Critical Making

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= concept and book


1. From the Wikipedia:

"Critical Making refers to the hands on productive activities that link digital technologies to society. It is invented to bridge the gap between creative physical and conceptual exploration. The term "critical making" is popularized by Matt Ratto, an Assistant Professor and director of the Critical Making lab in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto. Matt Ratto describes one of the main goals of critical making that he is currently exploring is:

“ use material forms of engagement with technologies to supplement and extend critical reflection and, in doing so, to reconnect our lived experiences with technologies to social and conceptual critique.”

The main focus of critical making is open design, which includes digital software and hardware. Software usually refers to the Raspberry Pi or Arduino integrated development environment (IDE). Hardware refers to computer, Arduino, or any other devices that are used in critical making activities. People usually reference spectacular design when explaining critical making. It is essential to study critical making to understanding the connection between today's ever-changing technology and the society. Currently, most critical making activities happen in the "critical making lab". It is urgent to put it into practice and test it in both theoretical and practical area." (

Key Book To Read


"Critical Making is a handmade book project by Garnet Hertz that explores how hands-on productive work ‐ making ‐ can supplement and extend critical reflection on technology and society. It works to blend and extend the fields of design, contemporary art, DIY/craft and technological development. It also can be thought of as an appeal to the electronic DIY maker movement to be critically engaged with culture, history and society: after learning to use a 3D printer, making an LED blink or using an Arduino, then what?

The publication has 70 contributors ‐ primarily from contemporary art and academia ‐ and its 352 pages are bound in ten pocket-sized zine-like volumes. The project takes the topic of DIY culture literally by printing an edition of 300 copies on a hacked photocopier with booklets that were manually folded, stapled and cut. The 300 finished copies were primarily given away for free to project contributors, individuals and institutions important to them. Some of the handmade copies were traded for reviews, photographs, videos, lectures and were given to library archives.

Due to the large demand for this content, the entire collection is being scanned and released here ( and through the Twitter account @criticalpdfs starting April 27th 2014. One article will be released per day, and the entire collection will be archived here." (