Shaping Sustainability in Fab Labs

ABSTRACT: This paper presents a narrative case study describing interactions in one Fab Lab in Helsinki, Finland. The intent is to reveal how (or if) sustainability concerns are socially shaped within an organization in the same way participatory innovation can be shaped. The contribution of the paper is two-fold. First, it augments understanding of environmental impacts and attitudes in Fab Labs; secondly it describes how peer learning is encouraged in Labs, thereby setting the stage for participatory innovation in what is – in essence – a novel infrastructure for product development. The preliminary findings suggest pathways that can lead towards participatory invention or innovation as well as environmentally responsible practice.

The paper is forthcoming published in the Participatory Innovation Conference Proceedings, PIN-C 2013 in Lahti, Finland, 18-20 June 2013.

I‘ll be presenting presented in Track 3, Social Shaping of Innovation.

You can find the paper here: pin-c-2013-Kohtala_SustainabilityFabLabs

Full Proceedings here:

Kohtala, C., 2013. Shaping Sustainability in Fab Labs, in: Melkäs, H., Buur, J. (Eds.), Proceedings of the Participatory Innovation Conference PIN-C 2013, LUT Scientific and Expertise Publications, Tutkimusraportit – Research Reports No. 6. Presented at the Participatory Innovation Conference 2013, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Lahti, Finland, pp. 287–290.