Research Output

Making and Unfinishedness: Designing Toolkits for Negotiation

  Abstract: The diffusion and democratisation of computing technologies and physical prototyping systems has supported the rise of Do-It-Yourself culture. In the context of design innovation, this shift has undoubtedly blurred the lines between the roles of amateur and professional. Crowdsourcing platforms providing easily accessible, lightweight services to promote and fund ideas for new products can potentially radically compress the timescale from new concept generation to market. However, questions are emerging around these adjustments in the roles of amateur and professional, and to what extend individual makers and their communities can participate in, and benefit from, this new landscape. This paper will examine this situation using the framing of a “toolkit design and development” approach. We discuss the toolkit approach by drawing on the work of a current cross-European, interdisciplinary, collaborative project that is developing a technology toolkit to enable creation of locally based DIY networking systems.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    28 July 2017

  • Publication Status:


  • Publisher

    Informa UK Limited

  • DOI:


  • Cross Ref:


  • ISSN:


  • Library of Congress:

    QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    006 Special Computer Methods

  • Funders:

    European Commission


Smyth, M. & Helgason, I. (2017). Making and Unfinishedness: Designing Toolkits for Negotiation. Design Journal. 20(sup1), S3966-S3974. doi:10.1080/14606925.2017.1352899. ISSN 1460-6925



Toolkits, maker culture, do-it-yourself, networking, pleasure,

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