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

Tracing the History of DIY and Maker Culture in Germany’s Open Workshops

  • Regina Sipos and Kerstin Franzl
From the journal Digital Culture & Society


This article presents preliminary research findings on the history of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) and maker culture in Germany. It aims to identify historical, political, economic and societal shifts that have led to the existence of approximately 1000 makerspaces of various kinds in Germany today. The article summarises the beginnings of DIY in the 20th century in West Germany and East Germany. It focuses on how infrastructures supporting DIY were created out of necessity and economic considerations, how tools and spaces were offered as public service, the influence of counterculture movements and expression of political views through DIY and finally the use of DIY as a meaningful way to spend newfound leisure time and the phenomenon of state-funded vocational educational spaces. It aims to inspire further research elucidating the connections between broader societal contexts and DIY throughout the past century and its effects on maker culture today.

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

© 2021 by transcript Verlag

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