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APPS597: Independent Study

Makerspaces and Informal Community Learning in Dunedin

Rebecca Elmslie
Applied Science

There has been a revolution in informal learning and production in the past 10 years, this is as a result of the
launch of the Internet in the 1990s. The rapid development and uptake of the Internet has altered the way
that we organise and experience learning and creative production. The Maker Movement, the growth in
online and informal learning, and the increasingly collaborative and non-hierarchical nature of organizational
structures have been well documented in the literature. However the ways in which these broad shifts have
changed local communities is less well documented. This research examines technologically enabled changes
in Dunedin, New Zealand, using a case study approach.
The Dunedin Free University, Dunedin Makerspace
and Dunedin StartUp Space were studied, and the founders of these initiatives were interviewed. Although
the focuses of these three groups were different, they all shared an approach that emphasised accessibility,
a flat organisational structure, a non-institutional philosophy and local, community-driven values in their
approach to learning. They were stand-alone projects, not networking with one another or with the wider
community as much as would be expected, this independence could limit their sustainability. All the
initiatives believed that they brought significant learning and economic benefits to the Dunedin community.
Increased networking and collaboration between these related initiatives could improve their long term
viability and increase the benefits to the City of Dunedin. Further research that examined similar projects in
other cities in New Zealand, comparing them to examples in other countries could uncover broader patterns
that may aid the development of models of best practice.

Key Words
Makerspace, Maker Movement, Free University, StartUp Spaces, Dunedin, Collaborative, Informal Learning.

I would like to express my deep gratitude to Dr. Mark McGuire, my research supervisor, for his patient
guidance, enthusiastic encouragement and useful critiques of this research work. I would also like to thank
the Otago University Applied Sciences Department, for advice and assistance in keeping my progress on
schedule. My grateful thanks are also extended to the interviewees for providing insight into their initiatives.

Finally, I wish to thank my parents and boyfriend for their support and encouragement throughout my study.

DCC - Dunedin City Council
DDS - The Dunedin Development Strategy
DFU - Dunedin Free University
DMS - Dunedin Makerspace
DSU - Dunedin StartUp
EDU - Economic Development Unit
Fab Lab - A workshop that offers digital fabrication on a small scale
HackerSpace - A space where people interested in technology can meet to work on projects, sharing ideas
and equipment
MOOC - Massive Open Online Course
NGO - Non - Organization
NZD - New Zealand Dollar
OECD - Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
USD - United States Dollar
3D - Three Dimensional


Key Words
List of Figures
1. Introduction
2. Dunedin Background
3. Literature Review
3.1 The Revolution
3.2 Defining the Maker Movement
3.3 Makerspaces
3.4 Open Source
3.5 Manufacturing
3.6 Local Manufacturing
3.7 Collaborative learning and Libraries
3.8 Social Entrepreneurship and Community
4 Method and Data Collection
4.1 Case Study One: The Dunedin Free University (DFU) - Academic
4.2 Case Study Two: Dunedin Makerspace (DMS) - Skill Development
4.3 Case Study Three: Dunedin StartUp Space (DSU) - Entrepreneurship
5. Findings from the Interviews
6. Discussion
6.1 Informal Learning
6.2 Informal Learning Benefiting Dunedin
6.3Findings in Relation to the Literature
6.4 Limitation of the Research
6.5 Expectations
7.Conclusions and Future Research
9 Appendix
Appendix A (Ethical Approval Letter)
Appendix B (Ethical Approval and Participation information)
Appendix C (Maori consultation conducted with the Ngai Tahu Research
Consultation Committee)


List of Figures

NB: the author produced all unattributed figures

Figure 1.1 - Map of New Zealand's Major Cities

Figure 1.2 - Map of Dunedin, New Zealand (depicting location of initiatives)

Figure 2.1 - Overell. R, (2014) Dunedin Free University


Figure 2.2 - Overell. R, (2014) Dunedin Free University


Figure 3.1 - Easterbrook-Clarke. L, (2013) Dunedin Makerspace


Figure 3.2 - Easterbrook-Clarke. L, (2013) Dunedin Makerspace


Figure 4.1 - Dunedin StartUp Space 2014


Figure 4.2 - Dunedin StartUp Space 2014


1. Introduction

The Internet has enabled a growth in collaboration, and non-hierarchical organisational structures. Digital
tools have also substantially changed the way we make and distribute products and services.

Although these changes are understood to alter the big picture as technology continues to advance, there is
less understanding of how local communities are dealing with, and taking advantage of, the enabling
possibilities of the Internet and related digital technologies. This research examines a particular local
context, the city of Dunedin, New Zealand, to discover the extent to which these large-scale global changes
have changed informal learning and creative production in New Zealand.

The goal of this research was to increase understanding of how digital 3D making and informal, collaborative
learning is developing in, and benefiting, New Zealand through a close examination of a particular local
context the City of Dunedin. Chapter Two provides a background discussion about Dunedin, including its
current economic situation, the importance of education, and the strength of the creative community.
literature review (Chapter Three) examines the Maker Movement, collaborative spaces and community
driven learning. In Chapter Four, I discuss the use of a case study approach as my research method. Three
Dunedin-based initiatives were chosen as case studies: the Dunedin Free University, Dunedin Makerspace
and Dunedin StartUp Space. In each case, the founder and organiser was interviewed. These case studies
and interviews are discussed in Chapter Five. Chapter Six presents a discussion of the findings from the case
studies, examining the similarities and differences between them, and comparing these findings with the
literature presented in Chapter Three. The limitations of the research are also discussed in Chapter Six.
Conclusions and a discussion of future work that could extend this research are presented in Chapter Seven.

2. Dunedin Background

Figure 1.1 - Map of New Zealand

Figure 4.2 - Map of Dunedin, New Zealand

The city of Dunedin is located on the east coast of the South Island, near the southern end of New Zealand. It
is considered the main city of the Otago Region and is the second largest city in the South Island. Dunedins
geographic location, combined with its strong history and culture, justify the city being regarded as one of
the four main cities of New Zealand. Dunedin is a magnificent example of a small city that lives, breathes
and connects through its people, its culture and its intense love of literature (
City of Literature, 2014).

population of Dunedin is approximately 202,467 people (Statistics New Zealand, 2013) and the majority of
the population is situated at the head of the Otago harbour. With three main museums: the Otago Museum;
the Dunedin Public Art Gallery; and the Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, Dunedin proudly displays its history
and culturally driven society.
Dunedin was also successful in its bid to become one of the latest four cities to
hold the distinguished title of a UNESCO City of Literature. Dunedin is said to ''explode with creativity.''
Dunedin is the only New Zealand city to achieve this UNESCO distinction, as each country can only have one
City of Literature (Tourism New Zealand, 2014). Dunedin was joined by cities in Spain, Germany and the
Czech Republic. These cities were added to the already established Cities of Literature of Edinburgh,
Melbourne, Iowa City, Krakow, Norwick, Reykjavik and Dublin. In late 2014 Dunedin become the winner of a
online competition, to educate and inspire New Zealand about the possibilities that a country
connected with ultra-fast broadband can provide (The Idea, 2014). Dunedin is now developing Smartcity
plans and a Smartcity project to focus on stimulating economic growth and innovative ecosystems (GIG
Leadership, 2014).

Tertiary education is the city's largest industry, as Dunedin is home to the University of Otago and the Otago
Polytechnic. Students comprise a significant proportion of the population; approximately 21 percent of the
residents Dunedin are aged between 15 and 24, compared with the New Zealand average of 14.2 percent
(Quickstats, 2013). In Dunedin City, 41.2 percent of those aged over 15 attend tertiary education after high
school. In the rest of New Zealand 21.3 percent of people do not have any formal qualifications after high
school (QuickStats, 2013). This high level of education in Dunedin may increase further with Dunedin
stepping out onto the international literary stage (Goodwin, 2014). There is optimism that this global
recognition will bring economic benefits to the University of Otago as well as the city of Dunedin. The
international collaborations that are now possible with institutions such as the University of Edinburgh, are
expected to bring increasing financial opportunities. David Cull, the Mayor of Dunedin, explains the benefits
of the citys achievement: ''It is hard to put a financial figure on that but having creative writers of any

stature coming over here and interacting with our students, and our creative writing courses, has got to be
great for everybody,'' (McAvinue, 2014).

Dunedins local government is the Dunedin City Council (DCC), which focuses largely on the use of land and
the management of building controls in the Dunedin urban areas. Dunedin has had near-stagnant population
growth and has had an extended economic fall since the late 1970s (
Gleeson, 1999).
Reporter Chris Morris
looked into the Dunedin economy in 2013 and wrote an article in the Otago Daily Times entitled City's
Economy The Overriding Concern. The findings compiled data that portrayed a very dim picture of the
Dunedin economy, highlighting the closure or downsizing of several major businesses, including Fisher and
Paykel, Delta and Invermay. The overall outcome was a loss of 711 jobs in Dunedin in 2013 (Morris, 2013).
The bottom line is found in statistics which show unemployment has jumped from 4.6% to 6.3%
across Otago in the year to June 2013. That gave Otago the highest unemployment rate in the
South Island (Morris, 2013).
In the article, Councillor Lee Vandervis said the city's economy was dire, with only patches of hope, and its
reliance on government-funded institutions such as the University, while facing major debt interest costs,
created a vulnerable future (Morris, 2013).

