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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by transcript Verlag March 4, 2021

From Hacking to Making

The Commodification of Spanish DIY Spaces Since the 1990s

  • David Cuartielles Ruiz and César García Sáez
From the journal Digital Culture & Society


This article explores the history of contemporary Spanish Do-It- Yourself (DIY) spaces (hacklabs, hackerspaces, fab labs, makerspaces and after-school academies) and the growth of each type since the 1990s. The development of these types of spaces is reflected against the commodification and commoditisation of DIY in Spain. The article argues that the removal of the political layer of the early Spanish DIY techno-tactical movements allowed a higher degree of dissemination within society in general, while reducing the emancipatory potential of these new spaces. However, the analysis of the degree of commodification and commoditisation of types of spaces in relation to the amount of spaces per type shows an anomaly for makerspaces. The authors reflect upon this anomaly and whether a data set enlargement could correct it. For their analysis, the authors constructed a data set of events of the Spanish DIY history through the design of an ad hoc mixed method. Tracing events and spaces could not be done in a simple way due to the long time span of the study: older spaces existed in the pre-social network days, and new ones exist only in dedicated platforms for niche communities of practice. This method of tracing events and spaces is another contribution of the article as it could be used to make similar causality analyses of historical data in other case studies.

Published Online: 2021-03-04
Published in Print: 2020-12-01

© 2021 by transcript Verlag

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