FabLabs, Makerspaces: New Forms of Innovation or Libertarian Activism?[Research paper] by François Bottollier-Depois


The author was part of the "Alternative Management" third year program in HEC in 2012. He also graduated from the Strasbourg Institute of Political Studies, in France, and taught during four years as a Professeur "agrégé" of economics and social sciences.

Created more than ten years ago by the United States MIT, FabLabs are only at their beginning in France. This essay is based on qualitative interviews with several French makerspaces users. These places of innovation allow their members to create almost anything, using digital tools. But they are more than a workshop. These makerspaces are also places of counter-culture socialization. Open in theory to everyone, they allow people to exchange knowledge and skills, without any hierarchy or centralization, but still linked to the makerspace community. Supporters of free or open-source, they work for equal and free access to information. But their activism is done in silence, they do more than they criticize. Their counter model and counter culture show by themselves social and economic criticism.

Quote article  François Bottollier-Depois, « FabLabs, Makerspaces: New Forms of Innovation or Libertarian Activism? », 31 october 2012, Alternative Management Observatory (AMO), [Research paper]

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