Course Description: Making & Manufacturing as Sociocultural Practice

(Formerly known as Made in the Machine: Cultural Practices, Sociopolitical Analyses, and Techniques in Digital Fabrication, Making, and Manufacturing)

Recent innovations in digital fabrication have made its technologies much more cheap, sophisticated, and accessible for people of many experiences. In this class, we will explore some of these innovations, their sociopolitical histories and impact on the fabric of society, the equitable access that they promise, the techniques and affordances that they enable, and the future directions that they imply. This will be a project-based class, but as much emphasis will be put on cultural and critical analysis as on technical learning. Learn more atย http://senseandscale.info.

Class sessions will involve case studies, critical sociopolitical discussions, and discussion of fabrication methodologies, with guest speakers as possible.

Students can optionally access a makerspace in this class, but since the class will be remote, this will not be required. Basic experience with a fabrication technology or system is also recommended, but not required. Examples of fabrication technologies include:

  • 3D printing
  • Digital cutting (laser, waterjet, vinyl, etc)
  • CNC milling
  • CNC routing
  • Digital wire bending
  • Computational sewing or knitting
  • Mass or contract manufacturing (OEMs, ODMs, etc)