After reading the articles on critical making, the image of a bunch of people around a campfire came to mind. First, they come together, gathering wood to make a fire. Other people are foraging about for food to cook over the fire and once the fire is up and running, everyone sits around together, enjoying the warmth of the fire, eating the goodies that they cooked or roasted and having a jam session or narrating some scary stories. What does this have to do with critical making? As the people are gathered together as a community and engaging in ‘making’ tasks, this campfire scenario exemplifies the principle of critical making that emphasizes shared acts of making. Whether it is making a fire, making a dish to eat or making up a song or story to share, these people do so not in lone settings, but with others in mind, in social and communal spaces.
According to Ratto (2011), critical making involves three stages:
(1) the review of relevant literature and compilation of useful concepts and theories
(2) people jointly design and build technical prototypes
(3) reconfiguration and conversation where reflection begins
With this in mind, how can critical making be brought into our classrooms?
Below are two big ideas/suggestions that the readings brought up.