The Dunedin Development Strategy

(DDS) suggests that this can be explained by the citys slow population
growth, which was half the national average between 2000 and 2010, and well below other cities in New
Zealand (
Dunedin for Dunedin and Beyond, 2013).
The growth rate is predicted to increase as
Dunedin is
projected to have a population of 134,700 by 2031, according to the New Zealand Herald in 2012 (Collins,
2012). For the most part the economy in Dunedin has been gaining strength for the last 10 years, but to have
Dunedin performing above the national average will require growth in population and labour utilisation, as
well as productivity improvements across the citys economy (Dunedin for Dunedin and Beyond, 2013).
Dunedin has been redeveloping itself since awareness was raised publicly about the citys economic
struggles. As the DDS states:

Dunedins economic performance has improved over the past 10 years, but it lags behind the
national average, and growth rates are not sufficient to see the city catch up in the near future. For
Dunedin to remain attractive, there needs to be compelling reasons for people to move to and
remain in the city, our businesses must be productive and incomes must rise
(Dunedin for Dunedin
and Beyond, 2013).
Many initiatives are underway to encourage and support growth in Dunedin. As Dunedin is now a City of
Literature, this will help to sustain and further develop a healthy, creative and prosperous city by celebrating
and sharing a diverse and inclusive literature that connects people and places (City of Literature, 2014). This
is supported by several programs that are underway. Currently, the most active are Enterprise Dunedin,
Dunedin Art and Culture Strategy, and Dunedins Economic and Development Strategy. The DCC is driving, or
is centrally involved in, all of these.

Enterprise Dunedin
is an initiative to develop a new, single marketing agency for the city. It argues that the
city should celebrate its interesting history and vibrant culture.
The Dunedin brand is about authenticity, intelligence, intrigue and creativity, and is free of irony
and advertising tricks. By embracing the brand, Dunedin businesses, groups and passionate locals
will reveal to potential visitors, tourists, investors and immigrants with a joint voice to tell the
Dunedin story. The brand reflects Dunedin's colourful heritage and contemporary vision (The
Dunedin Brand Story, 2014).
Enterprise Dunedin
is a new group responsible for the economic development and marketing of the city. It
brings together the DCCs Economic Development Unit (EDU), i-SITE and Tourism Dunedin. The goal of the
group is to bring more people to Dunedin and provide a positive view of what Dunedin has to offer.
Through its marketing and promotion of the city to visitors, Enterprise Dunedins marketing team
contributes to Dunedins community outcomes by growing the economy and employment
opportunities, providing an environment for positive investment [and] marketing the city as a
desirable visitor destination (Enterprise Dunedin, 2014).


Dunedin Art and Culture Strategys

purpose is to provide a structure for the future that frames the arts

and culture in Dunedin. The aim is to present and exhibit Dunedin as one of the worlds finest creative small
cities (Draft Dunedin Arts and Culture Strategy, 2014). The strategy was drafted to outline the key
challenges that the city is currently facing in regards to cultural awareness. It identifies six themes relating to
Dunedin arts and culture, and it includes the groups that should be sharing their ideas about what actions
should be taken in order to advance culture and arts in Dunedin (Draft Dunedin Arts and Culture Strategy,
2014). It was produced to encourage and direct discussions on arts and culture in Dunedin. The strategy was
developed by the DCC in partnership with the arts and culture collective with the aim of transforming
Dunedin (Draft Arts and Culture Strategy Launch, 2014).
Dunedins Economic Development Strategy
is a collaboration of economic partners around Dunedin,

including the Otago Chamber of Commerce, Otago Southland Employers Association, Otago Polytechnic,
The University of Otago and Ngai Tahu. The development strategy aims to increase skills, income and job
opportunities for Dunedins residents. The goal of this group is to help direct and guide the economic success
of Dunedin. The harsh reality of Dunedin's economy is that it is losing business and people to larger cities in
New Zealand. However, Dunedin is celebrated as one of the worlds great small cities and is recognised as
a confident, competitive knowledge centre, a community where enterprise and creativity support a
productive and sustainable city" (Dunedin for Dunedin and Beyond, 2013).

These different initiatives highlight the need to attract attention to the people and employers of Dunedin to
avoid economic decline. The initiatives involve collaboration and the implementation of new ways to drive
the community towards creating an economically stable city.
The supportive role of community activists and
volunteers from the public who are willing to assist with these activities is evidence of the support that the
initiatives are getting from the community
, demonstrated by
widespread endorsement by key stakeholders
and local businesses
John Christie, Chief Executive, Otago Chamber of Commerce).


The current development of the Maker Movement has the potential to assist with education and the
improvement of Dunedin's local economy. The Maker Movement insists on the use of learning through
doing in a social environment, emphasizing informal, networking, peer-led learning and shared making
motivated by fun and self-fulfilment (Sharples, 2013). This type of nurturing environment has led to the
creation of a number of technology products and solutions by enterprising individuals working without a
supportive infrastructure but facilitated by the increasing amount of information available to individuals
and the decreasing cost of electronic components (Solis, 2014).
The Maker Movement is an international movement of open source informal learning that has drivers
closely aligned with the current goals of developing Dunedin, as some of the Maker Movements many aims
are to
subvert traditional manufacturing by building on innovative concepts such as open source, local
manufacturing, crowd funding, and digital fabrication. Effectively breaking the hobbyist movement
stereotype, "Maker" delves deep into this ecosystem of design and manufacturing in the Internet era while
encouraging collaboration and community learning by providing an environment that is openly available to
anyone. The types of projects can range from art sculptures for the community to manufactured medical and
dental tools and car parts that are distributed all over the world. This could in part negate Dunedins
geographic isolation (Crowd Companies, 2015).
Dale Dougherty explains how the Maker movement can expand into education, business and government.
Dougherty started the Maker Faire, an informal learning event that is aimed at communities. It gathers
together people who want to show and celebrate products and projects that they have made.
A lot of institutions, such as schools, corporations, or government departments, think they
understand what drives innovation and that they can manage it in a controlled environment. At
Maker Faire, we see innovation in the wild. It hasnt been domesticated or controlled, you have to
look for it, and to turn a corner at any of our Faires is to see something you havent seen before. I
believe that in the same way U.S. companies studied the secrets of the Japanese manufacturers
decades ago, the institutions around us should look to the Maker Movement for tips on how to


create an ecosystem of talent, connections, and learning that will lead to a truly innovative
economy and society (Dougherty, 2012).

As in other cities, the Dunedin Public Library is a centre for community learning and collaboration. The
Dunedin Public Library presents itself as
the best place for learning, leisure and information. The heart and
mind of the community in Dunedin, New Zealand (Dunedin City Council, 2014). The head of customer
experiences has responsibility for frontline service delivery at the city library. He was interviewed and
explained that the library is not aware of any groups specifically concerned with collaborative spaces in
Dunedin. The library is open to allowing community groups to use the space and rooms they have access to,
for a small fee or for free, depending on what is available, the resources required and duration (Head of
customer experiences, 2014). The library exists to provide and preserve accessible collections in a range of
formats to encourage learning, leisure and culture. Sharing openly, freely and collaboratively are all core
public library values and library staff are willing to help where they can because there is certainly a need for
more community space. The Library is often asked by groups and individuals for spaces of varying sizes,
many of them that we have to decline because of a lack of suitable spaces" (Head of customer experiences,
2014). The city library was opened in the early 1980s. It has some larger rooms that are available to the
public for meetings and functions but lacks flexible spaces suitable for use by small groups. The City Library
houses a Business Hub, established in collaboration with DCCs Economic Development Unit (EDU). The hub
utilizes library resources and expertise along with EDUs business advisory service. They also work with many
groups involved in community learning and they have partnerships with Otago Polytechnic and with the New
Zealand Society of Genealogists, who are permitted to house their resources in the city library and provide
their expertise to library customers. Dunedin, with its history of strong community activism and groups, is
the ideal place for the Maker Movement to develop.

Taking into consideration that Dunedins economy is growing and is being supported by many community
groups around Dunedin, this is the perfect time to understand the new type of innovation, which could


support a new kind of community education for those who want to be involved. The Maker Movement is
already in Dunedin, with a number of groups collaborating and providing informal learning.


3. Literature Review
The Maker Movement is a relatively new concept that is starting to be recognized as a revolution. There
have been a number of books and articles explaining this technical and social revolution and how it is
becoming more popular. The movement is changing the way that people view industries, communities, and
informal and formal education. Although the literature covers a wide range of areas, this review focuses on
what the Maker Movement is, its relationship to community learning and how the two, with the help of
technology, have influenced and encouraged the development of informal learning in local communities.

