. ...
Full-text available
FabLabs (Fabrication Laboratories), also referred to as makerspaces or hackerspaces, are open spaces for collaborative creation and horizontal cooperation, supporting the development of technological skills of its users. They often serve to promote STEM knowledge and engage participants in equitable education opportunities. Drawing from a participatory design methodology and a qualitative research perspective in a collaborative process between universities in Mexico and in the United Kingdom, this paper focuses on the setup of a FabLab in La Campana district in Monterrey, Mexico, an area characterized by its vulnerability and marginalization. Envisioned to serve as both, a STEM learning place and a fabrication workshop for the surrounding community, the FabLab Campana has provided a platform for the democratization of educational practices through the inclusion of participants from different settings, countries and ages, collaborating in the achievement of common goals, while stimulating creative thinking, and strengthening the bonding with participants and their needs. The FabLab counts with a carefully designed program of activities to promote STEM knowledge, an interactive design approach and context, and the development of skills based on dialogic learning. Evidence collected from observations and interviews supports the conception that the STEM learning practices carried out at the FabLab are a rewarding and meaningful experience for all involved, which also help to accelerate the adoption of technological tools in the surrounding community.
... Less evident, but not less important, is the education and training of the designers in the necessary skills to carry out the needed prototyping. In ever more multidisciplinary product development, education of users is one of the main challenges facing creative spaces and makerspaces [6]. Creating tools that lower the skill threshold for trying out technologies and solutions could greatly reduce the associated cost with such prototyping activities and potentially enable higher resolution prototypes in shorter timeframes. ...
Full-text available
In early stages of product development, prototyping is an invaluable tool which allows designers to generate learnings and uncover unknown challenges which can be used to further construct design requirements. While generous use of prototyping early in the design process might reduce the risk of premature design decisions, it also demands significant investments in terms of resources such as time, material, and skills. Tools that allow designers to rapidly implement and test new functionalities are therefore desired. With wirelessly communicating products having become ubiquitous in modern society, designers should be comfortable designing products utilizing these technologies. In this paper we present an Arduino library, named TrollBOT, that facilitates rapid implementation of wireless communication between two or more Arduinos. The Arduinos form nodes in a tree topology using inexpensive nRF24-based radio transceivers. The library is constructed in such a way that a minimal amount of new language syntax must be learned. All nodes can be programmed from a single master node in an intuitive manner, significantly reducing the amount of code that needs to be written as compared to similar existing solutions.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The subject of this work is a future development of a post-revenue model that will be based on innovative sales strategies. The industry in focus is global automotive industry. This paper gives an overview of why it is necessary to adopt a new business model and how much it is actually a requirement of the global automotive market itself. The automotive industry is a highly cyclical industry because it depends heavily on the availability of investments at some point, and for this reason, the corporate well-designed sales strategy is the primary tool for maintaining the level of revenues and their growth in the industry, such as automotive. The industry is highly turbulent and has faced severe changes in the recent decade where clients expect more service-oriented approach by major manufacturer as well as by other stakeholders involved in the automotive value chain. Thus, stakeholders have to innovate constantly to keep clients satisfied. In this respect, in our paper we highlight the most important aspects to be considered by business counterparts relevant to the automotive industry companies in order to build future sustainable business operations. We present the factors that need to be examined, especially in the context of emerging markets in Europe and provide directions for future research.
In the last decade, learning spaces have moved from the traditional classrooms and laboratories to sophisticated spaces that leverage on emerging technologies to facilitate and enhance active, social, and experiential learning. Engineering institutions around the globe are investing their resources in the creation of this spaces in order to provide students with a holistic training in line with the current demands in the job market. The present work identifies the main learning spaces implemented for engineering education and conducts and exploratory research about the role that Lean Thinking plays in their educational programs. The results suggest a clear distinction between Learning Factories and the group made of Fab Labs, Hackerspaces, and Makerspaces, which can be attributed to differences in governance and technical features. Learning Factories have successfully integrated Lean Thinking into their engineering curriculum, and while there is scarce literature concerning FLs, HSs, and MSs, there are elements in these spaces that can be considered lean enablers that could be exploited to integrate Lean Thinking into their research and educational activities.
Among the various factors affecting creativity and innovation, workspace environment has not been fully considered by most organizations. The literature on innovation shows that few empirical studies have investigated the influence of workspace environment on creativity and innovation. Using Ucommune (i.e., one of the largest makerspaces and entrepreneurial ecosystems in China) as an example, this research explored to what extent workspace environments affect individual and team creativity and innovation in organizations. The main results include that physical and non-physical environments contribute positively to employees’ individual and team behaviors. In addition, individual behavior can help improve employee creativity and enhance team behavior, but the direct impact of individual behavior on innovation is insignificant. Finally, team behavior can enhance organizational innovation. The findings thus provide empirical support for the increasing importance of the impact of workspace environments – especially their physical aspects – on creativity and innovation.
