The Critical Making Project studies the potential of responsible innovation within the global grassroots maker movement.


The Critical Making consortium explores grassroots innovation practices that take place in maker spaces, fablabs, etc. to locate dimensions of Responsible Research & Innovation (RRI) within them.

Our methodological approach builds on participatory research. Relying on participatory action research (PAR) principles we explore current maker practices with and from within local and global maker communities. As we are approaching our research field from a socio-technical perspective, we are seeking a co-creative collaboration across all actors.

Next to the exploration of existing practices, concrete interventions aimed at fostering RRI principles in maker movements are being co-designed. We specifically look at aspects of gender-related inequalities, openness, and the educational potential for young maker talents.

This participatory approach is combined with analytical work to enable the development of theories and insights on how maker practices can benefit from embedding RRI principles. Aimed at harnessing the innovation potential of the global grassroots maker movement, measures are being co-designed to foster RRI principles in the open innovation movement. The project’s research findings provide hands-on input for practitioners, and enrich the scientific knowledge base in the RRI community focused on innovation processes and practices.

Learn more about our research and view our deliverables >

Global Research Network

The Critical Making research project is led by Zentrum Für Soziale Innovation GmbH (Austria), Technische Universität Berlin (Germany), VTT Technical Research Centre (Finland), Wikifactory Europe (Spain), and Global Innovation Gathering e.V (Germany). Learn about the Consortium >.

Partners of the Critical Making project include the mAkE project and Junge Tüftler.

Project Timeline


Building the
Knowledge Base

Analyzing responsibility in maker movements

A critical review of aspects related to Gender inequalities, Youth, and Openness in the maker community was carried out, together with participatory co-ideation workshops amongst consortium members.


Designing the

Co-designing a critical making framework & concrete actions

Stakeholder consultation to co-design implementable measures specific to gender, young talents, and openness for Critical Making. This phase includes the co-design of the critical making responsibility framework, critical making mentorship program and gender-equality activities.


Using the

Supporting responsible making in the ecosystem

Working with global maker communities
to engage with the critical making responsibility framework. Capacity building and adoption of RRI principles for responsible open hardware projects will be supported. Practical tools on the Critical Making experience will be launched in June’23.