Critical making as research program: introduction to the forum on critical making.

Authors: Ratto, M., Jalbert, K. & Wylie, S.

This special issue spotlights the growing diversity of critical making practices in a range of disciplinary contexts both inside and outside of the academy, and begins to develop perspectives that will foster the emergence of critical making as a coherent field. On one hand, we see great value in incorporating material practices into existing information systems (IS) and science and technology studies (STS) research programs. In particular, forms of material engagement can help overcome the ineffectual linguistic bias of traditional critiques of technoscience. On the other hand, we believe that current material practices can benefit from the conceptualization of knowledge and social organization that are foundational to IS and STS research. In this introduction to the special issue we call attention to the mechanisms by which such practices may combine representational and material work to foster and support the development of new knowledge-making communities and institutions. We believe such work can serve as a framework for others engaged in critical making practices to better contextualize and expand the relevance of their work. We intend this special issue to serve as a “stake in the ground” for research on new forms of material-conceptual critique and their incorporation in the repertoire of critical technoscience scholarship.


Ratto, M., Jalbert, K. & Wylie, S. (2014). Critical making as research program: introduction to the forum on critical making. The Information Society 30 (2), 85-95. [article]

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