A Series of Fortunate Accidents
Lessons Learned When Things Go Sideways in Making Projects with Children
Workshop in FabLearn EU / MakeEd conference 2022, 30.-31.5.2022 in Copenhagen
Maker culture celebrates mistakes as an essential part of the process, and reflecting on our failures promotes learning and understanding of the processes we work with. As researchers and practitioners organizing digital fabrication and making activities with children, we all know even the best laid plans can fail, or at least there is a chance that things do not go as expected. However, when reporting our activities, we tend to focus on success stories. As success is often built on learning from our mistakes, it is important to embrace and reflect on them as a community. In this workshop we invite researchers and practitioners to discuss the fortunate accidents made when working with children in digital fabrication and making projects, and to compile a set of short papers including lessons learned that are geared towards the researcher or practitioner entering the FabLearn community.
Introduction to the topic and day’s agenda by organizers.
Organizers and participants introduce themselves briefly with their name, organization, and what they do in practice with children and digital fabrication and making.
Participants are divided into teams of 3–5 and discuss and reflect on their fortunate accidents and lessons learned. Facilitated by workshop instructors the participants will:
Presentations and discussion
The groups present the findings to workshop participants, summarizing the failures, stressing on what they relate to lessons learned. Discuss what can be done in the future to do things better. --> Collecting guidelines
Organizers summarize the workshop outcomes and share next steps for post-workshop collaboration.
Call for Participation
Maker culture celebrates mistakes as an essential part of the process, as reflecting on our failures promotes learning and understanding of the processes we work with. In the spirit of the maker culture, in this workshop we will celebrate our mistakes, and engage in networked and shared learning that hopefully leads to better laid plans, improved activities, and increased communality. We invite researchers and practitioners to discuss with us the fortunate accidents made when working with children in digital fabrication and making projects, and to compile a set of short papers including lessons learned geared towards the researcher or practitioner entering the FabLearn community.
Interested participants are encouraged to submit a short paper (in the new ACM template, between 1–3 pages) or an expression of interest (1 page) for the workshop. For the short paper, participants are asked to include:
- Author names and affiliations
- Description of the maker activity they carried out
- Description of the space where the activity was carried out
- Description of the participating children and adults
- Description of the failures, mishaps, unexpected events, things that went sideways, and finally
- A summary of the most important lessons they learned from the fortunate accidents taking place.
Post workshop, participants that submitted short papers will be invited to publish them with minor revisions in a special issue of the INTERACT Publication series tentatively titled ‘The FabLab practitioners Failbook’. We plan to publish the special issue by December 2022. Workshop organizers will use the summaries of lessons learned prepared during the workshop to write a foreword or summary for the issue. In addition, this workshop website will be updated to reflect the main findings from the workshop and, with permission, photos from the workshop and the participants.
- If you are submitting a short paper for our failbook you can email it to Heidi (email@example.com)
Heidi Hartikainen is a postdoctoral researcher at the INTERACT research unit at the University of Oulu. She is involved in multiple research projects aiming to empower children and young people through digital fabrication and making, where multiple things always go sideways. She is also interested in the possibilities of digital fabrication in arts, and as a form of protest or activism. Because everyone has a man they want to fight.
Leena Ventä-Olkkonen is a postdoctoral researcher at the INTERACT research unit at the University of Oulu. Her current research interests concern on empowerment of children and people in the risk of social exclusion through design and Making. Her research has focused on participatory and critical design and making with children and understanding children’s digitalized everyday life and practices.
Marta Cortés Orduña is a PhD candidate at the UBICOMP research unit at the University of Oulu. Her current research focus on the role of design and Digital Fabrication on introducing 21st century skills to help reduce the digital gap and promote inclusion in marginalized population.
Iván Sánchez Milara is a PhD candidate at the UBICOMP research unit at the University of Oulu and instructor at Fab Lab Oulu. He has organized and conducted multiplecourses and workshops on digital fabrication for different kind of groups including children, K-12 teachers and university students and researchers. His research focus is on studying how to support teachers to use digital fabrication and other technologies in their education.
Sumita Sharma is postdoctoral researcher at the INTERACT research unit at the University of Oulu. Her research focuses on designing inclusive and collaborative technology for the classroom environment for children across the world. She is also interested in design and Making, Participatory AI, empowerment and inclusion, and critical design fiction for and with children.
Behnaz Norouzi is a PhD candidate at the INTERACT research unit and a FabLab instructor at FabLab Oulu. She is interested in understanding how children are involved in digital fabrication activities happening in informal and non-formal FabLab settings; specifically, in scrutinizing how children’s interaction not only together but also with adults, technology, and environment shape their learning in such settings.
Marianne Kinnula is an Associate Professor in human-centered design and digitalization in INTERACT research unit at University of Oulu. Social sustainability of technology in terms of social inclusion, empowerment, and ethical stance in technology development and use at different levels, individual, organizational and society level, are in the heart of her research.
- If you are submitting a short paper for our failbook email it to Heidi (firstname.lastname@example.org)