3.1 The Revolution

Chris Andersons book,

explains the transformative changes that are shaping, and will shape, the
future of inventing. He states that [t]he past 10 years have been about discovering new ways to create,
invent, and work together on the web. The next ten years will be about applying those lessons to the real
world (Anderson, 2012, p. 17). Tools to create objects without expensive and complex manufacturing
processes, such as additive manufacturing (3D printing) and laser cutters, have become more and more
accessible. These technologies have created new prospects for faster and cheaper prototyping as well as for
the manufacturing of products. With the combination of these new machines and the accessibility that being
online now provides, the finding of parts and the delivery of physical products have never been easier. Jerry
Isdale, founder of
Maui Makerspace
, an international organization that supports DIY space
research, describes it simply as design global, build local. Dale Dougherty, the founder of Make magazine,
the creator of Maker Faire, and the cofounder of OReilly Media, supports these views. Dougherty suggests
that there is a growing involvement from all kinds of people. These people are all part of an interconnected


community that share the common goals of educating themselves about what interests them and sharing
what they learn and create with others (Dougherty,2012).

From the Make Magazine came

The Maker Faire
. Dougherty launched
The Maker Faire
in 2006, and its rapid
success provided a preview of what was to come. It showed the world that there was an immense interest in
hands-on activities and learning new skills. The latest Maker Fairs held in the Bay Area of California and in
New York in 2012 attracted over 195, 000 people, of whom 44% were first timers at the San Francisco Bay
Area event and 61% were first timers at the New York event. These Fairs are now held all over the world,
including in Tokyo, Rome, Santiago and Oslo. Fairs are also held on a smaller scale (mini fairs) and also
attract substantial numbers. They are held in Shenzhen (China), Adelaide (Australia), Bilbao (Spain), Bristol
(UK) and Santiago (Chile), plus many other locations around the world (Maker Faire, 2014). Events such as
these and Maker media output are encouraging people to be a part of a movement that has created a
founding community of people who are interested in sharing and collaborating with each other on a
substantial scale.

3.2 Defining the Maker Movement

The Maker Movement is a broad term that covers a large variety of activities, ranging from crafts to high
tech electronics (many of these activities have been around for years).
Richardson, Elliott & Haylock (2013)
found that Makerspace
communities, groups or individuals passionately engage with objects in activities that
often involve digital tools and new technologies (Dougherty 2012; Stangler & Maxwell 2012). The Makers are
doing something different by using digital tools, designing on screen and increasingly outputting to desktop
fabrication machines (Anderson, 2012). They can be loosely generalized as the web generation, because they
share all of their information and creations online. This allows all the information to be viewed by everyone,
despite their geographic location, as long as they have access to the Internet.


This relates to community learning and to connecting communities, with local spaces and Making
communities connecting to other people and places online all over the world. The resulting exchange creates
an ever-expanding qualtify of free information available to all interested parties. This promotes web culture
and collaboration in the process of making and building together on a scale larger than has been possible
before. As Anderson explains,
[w]hat started as a cultural shift fascination with digital prototyping tools and a desire to extend
the online phenomenon into real-world impact is now becoming an economic shift to, the Maker
Movement is beginning to change the face of industry, as entrepreneurial instincts kick in and
hobbies become small companies (Anderson,2012)

The web plays a big part as it has shown us the power of networks. It is a virtuous circle supported by
platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. More people combining create more value, attracting even more
people. The Maker Movement is taking DIY online and making it public and then moving back into the
physical world. According to Anderson, these are the three main characteristics of the Maker Movement:


People using digital desktop tools to create designs for new products and to prototype them (digital


A cultural norm of sharing those designs and collaborating with others in online communities.


The use of common design file standards that allow anyone, if they desire, to send their designs to
commercial manufacturing services to be produced in any numbers, just as easily as they can
fabricate them on their desktop. This radically foreshortens the path from idea to
entrepreneurship, just as the Web did with software, information, and content.
(Anderson, 2012, p.21)

These online communities of sharing and collaborative learning have moved into the real world to share
technology such as 3D printers to manufacture their shared projects. These spaces are frequently referred to
as Makerspaces.

3.3 Makerspaces

Makerspaces are co-operative, welcoming spaces run by groups whose desire is to create and design while
sharing their knowledge with others who wish to develop their skills and share ideas. This core is further
developed by open house days or build nights. These are sporadic get-togethers that members from other
organisations, locally or globally, are welcome to attend.
Community spaces with inclusive involvement were
prevalent in Germany in the 90s, and have reemerged, with the growing interest in networks and sharing, as
The concept of inventors and tinkerers combined with the backing of a whole community with
access to technology and information has created a new platform for learning. A Makerspace is a
community-driven workspace (Guthrie, 2014), incorporating elements of machine shops and studios where
people with common interests can
, interact (Cavalcanti, 2013), share knowledge and make things
(Henry, 2012). Kostakis, Niaros and Giotitsas (2014) see these spaces as a type of freedom, somewhere that
embraces the new platform of informal learning that community and sharing has created.
Freedom, in the sense of autonomy as well as of free access and circulation of information; distrust
of authority, that is, opposing the traditional, industrial top-down style of organization; embracing
the concept of learning by doing and peer-to-peer learning processes as opposed to formal modes
of learning; sharing, solidarity and cooperation (Kostakis, Niaros and Giotitsas, 2014).

There are different types of Makerspaces encompassing a variety of different activities. Makerspaces have
moved away from the term HackerSpace as Makerspaces are now being seen more as collaborative spaces,
which could contribute to marketing (Kelly,2013; Cavalcanti, 2013). Makerspaces are locations where people
with a specific knowledge base can share their skills with their peers, enabling them to learn. Makerspaces
also have connections to commercial 'for profit' companies such as Techshop, which has an
entrepreneurship aspect. Techshop
is a chain of member-based workshops that encourages people of all skill
levels to come in and use industrial tools and equipment to build their own projects (Guthrie, 2014).

sharing can occur in a lecture or presentation setting or as practical workshops (Guthrie, 2014). The makers
can work on specific projects alone or a group can decide to work together and collaborate on a project. It is
usual for the Makerspaces to provide access to equipment such as actual tools or computer tools, lending
them out to members (Williams, 2009).
Universities, schools, group centres and education centres are normally the types of locations where
Makerspaces can be found. Once groups are more established, they typically expand into somewhere bigger,
such as warehouses, business or industrial spaces. The physical space where the Makerspace is housed is
central to the members needs. It must provide enough space for the members to create their projects. In
addition, it must provide the physical and electronic tools required to complete the work. The kind of things
you would find in an established Makerspace would include video equipment, audio equipment, a physical
library of tools and electronic resources, electronic tools, video projectors, and raw materials for fabricating
objects (Roush, 2009). The equipment that is found in Makerspaces varies, depending on the type of
Makerspace. Mens Sheds, for example, would expect to have a large number of physical tools and design
materials, as they are woodwork-based. Makerspaces may have a specific focus, such as Art, with an
equipment base of sculpting equipment and art supplies. Many spaces include high-level electronic and
hacking equipment and high-speed Internet connections. Sponsorship or financial support in some
Makerspaces is accepted, however, usually a fee is charged to the members of the Makerspace, and this
covers the costs of overheads like electricity, rent and raw materials. Makerspaces attached to institutions
will sometimes waive the fee, as the primary users are, for example, current staff and students or graduates
of the institution. A Makerspace, by its very nature, is collaborative, and it is routine for members of other
Makerspaces to be able to visit without charge. In cases where members are suffering economic difficulties,
some of the spaces will accept voluntary work instead of payment of fees.


3.4 Open Source

Open Source is a type of open sharing in which software, designs, blueprints and original work are freely
available to everyone with the ability to modify and redistribute them.
It is an intrinsically participatory process, providing the opportunity for designers to maintain a
closer relationship with the end user: individuals are given the opportunity to generate content,
adapt and personalize products, and be involved in the making process (Richardson, Elliott &
Haylock, 2013).
Open Source is a development that has inspired the Maker Movement (Monitor 2011; Dougherty 2012). It is
a practice that allows designers to inform others of their designs and invite them to use their designs to
create physical objects, regardless of where they are or what social class they belong to, as long as they have
the ability to be connected to the Internet (Vallance, Kiani and Nayfeh, 2001; Kadushin 2010). This system
enables people to swiftly improve and develop ideas, because the work is open to the whole world to edit,
not just to a small number of experts in one organization. Open source can be seen as a key component of
the open learning revolution
Richard Baraniuk (2006) was invited to TedTalks to present
The birth of the
open-source learning revolution
. In his presentation, Baraniuk explains the vision behind Connexions (now
called OpenStax), an open-source, online education system. It cuts out the textbook, he says, allowing
teachers to share and modify course materials freely, anywhere in the world (Baraniuk, 2006).