Design effort is a key resource for product design projects. Environments where design effort is scarce, and therefore valuable, include hackathons and other time-limited design challenges. Predicting design effort needs is key to successful project planning; therefore, understanding design effort-influencing factors (objective considerations that are universally accepted to exert influence on a subject, that is, types of phenomena, constraints, characteristics, or stimulus) will aid in planning success, offering an improved organizational understanding of product design, characterizing the design space and providing a perspective to assess project briefs from the outset. This paper presents the Collaborative Factor Identification for Design Effort (CoFIDE) Method based on Hird's (2012) method for developing resource forecasting tools for new product development teams. CoFIDE enables the collection of novel data of, and insight into, the collaborative understanding and perceptions of the most influential factors of design effort levels in design projects and how their behavior changes over the course of design projects. CoFIDE also enables design teams, hackathon teams, and makerspace collaborators to characterize their creative spaces, to quickly enable mutual understanding, without the need for complex software and large bodies of past project data. This insight offers design teams, hackathon teams, and makerspace collaborators opportunities to capitalize on positive influences while minimizing negative influences. This paper demonstrates the use of CoFIDE through a case study with a UK-based product design agency, which enabled the design team to identify and model the behavior of four influential factors.
Academic makerspaces have been shown to foster creativity and innovation, as they provide conditions for novel thinking to challenging problems. The capability to foster rich discussions, robust ideas, and unique cross-discipline collaborations and approaches stems directly from the diversity of people, their backgrounds and perspectives, as well as their interests, which become lively in the makerspace. This project leverages the creativity and communities of two makerspaces located in two major higher education institutions, to address the need for educational tools and materials for STEM education of students with visual disabilities. Higher education students who participated in this challenge formed multidisciplinary teams to create novel accessible, affordable devices containing inclusive technology to foster inclusive learning environments. This work is an example of how educational innovation and engineering can merge in a project mediated by makerspaces, culminating not only in the generation of the products expected, but also in valuable outcomes for higher education students who participated in this challenge-based experience.
Technical Report
Full-text available
Disclaimer/ The/ works/ available/ here/ are/ the/ responsibility/ of/ the/ individual/ author(s)/ and/ do/ not/ necessarily/ represent/ the/ views/ of/ other/ SPRU/ researchers./ As/ maLers/ of/ policy/ and/ prac5ce,/ SPRU/ does/ not/ endorse/individual/research/contribu5ons./ Guidelines.for.authors/ Papers/ shall/ be/ submiLed/ in/ pdf/ or/ Word/ format./ They/ should/ contain/ a/ 5tle,/ an/ abstract,/ and/ keywords./Papers/should/be/submiLed/to/one/of/the/Editors,/who/will/process/them/and/send/them/ to/the/appropriate/Associate/Editor./Two/members/of/SPRU/will/be/asked/to/provide/a/short/wriLen/ review/ within/ three/ weeks./ The/ revised/ versions/ of/ the/ paper,/ together/ with/ a/ reply/ to/ the/ reviewers,/should/be/sent/to/the/Associate/Editor,/who/will/propose/to/the/Editors/its/publica5on/on/ the/series./When/submiOng/the/authors/should/indicate/if/the/paper/has/already/undergone/peer)
Full-text available
Over the past thirty years, a powerful methodology for innovation has emerged from engineering and design thinkers in Silicon Valley. It integrates human, business and technical factors in problem forming, solving and design: "Design Thinking." This human-centric methodology integrates expertise from design, social sciences, business and engineering. It is best implemented by high performance project teams applying diverse points-of-view simultaneously. It creates a vibrant interaction environment that promotes iterative learning cycles driven by rapid conceptual prototyping. The methodology has proven successful in the creation of innovative products, systems, and services. Through courting ambiguity, we can let invention happen even if we cannot make it happen. We can nurture a corpus of behaviors that increase the probability of finding a path to innovation in the face of uncertainty. Emphasis is placed on balance of the questions we ask, and the decisions made. A suite of application examples and research finding will be used to illustrate the concepts in principal and in action.''
- This paper describes the process of inducting theory using case studies from specifying the research questions to reaching closure. Some features of the process, such as problem definition and construct validation, are similar to hypothesis-testing research. Others, such as within-case analysis and replication logic, are unique to the inductive, case-oriented process. Overall, the process described here is highly iterative and tightly linked to data. This research approach is especially appropriate in new topic areas. The resultant theory is often novel, testable, and empirically valid. Finally, framebreaking insights, the tests of good theory (e.g., parsimony, logical coherence), and convincing grounding in the evidence are the key criteria for evaluating this type of research.
This paper describes the process of inducting theory using case studies-from specifying the research questions to reaching closure. Some features of the process, such as problem definition and construct validation, are similar to hypothesis-testing research. Others, such as within-case analysis and replication logic, are unique to the inductive, case-oriented process. Overall, the process described here is highly iterative and tightly linked to data. This research approach is especially appropriate in new topic areas. The resultant theory is often novel, testable, and empirically valid. Finally, framebreaking insights, the tests of good theory (e.g., parsimony, logical coherence), and convincing grounding in the evidence are the key criteria for evaluating this type of research.
This essay argues that the success of organizations depends on their ability to design themselves as social learning systems and also to participate in broader learning systems such as an industry, a region, or a consortium. It explores the structure of these social learning systems. It proposes a social definition of learning and distinguishes between three `modes of belonging' by which we participate in social learning systems. Then it uses this framework to look at three constitutive elements of these systems: communities of practice, boundary processes among these communities, and identities as shaped by our participation in these systems.
Sumario: What culture is and does -- The dimensions of culture -- How to study and interpret culture -- The role leadership in building culture -- The evolution of culture and leadership -- Learning cultures and learning leaders