Call for submissions for two workshops at the Critical Alternatives conference this fall

The fifth decennial Aarhus conference, Critical Alternatives, focuses on alternatives related to information technologies from a quality of life perspective.

Over the years the involvement of end-users has become standard procedure in many organizations, today end-user involvement is not always critical action per se. It has been the aim with the conference to revitalize the idea of IT-research as critical action, not only as workplace actionism, but also by integrating a broader scope of critical analysis and critical practice.

In 2015 the conference will take place on August 17th and 18th, 2015 and two TiP members are organising workshops, which have calls for submissions.

Pernille Bjørn (head of TiP) is co-organising a workshop called “The Future of Making: Where Industrial and Personal Fabrication Meet”. Website


This one-day workshop focuses on fabrication in both personal and industrial contexts. Although these contexts are very distinct in their economical and political vision, they share several key characteristics (e.g., users interacting with specific fabrication equipment and tools, changing roles of humans and technology, etc.). The workshop topic spans from personal fabrication to (automated) production contexts, from applied to theoretical considerations, from user requirements to design as a crafting practice. We will thereby address changes in production environments that affect humans, e.g., from mass production to Do-It-Yourself (DIY) production, or from simple interactions to complex decision-making.

A great number of promises are associated with maker movements, DIY and personal fabrication, such as a democratization of technology and increasing possibilities of participation. By the same token, industrial fabrication is anticipated to have a significant upturn enabled by automation and the production of individualized goods. Both augur paradigmatic changes in computing, one by focusing on making, the other one by upholding automation. However, are these euphoric visions of how fabrication changes desirable? If yes, how can they become reality? How can we, as a research community, help to achieve and sustain the potentials while being critical about undesirable consequences? How can we cross the boundaries between making and automation in order to facilitate collaboration and knowledge exchange? With this workshop, we aim to discuss these questions by reflecting on processes in and around hobbyist and professional production, their intersections as well as their social, economic, and technological consequences.


We invite scholars and practitioners, who have experience with and interest in the workshop topic, to submit a position paper or video contribution on one or more of the following topics (or related to them):

• Current trends, visions, and promises of industrial and/or personal fabrication (e.g., IoT, democratized production, human empowerment) and their consequences for technology, society, individuals, economy, etc.

• Human perspectives in fabrication, especially in terms of changing conditions, e.g., the social order of fabrication, distribution of power, changing roles and requirements, politics of labor, reorganization of work, etc.

• Intersections or (irreconcilable?) differences between personal and industrial fabrication

• Critical perspectives on visions of empowerment and democratization of personal and/or industrial fabrication

• Proposals for how to achieve and sustain the potentials of personal and/or industrial fabrication

• A hacker or maker project that speaks to the workshop theme, e.g. critical making, DIY fabrication, etc.


Please submit a position paper (up to 4 pages in the ACM Extended Abstract format), or a video contribution (max. 5 minutes) until May 15th, 2015 to .

Furthermore, we would like you to consider what artifacts characterize your work in the field of industrial and/or personal fabrication, which you can bring along to the workshop. For instance, you could bring an object resulting from a maker, hacker, or DIY project, factory-made goods, etc.

The submissions will be reviewed by the workshop organizers and selected according to their potential to contribute to the workshop topic and to foster discussion. We expect participants to critically reflect on personal and/or industrial fabrication and to share how they envision the future of fabrication.

All accepted contributions (notifications will be sent out on June 15th) will be made available on the workshop website to allow participants to prepare for the workshop.

Marisa Cohn (TiP) is also co-organising a workshop called “Shifting Borderlands of Technoscience: Tracing Trajectories of Critical Practice”. Website:


This workshop aims to consider how the sites of critical technical practice have shifted over the past decade and to foster mentorship relationships between junior and senior researchersThere is a wide array of research where critical and technical work meet: from techno-anthropology, to critical making, to participatory design, and many more. It is their goal to bring together scholars from across this breadth of research areas, to help foster dialogue, trace intersecting histories of influence, and build cohesion among these various ‘camps’.


The submissions deadline May 15th. More information about the workshop and the submission call can be found on their website.


May 15th, 2015 – Submission of Position Papers

June 15th, 2015 – Notification of Acceptance

August 17th or 18th, 2015 – One-Day Workshop at Critical Alternatives 2015

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