3.5 Manufacturing

In todays world we are surrounded by material objects, and these are the products of the manufacturing
industry. Over the last decade, these businesses have been transformed by technology in many ways. The


newest development is that now manufacturing is becoming open to the world without regard to geographic
location and without the need for a complex and costly infrastructure.

Manufacturing and delivery has been dominated by large companies and organizations and by educated
experts, due to the high skill levels required, the equipment needed, and the costs of large-scale production.
In an article entitled
Our world has gone digital, why not embrace it?
(Roach, 2013), John Roach explains
the obsession that we now have with being connected and our desire to share our ideas with people that we
have never met. He talks about the future and where we could end up, and he suggests that the main drivers
of this movement will be learning and skills as well as commercial benefits. Physical objects are now being
designed on laptops, in schools and in libraries, and then shared online. Factories and industrial designers
have been doing this for years, but now anyone can be a maker; the consumer can also be the producer of
products with the help of technology. As Anderson (2012) says, [t]he biggest change is the way things are
done and who is doing it. Entrepreneurs and inventors have been dominated by large companies and have
had to go to them to manufacture their ideas, but they are no longer restricted to expensive technology and
limited distribution paths (Wohlers, 2012). This is opening up a whole new market for people to produce
their own products from their homes with the help of their community resources (Tanenbaum, Williams,
Desjardins & Tanenbaum, 2013).
Richardson et al. (2013) say that
those who look to the future believe that
manufacturing will undergo a transformation. We will commonly utilize these new technologies in our daily
lives and we will no longer be limited by the current boundaries (Bernard & Fischer, 2002; Bowyer, 2011). In
2014 there were nearly a thousand Makerspaces shared production facilities around the world, and
they are growing at an astounding rate. Shanghai alone is building 100 of them (O'Brien, 2012).

3.6 Local Manufacturing

The manufacturing sector is now moving forward not by going back to the factories but by creating a new
type of manufacturing (Wise & Baumgartner, 1999). Its model is the World Wide Web; bottom-up, broadly
distributed and highly entrepreneurial, Makerspaces embody this new type of manufacturing model.

There is a move towards franchise-type Makerspaces, where a workshop can be set up in a community and
users can purchase a membership. They then belong to the organization, thus gaining access to the
workshop facilities. An example of this type of Makerspace is the Mens Shed movement. Mens Shed
members purchase all the equipment for the facility and the members pay a small annual fee. They also have
the benefit of other members knowledge to draw upon (Guthrie, 2014). Important for the longevity of these
spaces will be factors such as carefully restricting the size of the space chosen to only what is needed,
checking that there is a way to tightly control the expenses, such as rent, electricity and the ongoing costs of
maintenance of the space, and making judicious choices of economical raw material to purchase. All of these
factors will contribute to ensuring that continuing overhead expenditure can be limited. The outlay required
to establish the space is comparatively modest, as the primary expenses are the tools, equipment and
technology each Makerspace needs (Harris, 2012). There are also web platforms for Makers, which connect
millions of people to markets for selling their products. These traded more than US$0.5 billion in products in
2011 (Steiner, 2012). An example is Etsy, which Dickerson (2014) describes as a marketplace where people
around the world connect to buy and sell unique goods. Their mission, he explains, is to re-imagine
commerce in ways that build a more fulfilling and lasting world a new kind of company that uses the
power of business to solve social and environmental problems. This type of making is being encouraged all
over the world. In 2014 American President Obama announced that a Maker Faire would be held in the
White House.
We cannot wait to see more of that innovative spirit later this year when we host
our first ever White House Maker FaireThis new event is going to highlight
how Americans, young and old, are tinkerers and inventors, are imagining and
designing and building tools and machines that will open our minds and propel
our economy. We want to bring this spirit, including more technology, into the
classroom (Brahms, 2014).
There are a number of institutions that are recognising the importance of this movement and are
incorporating it into their programmes to encourage learning in a new way (Honey & Kanter, 2013). Brahms

(2014) highlights the link between making and education

drawing on the notion that making is a new
opportunity to learn
as making has been recognized as a way for these institutions to engage new and
existing audiences in their quest to provide disciplinary learning opportunities in science, technology,
engineering, art and math (Brahms, 2014).

3.7 Collaborative learning and Libraries

ASG Education Programmes New Zealand is an education savings scheme that helps parents to save money
for the cost of their child's secondary or tertiary education fund. ASG conducted a survey producing financial
figures for the average education cost per child in New Zealand. The survey reveals that the cost of
education is the biggest factor stopping New Zealanders from entering tertiary education. It shows that 65
percent of respondents said children are unable to attend tertiary education because it is too expensive.
ASGs Planning for Education Index found that a private education in New Zealand is estimated to cost NZD
$262,310 over the 13 years of education for a child starting primary school this year and NZD $38,157 for
state education for a child. ASG chief executive officer Mr John Velegrinis says the cost of education in New
Zealand has risen by one and a half times the rate of inflation over the past 10 years. Education, like most
things, has become far more competitive (ASG Education Programs New Zealand, 2014).

The Maker Movement and Makerspaces have the potential to create an educational transformation. This
will be the Movements greatest challenge and could be its greatest achievement. Students have been at the
forefront of the greatest technological changes, as they are early adopters of cellphones and other
technologies that can increase their ability to control their lives (
Kamenetz, 2010).
Self-directed learning in
education is helping students to have a more stimulating and imaginative learning experience. Students are
more fully conscious of the difference between genuine learning and often painful traditional education.
Because of this difference, students find themselves compelled to look outside of the formal learning


environment for the opportunity to develop their skills, express their ideas and network with other
like-minded individuals. This is where Makerspaces can make all the difference.

Makerspaces have many templates and a number of them can be applied to libraries (Kelly, 2013), including
those in New Zealand and specifically in Dunedin. Makerspaces have many of the underlying values that
apply to public libraries, as they stand for the same principles (Kelly, 2013). Seckinger suggests that the
sharing of knowledge is more important than ever, with regard to Makerspaces as community hubs. The
key ideals that underpin a modern-day library reflect what Makerspaces are trying to achieve a space to
share knowledge while bringing communities together. The Maker Movement framework overlaps with
ideals that are associated with the goals of libraries learning, sharing knowledge and being
nondiscriminatory. In his book,
Gadgets and gizmos: Personal electronics and the library,
Jason Griffey says
If I were in charge of a young adult section of a public library, Make [Magazine] and its projects would be
very near the top of my collection list (Griffey, 2010).

The Dunedin Public Library still runs separately from the Dunedin Makerspace, as most libraries do at the
moment (Bilandzic, 2013), but there is an opportunity to join the two, which would result in creating
enhanced library service" (Kelly, 2013). How libraries are viewed is changing due to the technological
advances of recent years. In particular, electronic books are forcing libraries to redevelop themselves as
something new for the community as the shift in focus moves away from customer services. As Kelly says,
Maker culture actively encourages people to explore their environment by accessing knowledge and
learning new skills to make things that ultimately improve their own community (Kelly, 2013). Lankes (2011)
suggests that libraries need to start moving into facilitating knowledge creation in communities rather than
hoarding it in forms of artifacts. Currently, libraries provide the community with a way to engage and
interact with existing information and collections (
Bennett, Demas, Frischer, Peterson, & Oliver, 2005
), but
their new priority should be to assist the community in making their own knowledge and feed[ing] the
collection (Lankes, 2011).


This can be done via platforms such as the Khan Academy or Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Khan
Academy is [a] personalized learning resource for all ages (Khan Academy, 2015). It is a free online
resource where subjects can be selected either to help with schooling or be used on their own. The Khan
Academy provides online practice tests and video along with a personalized learning dashboard to allow
individuals to study at the own pace. Khan covers the more traditional subjects, like math, science, computer
programming, history, art history and economics. The goal is to guide learners from kindergarten to
calculus using state-of-the-art, adaptive technology that identifies strengths and learning gaps. We've also
partnered with institutions like NASA, The Museum of Modern Art, The California Academy of Sciences, and
MIT to offer specialized content (Khan Academy, 2015).

MOOCs started as a platform that provided free distance learning online. The courses are normally short,
commonly four to six weeks long, consisting of videos and quizzes, and students earn badges or certificates,
rather than formal credits that would lead to a traditional degree. Shrivastava and Guiney (2014) examined
the current and potential application of MOOCs in New Zealand. MOOCs differ from other distance learning
courses as there is no student-teacher interaction.
An important feature in MOOCs is interaction among learners through posting comments in online
forums (unlike traditional distance and on-campus education, where generally studentteacher
interactions are built into the course design and associated pedagogical approach). Some MOOC
lecturers organise face-to-face study groups in various physical locations or through the provision
of separate online forums for learners. These models have been adopted because of the number of
students enrolled in MOOCs and their geographical distribution. (Shrivastava & Guiney, 2014)

MOOCs began as an experiment in open education in Canada in 2008 and gained prominence with the
launch of Coursera and Udacity in USA in 2012. Many other MOOC platforms have since been launched in
several other countries. Although the Dunedin-based University of Otago has stated that they are not
something that will be adopted into its curriculum, other universities in Australasia have offered MOOCs.


