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Title: Designing place : topologies of 'maker labs'
Author: Rashof, Sascha
ISNI:       0000 0004 5989 2920
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths, University of London
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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This PhD thesis is working towards a techno-social ontology of ‘place’. Place [topos] has been an underdeveloped concept in modern philosophical thought in ‘the West’, mainly subordinated to the more universal/ising terms time and space. Also media theory has often used conceptions of time as its primary category due to its foundation on notions of ‘process’. Even though media theory and geography are increasingly converging, however predominantly through conceptions of space, considerable ontological treatments of medial place are still missing. In order to develop a notion of place/s that is more singular and pluralistic than Deleuze and Guattari’s (spatial) rhizomes, which have now largely become the logics of post-Fordism, this thesis works with Peter Sloterdijk’s topo-logy of Spheres – through, with, beyond and against Heidegger’s ontology. Spheres, here systematically read as ‘Being and Place’, will however not just be explicated as universal/ising representation of Being/s, but as singularly de-constructing itself ‘in the world’ – via ‘maker labs’, i.e. meso-scale collaborative work-places where humans cohabit with/in technological systems to produce and share ‘open designs’ for local needs. Through a media-phenominological approach close to the ‘spherology’, especially the third book, Foams, as well as the conception of ‘organised networks’ (Rossitor & Lovink), three of these labs will be explicated through their singular organisation/s of place: Vigyan Ashram, an experimental rural development college in Pabal (India) where school dropouts learn to design predominantly agricultural hardware and the ‘natural’ environment for local (survival) needs; the London Hackspace, a community-run hacker space where tinkerers make ‘open designs’ primarily in their spare time for experience value by sharing tools and knowledge; betahaus Berlin, a co-working space functioning as a mix of coffee house, home office, R&D lab, university, hacker space, carpentry workshop and start-up incubator. The thesis concludes by pointing towards the limitations of Spheres as (philosophical) anthropology.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral