FABLABS AND THEIR CONTRIBUTION TO SUSTAINABILITY IN THE CONTEXT OF SOCIO-TECHNICAL SYSTEMS

2021-9
Coşkun, Beyza
Since their first establishment at the beginning of the millennium, the number of fablabs has increased significantly worldwide. Fablabs serve many purposes, such as facilitating repairs, relocating production locally, educating on science and technology, or carrying out R&D in an open and disruptive manner. The innovation carried out in fablabs creates niche markets that are alternatives to the existing unsustainable, locked-in systems. This research explores the current state and future potential of personalized production within fablabs in France and Belgium as an alternative to mass production. For this, a hypothetical system is constructed on the multi-level perspective framework of the socio-technical approach. By surveying each element of this system, the trajectories are derived, and the transition pathways of the whole system are projected. The findings reveal that personalized production in fablabs carries a transition potential as an add-on to the existing systems; however, this potential is mainly dependent on environment-friendly and cost-effective technological enhancements. Moreover, special attention needs to be given by policymakers to promote the niche innovations developed within fablabs.

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Citation Formats
B. Coşkun, “FABLABS AND THEIR CONTRIBUTION TO SUSTAINABILITY IN THE CONTEXT OF SOCIO-TECHNICAL SYSTEMS,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2021.