In New Zealand, three institutions have recently become involved with MOOCs: Massey University,
through the Open Universities Australia consortium, the University of Auckland, via the United
Kingdoms Future Learn consortium, and the University of Waikato, an internal effort focused on a
specialist area of provision (NMC Horizon Project, 2014).
These are examples of informal learning models that are already well established in the web/Internet
community and they are slowing making their way into formal learning institutions, such as schools and
universities. The 2014
NMC Horizon Report
reviewed new models of education provision and it highlighted
the popularity of informal learning and the movement towards free education via the Internet.

As online learning and free educational content become more pervasive, stakeholders and
administrators must seriously consider what schools can provide that cannot be replicated by other
sources. The idea is to rethink the value of education from a student's perspective and identify
what learners need to know to seek credible information, work in teams, and persist in achieving
their goals. Educators are discussing the possibility of using high-quality, free online content to
teach advanced courses at the secondary level. Hybrid and online learning experiences are
commonplace in higher education, and are gradually gaining ground in K-12 education, too; this can
be seen in the growing number of schools that are using resources like Khan Academy to
implement the flipped classroom approach. In this blended model, time spent at school is focused
on peer-to-peer and student-teacher interactions for problem solving. Meanwhile, students take
advantage of the environment to socialize and participate in extracurricular activities that enrich
their minds and bodies (NMC Horizon Project, 2014).

3.8 Social Entrepreneurship and Community

Social enterprise or social entrepreneurship covers a wide range of societal trends, organizational forms and
structures and individual initiatives (Roper & Cheney, 2005). A social enterprise can be described as a


consortium or conglomerate which uses a mercantile approach in such a way as to help enhance wellbeing
within a community, instead of seeking only to provide larger profits to shareholders (Kirkwood & Walton,
2010). Social entrepreneurship combines an overarching social mission with entrepreneurial creativity
(Nicholls, 2006; Peredo & McLean, 2006). Kelly considers fab labs, hackerspaces and Makerspaces to be
forms of social entrepreneurship, as they provide places that address social needs and empower those with
a desire for change (Guthrie, 2014).

The Maker Movement and Makerspaces are still developing, but it is easy to see that they are a
learning-based movement with the intention of empowering people. The Maker Movement has shown
economic benefit to local communities by incorporating a business model, but this is not necessary in order
to be considered part of the movement. Whether the space is in schools, libraries or an independent space it
will be considered part of the Maker Movement, as long as it provides people with the equipment and
assistance to learn and collaborate with each other in a safe environment. There are a number of different
models that have been developed in terms of collaborative informal learning spaces, but designing the space
to suit a particular community's needs is necessary in order to provide a successful initiative.

Transformative social and technological changes are shaping the future of sharing, collaboration and
learning. The Internet and related technology that is now available are encouraging people to engage in a
different type of learning and making. Makerspaces have come out of this new view of collaborative learning
and it is such community-driven groups that empower people to learn and invent. With the fast pace of
technological change, libraries and traditional learning are being reviewed and evaluated, and new solutions
for cheaper and more effective learning and creative production are emerging.


4 Research Methods and Data Collection

Three in-depth case study investigations were conducted to gain information on specific informal and
collaborative spaces in Dunedi
n. The data was gathered in one-on-one interviews and open discussions with
the organisers of the spaces, aiming at gaining insight into the values, goals and workings of the projects.
Qualitative approaches are particularly useful in areas that are not well advanced (Edmondson and
McManus, 2007). Case research is useful in addressing research which has explanatory questions such as
how and why questions (Yin, 1984). Research involving explanatory question requires a need to make
operational links over time and case studies are useful in this regard (Kirkwood and Walton, 2010).

Case studies differ from other research approaches that are primarily intent on answering how, what and
how much, questions, and that focus on measuring frequencies or the incidence of an event (Yin, 1989).
Increasing understanding is the aim of this study, in addition to the usual description questions such as who,
what, when and how (Bacharach, 1989, Whetten, 1989).
The three cases that were selected for this research
were: Dunedin Free University (DFU), Dunedin Makerspace (DM), and Dunedin StartUp Space (DSS). These
spaces were identified through initial research as spaces that showed many of the characteristics related to
the Maker Movement and open-sourced informal learning, with each having a different area of focus.
questions that were asked in the interviews were related to the interviewees view of their organisations
development and their goals in terms of what they aim to provide to the community. All of the interviewees
were asked the following questions. A more informal discussion then followed, allowing them to elaborate
and talk about their particular story.

What is your mission?

Why did you/they set up this space?
What is this space used for?
Who is involved?


Could you describe what you do?

Where did the idea for this space come from?
What values underpin what you are doing (how important is sharing, open, free, collaborative

Are you connected to other community activities or spaces in Dunedin? Which ones?
Do you think there is a need for more community creative space in Dunedin? Why or why not?
Are you aware of (Dunedin Free University, Dunedin Makerspace and Dunedin StartUp Space [as

How could you and your space/activities be better supported?

The three organisers were contacted by email and the questions above were sent to the interviewees in
advance to allow each of them to think about the answers and make notes. The interviews were conducted
in person and lasted between 30 and 60 minutes. The interviews were recorded and ethics approval forms
were signed before the interviews were conducted (See appendix). A table was created to record responses
dealing with the main issues that were of concern in this research. These included being community driven,
providing open access, being non-hierarchical, non-institutional, encouraging networking and their goals for
the space.

Dr. Overell was interviewed on behalf of the Dunedin Free University. The interview took place in her office
in the Richardson Building at the University of Otago. Paul Campbell was interviewed as the organizer of the
Dunedin Makerspace. The interview was held at one of the Makerspaces Thursday open nights.
Turnbull was interviewed on behalf of Dunedin StartUp, at the Dunedin StartUp Space on Union Street.


4.1 Case Study One: The Dunedin Free University (DFU) - Academic

Figure 2.1 - Dunedin Free University

Figure 2.2 - Dunedin Free University

On March 26, 2014 the Dunedin Free University (DFU) was launched at the Kokiri Training Centre,
Macandrew Road, South Dunedin. The initiative was inspired by other successful free universities around the
world and was based on the Melbourne Free University model that has been very successful since its launch
in 2010. A collective of Otago University staff and Dunedin community members created the Dunedin
equivalent. DFU provides courses that are academic in nature but use everyday language and are accessible
to everyone (DFU, 2014).

Dr. Rosemary Overell was interviewed as the representative for DFU.

Dr. Overell is one of the initiators and
organisers of the initiative. She saw the potential for an organisation in Dunedin that offers non-credit higher
education outside of traditional institutions, such as universities or polytechnics, to anyone, for free. Having
been involved in the Melbourne Free University, Dr.Overell pushed to get the Dunedin equivalent off the
ground with a small group of colleagues and members of the Dunedin community. The structure of the
Dunedin Free University was informed by a document that was published by the Melbourne Free University.


DFU is aligning with the pedagogical and political sentiments that are outlined in the Melbourne Free
University guide, supporting the idea of the free sharing of knowledge. The DFU promotes the idea that
knowledge is not only for the privileged.
Currently, says Overell, knowledge is regularly seen as a product
to be marketed and sold, instead of a community that can benefit the public (Overell, 2014).

Free Universities have been defined as

radical and critical pedagogical spaces. Presently, the
Dunedin Free
University runs as a collective, democratically without a particular leader (Overell, 2014). The Melbourne
Free University started because of the long history that NZ and Australia have with free schools, particularly
in Australia, that were set up in the 1970s (Overell, 2014). At that time, night classes would be offered to
people in the community. Since then, there has been a lull; DFU wanted to revive that. The group
appreciates that DFU will develop differently from the model in Melbourne but Dr Overell explained that it
will start small and hopefully develop into something that reinforces and supports the values that underpin
what a free university is. The group meets once a week and has events once a month, when a local expert
gives a 45 minute seminar presentation. These experts can be academics or local people, and are generally
those with extensive knowledge in the area of interest. There is also a discussion held after the presentation
to further understand and debate the topic.

The project recognizes that the current system of higher education is unequal and is not sustainable.
Currently, the price of education is increasing within all educational institutions.The idea [is] that
knowledge should be disseminated to everybody and everyone has a right to knowledge (Overell, 2014).
Reinforcing this view is the Free Universities slogan expand your knowledge for free. In the current context
and in our political framework, education costs money, either directly or indirectly. DFU democratizes this by
offering high standard educational seminars which people can access for free, while trying to build networks
globally with other free education providers via Twitter, Facebook and other online media services.

