Made with China: Hackers, Makers & Manufacturers
China is often portrayed as an enormous factory that pumps out products invented elsewhere. But as global "maker culture" is transitioning from a hobby into a profession, China is playing a significant role in changes to industrial production and hardware innovation. It might surprise you; China’s image contrasts with contemporary maker culture, celebrated for its creativity and roots in 1960s U.S. counterculture. But China’s rapid growth in open source hardware and maker communities challenges our assumptions. They show an alternative version of innovation, built on a home-grown version of open source that has developed in China's small-scale factories over the last 20 years. Makers in China show that this history of open manufacturing will change not only what we understand by making, but also where we locate innovation. As China's DIY makers are coming together with manufacturers, they are spurring a shift in industrial production, from "made in China" to "made with China."
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
University of Michigan School of Information/University of California-Irvine and Fudan University Shanghai
Silvia Lindtner is a research scientist at the ISTC-Social (the Intel Science and Technology Center for Social Computing) at the University of California, Irvine and a post-doctoral fellow at Fudan University, Shanghai. She is also an incoming faculty member at the University of Michigan in the School of Information. Together with Anna Greenspan and David Li, she is the co-founder of Hacked Matter, a Shanghai-based Research Hub. Silvia researches, writes, and teaches about DIY (do-it-yourself) maker culture, with a particular focus on its intersections with manufacturing and industry development in China. Drawing on her background in interaction design and media studies, she merges ethnographic methods with approaches in design and making. This approach allows her to provide deep insights into emerging cultures of technology production and use from a sociological and technological perspective. Her work is published across the fields of human-computer interaction, media and communication studies, science and technology studies, cultural anthropology, and China studies. Silvia is the recipient of a NSF grant, a Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship, a Chinese Government Scholarship 2012, and two Intel Research Grants.