Mark Zachry

Summer 2019

Beyond Makerspaces

Interested in design? hacking? invention? tinkering? Curious about other people who are and the spaces in which they work? Intrigued by alternative modes of production? In recent years, the maker movement has captured the imagination of a broad cross-section of society. Makerspaces of different types have emerged across the Seattle area, including many locations in the heart of the city, in rural settings, and even on the UW campus. Some of these efforts have thrived while others have dissolved or been re-imagined into alternative formations.

This summer DRG will focus on enacting community strategy in the maker movement. Our initial focus will be on sustainability, and our effort this summer will be gathering key experts, industry and technology representatives, and community leaders in Seattle to build relationships, have discussions, and work together toward sustainable solutions. We will work with members of the maker community to bring together technical and sociopolitical perspectives to discover a pathway for fostering sustainable, relational community design in the maker movement.

Our focus will be conducting research (interviews, observations, secondary sources) to design and conduct an event to be held in August. Together, we will use a research-driven approach to design the event, which we now envision as a retreat. Students can expect to learn and practice community strategy, participatory design, and ethnographic methods for user/stakeholder research and engagement. Participants will also have the opportunity to learn and practice collaborative analysis of the data to generate actionable findings, including documentation of the collaborative process itself, and to improve upon the event model for future iterations.

Required Availability

  • Attend our 2-hour meeting each week on Wednesdays from 1 to 3 p.m (starting with the kick-off meeting on June 26). Our initial and final meetings during the summer will be held at UW; our other weekly meetings will be held in downtown Seattle makerspaces.
  • Work 4 hours each week outside of meetings
  • Register for 2 credits for summer quarter of HCDE 496/596

This DRG is open to both undergraduate and graduate students. Depending on space availability, preference will be given to students already admitted to an HCDE program. We anticipate that a team of 5-8 students will participate in this DRG.

This DRG will be jointly led by Mark Zachry (University of Washington), Ann Shivers-McNair (University of Arizona), Clarissa San Diego (Founder and CEO, Makerologist) and Rex St. John (Senior Manager, IoT Ecosystem, Arm). Please direct any questions to Mark Zachry ( 

If you are interested in joining this DRG, please complete this application form. The deadline for applications is May 20. We will notify all applicants of our decisions by May 24.

Dr. Zachry's Research Group archive