Community Driven


The DFU struggled to find a free space to hold their lectures and discussions, as they wanted everything
related to the university to be free.
They talked to the public library and various organisations with spaces
available, but all of them insisted on payment for a room.
The Kokiri Training Centre currently provides the
DFU with a free room on the nights they wish to hold their lectures. The Kokiri Centre is located in South
Dunedin, which is not an area
typically associated with the University of Otago. DFU did not want to hold
events on a campus, aiming to clearly separate themselves from the larger institutions that dominate
Dunedins tertiary education. They believe this allows everyone in the community to feel welcome and
wanted, getting as many people involved as possible. DFU is designed for a community base, trying get
people involved and active in political events. The trustees draw on people from their own networks to give
presentations at the events. They also network with other community groups that participants are
connected to, such as Kokiri, Black Star Books, Oil Free Dunedin and the Dunedin local food network.

Non- Hierarchical and Non-Institutional

The Dunedin Free University offers its services to anyone who wants to be involved. The lectures, presented
live, are recorded and placed on the Internet via the DFU blog. They are able be viewed by anyone and
discussions are encouraged. DFU uses sites and services such as a Facebook page, Wordpress and Twitter to
communicate and spread their information. DFU is run by a core of 5 people with 20 estimated to be on the
mailing list. As mentioned earlier, the aim is that it runs as [a] collective, democratically, without a
particular leader. This method allows anyone to suggest lectures and topics of discussion, moving away
from the hierarchical structure that is normally associated with education. They expressed the notion that
they didn't want to be sanctioned by the Dunedin City Council. This is done intentionally, to reinforce the
idea that education should be shared freely and without requiring official permission.

The Dunedin Free University currently uses the social links of individual organisers and participants as well as
the networks connected with the community groups that they are associated with
. It has also been
expressed by Dr.Overell, who became fully aware of the other groups during our interview, that they would

like to be linked with other community groups, such as the Dunedin Makerspace, that are involved with
informal learning. This would allow them to exchange information and develop professional and social
contacts in the hopes of raising community awareness of similar initiatives. The
Melbourne Free University
has graphic designers volunteering their time to the free university. They were able to crowd source for the
help and the funds that they needed to get off the ground. This is the type of networking and support that
the DFU hopes to achieve from the Dunedin community.

The Dunedin Free University is committed to the exchange and discussion of ideas, as well as intellectual
rigour. It is based on the belief that participants have a willingness to contribute to collaborative knowledge.
The Dunedin Free University website
highlights the goals of the initiative and what they hope to achieve.

Case study one highlighted the importance that DFU puts on knowledge being free. The non-hierarchal
structure of the initiative provides a clear view of how they hope the community will be involved in deciding
which subjects are to be discussed by people with a personal interest and depth of knowledge, and that the
community will guide the discussions that follow. It has been noted that financial issues and a lack of
advertising may be holding the Dunedin Free University back from reaching its full potential.


4.2 Case Study Two: Dunedin Makerspace (DMS) - Skill Development

Figure 3.1 - Makerspace

Figure 3.2 - Dunedin Makerspace

Paul Campbell, the Chairman of the Board of Dunedin Makerspace, said that he started the Dunedin
Makerspace (DMS) in 2011 to provide a space that could teach people how to make stuff themselves rather
than just being consumers (Campbell, 2014). The Dunedin Makerspace is located in room 114 at the old
King Edward Technical College building at 291 Stuart Street, Dunedin. The idea for the space came from the
San Francisco Bay Area, where Makerspaces started. We wanted to do similar stuff (Campbell, 2014). At
the start of this initiative there were a lot of people who were interested and supported Paul to get it up and
running. Paul and his supporters started looking for a place to hold the Makerspace, with the hope of having
it close to the Otago University campus. The intention was that this would provide easy access for students
and get more people in. Unfortunately, there werent any spaces big enough to hold the initiative and, with
their minimal budget, it was hard to find a place which could accommodate their needs. Finally Paul found
the Technical College space. A public meeting was held, a budget was worked out and the group determined
the financial outlay necessary to initiate the project. We knew that we needed a room full of tools and
some social stuff, chairs and coffee and tea (Campbell, 2014). Enough money was contributed to get the the
Dunedin Makerspace started. There are a number of people who support DMS financially who do not use
the space, but want it to exist.


Community Driven
The Makerspace runs on a cooperative membership platform; no one is turned away if they cannot afford to
pay a fee. There is a vague idea that students should put a coin in the box, but its not mandatory, if its not
done, no one is going to give them a hard time (Campbell, 2014). They are told about the fee the first time
they visit but it isnt pushed. However, it is expected that if a member is financially able to pay then they
contribute NZ$20 per month.

The mission of the Dunedin Makerspace is to create a space where people work together and make and
invent things, whilst moving out of their normal comfort zone. There is also a concern that there are youth in
the community who do not have access to workshops and tool, such as wood, soldering irons, 3D printers,
etc., in the way that most young people used to. Now these are available for use on Saturday afternoons
when younger Makers come in.
It gets them to work on their own projects, but its also for them to be able to look over an adults
shoulder and see what they are doing. Dunedin Makerspace encourages them to come and present
what they have made and do a talk about it. The aim is to empower them. We are definitely
education based but far away from the formal setting of the teacher-student base. (Campbell,

Open Access and Technology

Makerspace has developed more out of the open source movement, taking people that are programmers
and moving them into the hardware world (Campbell, 2014). The hardware and the software side of
technology in the past did not have a good working relationship, but now they are seen to be moving closer
together. As this relationship develops, manufacturing is becoming easier and easier. As an example of this,
the Dunedin Makerspace provides anyone with the means to build their own 3D printer for under NZ$400.
Parts are sent to the member under the assumption that once they have finished building their own printer
they will then provide parts for two other people to build one (printed from their own new printer).


Non- Hierarchical and Non - Institutional

The Board structure is made up of a few regular members but everyone is welcome to come to the
meetings, where they discuss operational matters including expenses, such as rent and power, which are a
continual struggle (Campbell, 2014)
The DMS have

not taken the step of becoming a charitable

organisation so they can receive benefits such as tax-free donations, because as a charity they would have to
pay for associated costs, which could amount to more than they make in a year.

By using their social networks, everything in DMS is either loaned or donated to the space. Dunedin
Makerspace is not currently connected to any other community spaces in Dunedin. Paul discussed
collaborating with other community groups, and he explained that it would be nice to have more
community art spaces in Dunedin but Dunedin isnt big enough, people are not coming to pay to do crafts
(Campbell, 2014). The subject of joining with other institutions was discussed and networking with the
University would be something they would consider, as students were one of their target markets when
deciding how to run the DMS.

Dunedin Makerspace expressed an interest in joining a larger institution. Otago University or the Otago
Polytechnic would be two that they would definitely consider (Campbell, 2014). Otago Polytechnic design
students are already coming to the Maker Space, as they want to use the 3D printers. The problem is that
the students couldnt get access during the evenings, and it had been planned to be located close to
students, who were one of the target markets. Now its location; being past the Octagon, for most students,
is too far (Campbell, 2014).

To offer a place where members can make and develop their ideas fully, Paul has suggested that the space
does need essential tools, but the group has not been able to get these due to lack of networking and


support. The DMS is already addressing the lack of tools by moving towards manufacturing items for money
and using the profits to support themselves. Currently, they are only doing this on a small scale.

Case study two examined a space that focuses on providing a certain part of the community with the tools
and information they need to engage in their hobbies with the hope of learning from and collaborating with
a wide range of people. The difficulties that DMS faces are paying rent and supplying the members with the
tools they need to enjoy the space. The organiser did show an interest in joining with a larger institution to
overcome these issues and also being available and known to a wider population in Dunedin.


4.3 Case Study Three : Dunedin StartUp Space (DSU) - Entrepreneurship

Figure 4.1 - Dunedin StartUp Space

Figure 4.3 - Dunedin StartUp Space

The Otago University, the Otago Polytechnic and the Dunedin City Council funded the Dunedin StartUp
Space, which was opened on 13 November, 2014, in Dunedins tertiary precinct on Union Street. The StartUp
Space was developed to provide a hub of entrepreneurial activities and support Dunedin students and other
members of the community. People looking at starting a business now know where to go in Dunedin, and
the StartUp Space aims to provide them with a place to work and seek advice, in the hope that this will
bring in the business community to connect with the students (Turnbull,2014).

Kate Turnbull, who is responsible for the day-to-day running of the StartUp Space, was interviewed. Kate is
also the programme manager for the Audacious Business Challenge. Nigel Bamford from Esca, a successful
New Zealand gas fireplace company, was the instigator. He had seen shared work spaces in New Zealand and
in the United States and he was keen to see what could be done in Dunedin. We would do it the Dunedin
way, but wanted to try it out (Turnbull, 2014).

There are a lot of people interested in starting a business but they do not know where to go for the help and
advice they need. The StartUp space is for people who want to start a business, work together, meet each
other, then access the help that they need through workshops and entrepreneurial residencies. There is also
a push for non-students (community members) to be involved, and they are also free to come to the space.


