Making and Empowerment
Amy Hurst, Shawn Grimes, Stephanie Grimes, Melanie Baljko, Patrick Mbullo, Michaela Hynie, Susan McGrath, Deurence Onyango, Karla Saenz, Cigay Tshering
Hamidi, F., Mbullo, P., Hynie, M., Baljko, M., McGrath, S. Potentials of Digital Assistive Technology and Special Education In Kenya. Handbook of Research on Sustainable ICT Adoption and integration for Socio-Economic Development, 125-151. Available Online.
Hamidi, F., Grimes, S., Grimes, S., Wong, C. and Hurst, A. 2017. Assessment Tools for an Afterschool Youth Maker Program. Proceedings of the 2017 Conference Creativity and Fabrication in Education (FabLearn'17), 12:1-12:4. Available Online.
Hamidi, F., Saenz, K., and Baljko, M. Sparkles of Brilliance: Incorporating Cultural and Social Context in Codesign of Digital Artworks. Proceedings of the 2014 conference on Interaction design and children (IDC'14), 2014, 77-84. Available Online.
Hamidi, F., Baljko, M. Subversive Interaction Design: Digital Design and Inspiration. Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Design and Emotion, 2014, 25-31.
The Maker Culture or DIY Culture is a contemporary movement in which hands-on small-scale fabrication and manufacturing methods are used by non-professionals to create small batch customized designs. Making has the potential to engage children and adults in self-directed projects that support creativity and self-efficacy.
In the past few years, I've been investigating ways in which making can support learning and empowerment both in different cultural contexts. Currently, I am working with educators at the Digital Harbor Foundation (DHF) in Baltimore to explore the possibilities of maker culture to inspire inner city youth to pursue technical employment. In another project in Kenya, I am working as part of a transnational team to identify the possibilities and challenges to use maker and DIY approaches towards assistive technology.
In the past, I have explored the connection between making and entrepreneurship while working with Bhutan Innovation and Technology Center (BITC), where I worked with local entrepreneurs, ICTD experts and two government ministries, to identify possibilities of technological innovation in this setting.
Finally, in a project in Oaxaca, Mexico, I co-conducted a series of maker workshops in which children created digital interactive artifacts, called alebrijes that were inspired by local folk art traditions. Key aspects of this project included incorporating relevant cultural elements in the workshops, using locally sustainable materials and using technology to support collaboration.