Making at the Margins: Making in an Under-Resourced e-Waste Recycling Center

Dhaval Vyas, John Vines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

HCI and CSCW literature has extensively studied a wide variety of maker cultures. In this paper, we focus on understanding what making is like for people and communities who do not have access to advanced technological infrastructures. We report on six-month-long ethnographic fieldwork at a non-profit, resource-constrained, e-waste recycling centre that engages members from a low socioeconomic status (SES) community in making activities. Our findings show that making in such a setting is shaped by local economic and social factors in a resource-constrained environment and highlight how this community engages in a wide range of making activities. In describing these making activities, we emphasize how making was conducted to purposely enable ongoing and future making by others; promoted the wellbeing and skill development of centre members; and was socially-engaged to address concerns in the local community. We conclude by discussing how such type of making contributes a new understanding of maker culture, one that is appreciative of resource-constraints, integrates different sources of value, and is embedded in local place.
Original languageEnglish
Article number188
Number of pages23
JournalProc. ACM Hum.-Comput. Interact.
Issue numberCSCW
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2019

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • design
  • maker culture
  • hci
  • resource-constrained setting


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