There is more and more research interest in FabLabs and makerspaces but it seems we are still divided by disciplinary borders. We have a small research stream connected to the annual FabLab meetings (FABx) coordinated by Peter Troxler (Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences), where paper submissions range from engineering experiments to qualitative sociological studies. There is a lot of activity in ‘FabLearn’ topics and conferences, as well as CHI conferences. In Europe some of us focus on socio-environmental sustainability and others meet at Participatory Design conferences or commons-focused events (e.g. members of the P2P Foundation). Still others are interested in organizational studies, entrepreneurship and/or industrial innovation. But we haven’t yet had too much common discussion, and discussion groups on e.g. Loomio or Slack are often by invitation only.
If you want to join the discussion, here are a couple of possibilities:
-on Facebook the FabLab Research International Group (request to join): https://www.facebook.com/groups/515636901833580/
-on ResearchGate (an academic social media platform), Howard Aldrich’s project page on makerspace research: https://www.researchgate.net/project/The-maker-movement-makerspaces-and-makers-hackers-their-association-with-innovation-and-entrepreneurship
Let me know if there are others.