Currently, Dunedin is dominated by the Otago University and the Otago Polytechnic. Its good for Dunedin
to have that student focus but its also good to let the wider community know that they are welcome to
come in (Turnbull, 2014). At the time of the interview the final logistics of managing people coming in and
out was undecided, as the space can only hold 50 people at one time. If the space becomes too busy and full,
the StartUp space will have to look at changing the walk-in policy and instituting a small charge. However,
the logistics of taking a small amount of money from people in return for access can become too
complicated and the goal is to keep it open to everyone.

Community Driven
The StartUp is very interested in the business community and the public rather than just the Otago
University and the Otago Polytechnic. They want to bring expertise, knowledge and experience from the
community together to interact with people who have the same mindset and to provide a space where like
minds can gather (Turnbull, 2014). Users will have an opening event every year to inform newcomers about
what the Space can offer, while an official event targeted at the business community will happen in
November each year when there are fewer students around, acknowledging the fact that the StartUp Space
does have two main target markets. The Space will hold informal workshops which are open to the public.
These will be educational and relevant to business. There will also be advisers at the space on a casual basis
to answer questions and help when they can.

Open Access and Technology

Whilst the StartUp is open to the public, it is up the individuals involved to decide who they will work with in
the long run and what they share with each other. The space does not run on a hierarchical structure. There
are organisers and advisers there to guide and offer their knowledge and share their experiences. It was also
noted that due to the technology and information that is now accessible, the previous drive to finish tertiary
education and join a large corporation is now not as dominant as it once was. Views are changing and
starting a business is more appealing than joining a large company (Turnbull, 2014).


Non- Hierarchical and Non-Institutional

The members will all have the same influence in decision-making, whatever their background is. As
networking is a large part of the business world, the Dunedin StartUp Space has tried to create networks
with organisations that can help develop what they have already established. Akina, a company that
specializes in developing social enterprises in Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and national
organisations, is already interested in using space for workshops and lean startups. Lightning Lab, which is an
Incubator for startup businesses (startup accelerator), has already held a workshop in the space.

The Dunedin StartUp Spaces would like to be linked to Bond Street, which is a co-working office that
provides desk spaces for small businesses. They can see
104 Bond Co-Working Space
being the place that
successful businesses move to when they need their own offices. This shows clear stepping in the
development of the businesses which come out of the Dunedin StartUp Space so that these can carry on to
support the business of the coworking space. Turnbull suggests that in term of the size of Dunedin the two
are enough, anecdotally it should be popular (Turnbull, 2014).

The Dunedin StartUp was started with the hope of supporting the Dunedin business and entrepreneurial
community and to provide a hub for enterprise activities in Dunedin" (Turnbull, 2014). The StartUps aim is
to provide a space for people to come and collaborate with a wide variety of other people. The goal is to
encourage more people to stay in Dunedin and develop their business ideas because of all the support and
information that they have access to. This will support the Dunedin community and the economy.

Case study three examined a well supported initiative in Dunedin that is mainly aimed at the business and
student population, with the intention of encouraging more people to be a part of it. By providing a space
and workshop this initiative will become a hub for entrepreneurial activity due to the informal learning
environment that has been created, guided by other spaces of this type around the world.

5. Findings from the Interviews

The three case studies share the same underlying drivers. They have been identified as being community
driven, open sourced, using technology, operating in a non-hierarchical or non-institutional way, using
networking and setting similar goals. One difference is that the DFU is free and non-profit, while the StartUp
Space aims to foster profit-making businesses. The Makerspace could support people who want to do either.

Community Driven
The main aims of the initiatives are community involvement and education (informal learning). Dunedin
Free University was established to ensure that everyone within the Dunedin community would feel
welcome; South Dunedin is not normally associated with education facilities. They believe this will guarantee
the perception of separation from the formal education facilities which dominate Dunedin City. Offering free
education opens up the wider community to a form of education that would not normally be available to all
of them, thus providing the community with the opportunity to better educate themselves without the
financial burden of traditional, for-credit courses. The organiser of the Dunedin Makerspace holds the same
views about limiting costs as the StartUp does, by not enforcing payment if the individual cannot afford it. It
is expected, however, that if payments are not financially detrimental to the individual's situation, they pay
something to keep the space going, as rent and power are the major costs for the Dunedin Makerspace.
These costs are always a struggle to pay each month due to an inconsistent cash flow. On occasion the rent
has been covered by the chairman of the board. Two community groups trying to become established in a
small city can make the early stages of development difficult, as they are always on the brink of closure due
to the small number of members contributing.

Being forced to rely on goodwill as Dunedin Free University and Dunedin Makerspace are means that there is
little time left to devote to advertising and marketing. This limits the number of people who hear about the


spaces. This difficulty can be offset to some extent by the efforts of volunteers actively communicating in the
marketplace to promote these spaces and what they are trying to do. Dunedin StartUp Space still has a
community focus, but support from other institutions allows them to have access to more resources. Their
objective is to bring people in the community together so they can learn, collaborate and start successful
businesses in Dunedin. The three spaces have different service focuses, while still proving collaborative and
informal learning to benefit the Dunedin community. The Dunedin Free University is education based, purely
providing information and intellectual discussion. The Dunedin Makerspace is skill based, providing tools to
allow people to make and design, and learn from observation and trial and error. The Dunedin StartUp Space
provides advice and workshops that have a very strong business focus.

Open Access and Technology

All three groups are part of a cultural shift. They maintain a policy that anyone is allowed to be involved in
using the spaces and their resources, while also providing spaces for collaboration and discussion.
Makerspaces are derived from the open source movement and maintain that collaboration is key, and that
everything should be shared. Technology-wise, The Makerspace is well equipped, with three 3D printers,
numerous woodworking tools as well as electronic equipment, all of which have either been donated or
borrowed. Dunedin Makerspace has the ability to produce products at low prices, due to the technology that
they have access to, with the only the obligation being that if you build a 3D printer you then have to print
the parts for two other people for free.

The Internet is also used by the DFU as they record all the lectures that are given and make them available
on their website for anyone to see, making them apart of the open source movement. The initiatives are all
taking advantage of the Internet by exhibiting their profiles on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter or
Wordpress, and in some cases on all of these social media. Dunedin StartUp Space uses the Internet to
promote and market their events, and have a news update that promotes what is happening in Dunedin
business. Using the Internet reaches a larger number of people and can could draw on people outside of
Dunedin and even outside New Zealand.

Non- Hierarchical and Non - Institutional

DFU runs as a democratic collective, without a particular leader, and it has chosen not to seek the
endorsement of the DCC. The DFU has kept the lecture style to engage with the information that is being
presented but the fact that anyone can present and suggest events makes the informal aspect very strong as
there is a wide range of people coming and sharing in the discussions after the presentations. The Dunedin
Maker Space runs a cooperative membership platform with board meetings open to all members. At the
DMS people are learning by doing and watching others. In all the initiatives businessmen and students all
have the same entitlements in the space and the same opportunity to share ideas. There is the underlying
notion that all the groups are moving away from the typical structure of learning but they have each done it
in a different way.

Networking is used as the major communication tool within the initiatives but the Dunedin StartUp is the
only initiative that actively uses networking to make contacts beyond the wider social networks of the
organisers. While the Free University and Makerspace do have a network in place via social media, the
struggle is to get them to fully use the broader networking possibilities available in the wider community.
The Dunedin community has a variety of other types of groups who also have their own networks. Accessing
these groups would give the initiatives the exposure to extended network of each group. Using the networks
to let suppliers know they can offer their products, such as tools and machinery, to users of the initiatives
would improve exposure of their products to the end users (users of the space). Large companies such as
hardware and timber suppliers, software developers, stationery suppliers and IT sellers could also allow their
products to be donated for use in order to achieve hands-on advertising. This would be in line with the aim
of the initiatives to keep their running and tool costs low to maintain free access. An additional benefit to
this relationship is that the network of organisations who have information about the spaces has grown to
include the staff and some of the contacts networked to the donating businesses. This can be perceived as
networking to advertise the initiatives at no cost to the initiatives themselves. Community spaces are at the

core of learning by education and hands on learning. Multiple groups meet as clubs and societies. These
groups could also use the open source platform to both help their group and in joining the larger networks,
help to expand them further. These groups may also find that they have common needs for space to house
their activities, which could lead to the creation of shared spaces for community groups that would then be
loosely networked to each other.

The goals of the initiatives are parallel in many ways. They all want to keep open source learning as a shared
and financially accessible resource for all sections of the community; they do not have profit as a goal; and
their goals all appear to be philanthropically based. Where they differ most is in their desire to retain their
autonomy from other overarching institutions. The Start Up, because of its origins, will always have
unavoidable input from the DCC, the University and the Polytech who orchestrated its formation.
Conversely, the Free University is committed to remaining distanced from formal institutions and the
Makerspace is open to the possibility of liaising with other formal institutions. This does mean that the areas
in which the collaboration can occur will be finite. There is no obstruction to the groups networking with
each other to determine in which areas they could foresee a collaborative, open-sourced platform benefiting
their own initiative. These initiatives are based around benefiting their members and by extension the
Dunedin community by encouraging people to work together and share and support peoples ideas. The
by-product of this is that by pursuing their individual initiatives goals they also network to encourage new
business and growth in Dunedin.


