Call for Participation: Makers, Crafters, Tinkerers: How Identities and Biographies Come into Being

Workshop at NordiCHI 2024
(under review)

Everyone is a Maker [2], but certainly, not everyone identifies as one [1,3]. To explore the broad spectrum of making, we invite makers, crafters, and tinkerers as well as people who do not make themselves but have a connection to making topics or practices to join the „Makers, Crafters, Tinkerers: How Identities and Biographies come into Being“ workshop at NordiCHI 2024.

We aim to engage with biographies and identities in the context of making: Who are the makers, crafters, and tinkerers, and how did they become such? Do they understand themselves as makers, crafters, tinkerers? How did (or didn’t) they develop such identities, and how have those identities evolved during the course of their lives?

In this one-day, on-site workshop, we will discuss the identities of makers, crafters, and tinkerers by working with autobiographical snippets (artifacts, materials, tools or pieces of work brought along by the participants). Engaging with these snippets allows us to collect entryways, turning and tipping points, and to discuss which conditions, characteristics, or experiences were helpful for or hindering becoming makers, crafters, or tinkerers, and how identities changed over time.

Individual benefits for workshop participants will include autobiographical reflections on their self-development of a maker-crafter-tinkerer identity, the exchange of experiences among participants, and a network of makers, crafters, and tinkerers from the workshop; benefits for the community will be the collection of beneficial and hindering circumstances of making, crafting, and tinkering and how we can translate them into actionable steps for making to become open to those, who are underrepresented so far (e.g., women or older persons).

In the workshop, we will combine individual activities with pair and collective discussions, not to find „the best“ (most skillful, most successful, most powerful) identity, but to embrace the richness of experiences and biographies.

The workshop builds upon individual reflections as much as collective discussions. In order to initiate those, we invite participants to bring along a piece of work they made as a symbol of their particular way of making, crafting, or tinkering. This artifact does not need to be a perfect one; it can represent a particular practice, a dead end, a symbol for a particular event, etc.

The workshop invites makers, crafters, and tinkerers alike, whether experts or beginners. In order to express interest in participation, please share an anecdote of your making biography with us, such as: What made you start a particular craft, learn a particular practice, or master a particular tool? What event, incident, or encounter changed the course of your journey as a maker, crafter, tinkerer? How or what influenced your identity as a maker, crafter, tinkerer?


Submissions can be written anecdotes (2 pages ACM manuscript max.), a comic, a visual (e.g., an annotated picture), or a video (2 minutes max.). Submissions will not be made public. Submissions will be reviewed by the organizers in regard to their fit to the workshop and complementarity of submissions overall. At least one author of each
accepted submission must attend the workshop and all participants
must register for both the workshop and for at least one day of the


Katrin Nora Kober (she/her) is a research fellow at the Human-Computer Interaction division at the University of Salzburg, Austria. Katrin’s research revolves around how maker identities come into being and is aspiring to include groups, sites and practices into consideration that sometimes are left out in this context.

Georg Regal (he/him) is a scientist at the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology. His research is focused on human augmentation, extended reality and interfaces for people with disabilities and how critical making and co-creation can be applied in these domains.

Verena Fuchsberger (she/her) is Postdoc at the Human-Computer Interaction division at the University of Salzburg, Austria. In her research, she focuses on human and nonhuman agency HCI and Interaction Design, driven by an interest in New Materialism.

Martin Murer (he/him) is a researcher at the Human-Computer Interaction division at the University of Salzburg, Austria. In his research he explores the experiential qualities of hybrid materials and tangible interactions.

Joanna Kowolik (she/her) has been engaged for years with the role of women* in traditional male domains and strives to promote an inclusive environment in makerspaces and a feminist discourse in making.

Nathalia Campreguer Franca (she/her) is a researcher at the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences and a PhD Student at the University of Salzburg, Austria. In her PhD, she explores how we can design opportunities for critical reflection through playfulness.

Dorothé Smit (she/her) is an assistant professor at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. In the past four years, she has conducted several research activities in maker spaces to investigate the engagements of women and other underrepresented groups in technological making.

Fiona Bell (she/her) is a postdoctoral researcher in Computer Science at the University of New Mexico, working at the intersection of HCI, biodesign, and material science. Her research is focused on the design, development, and study of biologically-based materials and technologies that promote ecological care and sustainability.

Tara Capel (she/her) is a lecturer in Design Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. In her research, she explores how makerspaces can be designed in more inclusive ways to promote participation, and how the configuration of new spaces, which facilitate engagement with new tools and materials, can lead to new areas of design



[1] Nathalia Campreguer França, Dorothé Smit, Stefanie Wuschitz, and Verena Fuchsberger. 2021. The Women* Who Made It: Experiences from Being
a Woman* at a Maker Festival. Sustainability 13, 16 (Aug. 2021), 9361.

[2] Dale Dougherty. 2012. The maker movement. Innovations: Technology, governance, globalization 7, 3 (2012), 11–14

[3] Susan Faulkner. 2014. Women who make: Undercounted as Makers and underwhelmed by Makerspaces. Computer 47, 12 (Dec. 2014), 30–31.