Making Things!

  • Project leaders: Katrien Dreessen en Selina Schepers (LUCA Faculteit Kunsten, RU Inter-actions, RG Social Spaces)

‘Making Things!’ is a Participatory Design that entails a collaboration between local youth work organisation ‘Gigos vzw’ (www.gigos.be) and LUCA School of Arts (www.socialspaces.be). ‘Making Things!’ aims at setting up design workshops together with local children and youngsters of 6 – 16 years old and youth workers, within the context of FabLab Genk. Rather than defining the variables of the workshop beforehand, the designers, researchers and youth workers involved are looking for ways to ‘design’ the workshops in a participatory manner. This means that, via e.g. co-design, the children are asked to design the workshops themselves before effectively participating in them. In doing so, ‘Making Things!’ is part of a strategy to actively involve others (besides students and traditional makers) – and more specifically those from the surrounding neighbourhoods in Genk – in FabLab Genk striving for long-term participation.

‘Making Things!’ is situated on the intersection of the PhD researches of Katrien Dreessen and Selina Schepers. Therefore, the following research questions form the starting point of ‘Making Things!’: (1) how can we open up Participatory Design processes to children, by allowing them to design methods, tools, workshops, ... for such processes? And (2) how can we develop relations with local actors to stimulate and nurture long-term participation within the FabLab?

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