"Forget about the learning"? Technology expertise and creativity as experiential habit in hacker-/makerspaces

A. Richterich*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This paper discusses to what extent hacker- and makerspaces (HMS) facilitate technology expertise. It draws on a combined qualitative interview and survey study of current/former community members. Study participants relate that HMS encourage learning-by-doing and self-directed creativity involving digital technology and crafts. Despite some being hesitant to label what they do as learning, a notion strongly associated with primary/secondary school, creativity itself is considered a learning ability and an experiential habit: a skill to be nurtured in practice. Members tend to expect that a self-directed approach to technological creativity is cultivated by new members too. As a "rite of passage", this has implications for members' in- and exclusion: notably creating challenges for individuals from already underrepresented groups and those perceiving themselves as comparatively low-skilled in technology. While learning and technology expertise are thus potentially facilitated in HMS, this is not equally the case for all members.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2034239
Number of pages18
JournalCogent Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2022


  • Hackerspaces
  • makerspaces
  • digital technology
  • experiential learning
  • learning-by-doing
  • creativity


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