6. Discussion
The case studies investigated how collaborative shifts are changing informal learning and creative
production in Dunedin and determined how they could affect the community on a local level. The method of
investigation involved interviewing representatives from the three initiatives using the same set of questions
and then correlating their responses. The major findings indicated that the main interrelated dimensions of
open sharing, networking and non-hierarchical systems, supported by community drive, together
characterize the informal learning environment in Dunedin.

6.1 Informal Learning

Over the past five years the Dunedin Free University, the Dunedin Makerspace and Dunedin StartUp have
been started in Dunedin. This indicates there is a change emerging within the Dunedin learning community,
demonstrating the links between sharing and networking information and how these links have started to
create informal learning activities in Dunedin. While the Dunedin groups are not fully established, they have
developed a combination of social, non-hierarchical interactions with shared activity creating an informal
learning environment. These spaces have all been developed to help the Dunedin community in different
ways through informal learning. The development in technology and digital tools have changed the way we
make and distribute products and services allowing these invites to share what they are doing with each
other and the possibility to shear to a wider network.

Open sharing creates joint findings, then creates shared purpose, bringing people together. When
participating in these meetings or workshops synergy is created, producing an ethos that is bigger than the
individual, while stimulating personalised learning and innovation. The objective is to make people feel
comfortable enough within the initiative to network with each other and seek advice from others as well as
to teach and empower. Networking is the characteristic that links what these groups are doing; the groups
also deal with different disciplines, new people, new ideas and innovations. This networking is strongly


dependent on the Internet and social media to promote and publicise what the groups are doing. This is
where people who may not want to, or are unable to, physically join the activities can still follow and add
their input via the Internet, making them a part of the initiatives developments. Non-hierarchical and
non-institutional activities involve the acknowledgment and understanding of being a part of something that
is not mediated or controlled. Issues that have to be noted are that people are individuals and may have
certain constraints or preferences as well as different talents or areas of interest. Being part of an informal
learning initiative means that there has to be an understanding of what the goals for the initiative are, as
well as the activities and expectations. The Dunedin initiatives have adopted clear networking paths. This has
created, in the words of Brahms (2014),
development of niche interests and areas of expertise, and
therefore, in the learning process itselfintentionally participating in the practices of sharing and seeking
out knowledge and skill from others, appreciating that there is always more to learn as individuals and as a

The DFU allows anyone within the network to suggest topics, present and take part in discussions. Sharing
ideas and contributing ideas to the lectures works. Without the open network within which people can
suggest what they want to learn or what they want to share, the DFU would have to be run hierarchically
with an organizer and participants. It would have to move into a formal layout without the social equality,
interaction and collaborative discussion of ideas and topics.

The Dunedin Makerspace runs on a similar informal platform of networking and sharing. Engaging through
experience, the members of the DMS have changed their view of learning by making everyone a participant.
The DMS does have a wider network as it has been running for four years but the main focus is on sharing
and empowering people to become part of a movement in collaborative design and making.

The Dunedin Startup is the newest of the initiatives but has the most specific goal; to empower and advise
entrepreneurs in Dunedin. Collaboration and sharing are used to form a network of entrepreneurs within the
Dunedin StartUp space. The space is business oriented but still has the two key factors of sharing and
networks supported by a non-hierarchical platform in order to benefit the Dunedin community. As the


initiatives are all inexpensive it reinforces the notion that each space wants to empower the community via
free or low cost educational participation.

6.2 Informal Learning Benefiting Dunedin

The Dunedin economy could benefit significantly from what the three initiatives are doing via their similar
goals in regards to education and inexpensive collaborative informal learning. The inexpensive aspect of
informal learning allows more members of the community to be involved as there are no financial restraints
to joining such groups. If the initiatives are well supported, they could continue to help move Dunedin away
from the perception of its economy as stagnant.
The primary discovery of this study is that an educational
revolution is quietly taking place in Dunedin outside of the formal learning institutions. The most surprising
finding is that it is occurring in three separate places through different community-based initiatives, which
were previously not fully aware of each others areas of learning. They have not yet started to share and
network with other initiatives in their area. Opening up their networks and sharing their information will
encourage the cultural shift to informal learning and make them available to more of the Dunedin

University education in Dunedin offers advantages only to some portions of the community, as does all
university education in New Zealand (ASG
Education Programs New Zealand, 2014)
. These study findings
indicate that the DFU offers some of the the benefits of higher education to Dunedins wider community
with low costs (although admittedly, without the formal credentials), unlike traditional, institutionalised
education. This is important for Dunedin because a free University-level education could provide the
community with better-educated people who can be more productive in the workforce. Countries or cities
with high levels of innovation and productivity are normally those that have high proportions of university
graduates in their populations (Pettinger, 2014). A free university alternative in Dunedin would also promote
equality. Many students are dissuaded by the prospect of student loans, heavy academic work loads and the
high fees universities must charge to cover their operating costs. As a result of this students sometimes
move into the job market straight out of school, and this can restrict their future opportunities. Although

DFU does not offer professional qualifications or an experience that compares with attendance at a
traditional university, it nonetheless it provides a chance to meet and network with other inquiring minds
and it provides a jumping off point for further development.

Similarly the Dunedin Makerspace offers the people of Dunedin the opportunity to self-direct their learning
by providing access to tools and materials, allowing them to invent and progress in their own time.
Educause, a not-for-profit higher education association states, [i]nteraction among inventors at these
facilities fosters a highly collaborative learning dynamic that is excellent for team efforts and for peer
support, advice, and assistance (Educause, 2013). It is important that these spaces are available to be used
by anyone, as they bring together people from different disciplines. This enables multi-disciplinary thinking
and learning. Makerspaces are increasingly being seen within universities, public libraries and community
centres: their influence has spread to other disciplines and may one day be embraced across the
curriculum (Educause, 2013). While DFU wants to remain fully non-institutional, there could be a link in
terms of the DFU joining in some way with the Dunedin Makerspace, or the Dunedin Makerspace joining
with Otago University as the Makerspace members are not opposed to having institutional support.

Makerspace has the ability to provide Dunedin with business- and community-based innovations, such as
inexpensive prototyping and limited production of custom objects. Considering the state of progressive
development in Makerspaces, and the enthusiasm which prevails around the Maker Movement, it has the
potential to provide the city with a place for affordable learning for the community while stimulating the
growth of local business. The interviews highlighted a lack of communication between the groups. The
formation of a network would help to coordinate client collection, knowledge distribution and market the
advantage that the initiatives provide to the whole community, while maintaining their own identities as
individual initiatives.

Dunedin StartUp Space offers networking opportunities, bringing together people who want to further their
knowledge in business by interacting with other like-minded individuals. This could create intangible benefits
for the business economy in Dunedin by supporting new companies and by giving established businesses


new value through discussion and collaboration. Ramett Chawla, a writer for
suggests that
StartUp spaces are, additionally, places where people can go who are looking to start up a business but do
not have the skills, and where companies can find potential employees with entrepreneurial mindsets
(Chawla, 2013). The DFU is operating on the goodwill of a few community members, who see its potential.
Because of the minimal funds available, the DFU cannot obtain the advertising or the best possible space
that it needs to thrive. In a similar fashion, Makerspace currently have a venue, but they struggle to pay the
rent each month, despite the number of regular members. The three initiatives do have similarities, but
reliable external funding for Dunedin StartUp puts it a step ahead of Dunedin Makerspace and the Dunedin
Free University. If groups are not willing to make the community members pay, then an innovative model
needs to be developed to keep these open sourced informal learning entities afloat.

The three initiatives that served as case studies have parallel objectives. Their shared goals and drivers are
providing free (or at least inexpensive) informal learning to the community through non-hierarchical
collaboration. All three initiatives are currently achieving their goals to some degree, but their long term
sustainability is questionable. The biggest difficulty for both the DMS and the DFU is that they are both
entirely dependent on the free time being offered by people who can offer knowledge or expertise. The
current models could become more stable if they were to network with each other and perhaps co-locate
and share costs. The groups could also explore the design opportunities available within the Dunedin
education community. This could be the beginning of a normative structure that has developed from
individual initiatives in to a network that could work over New Zealand.

The network could be a open source pdf file that is similar to the Melbourne Free University guide, but it
incorporates all types of informal learning, this could be worked on collaboratively to benefit other
communities try to achieve an informal network to learning for lesson that have already been learnt rather
than starting out unguided. It could be a Wikipedia type platform that mediated by everyone to support the
informal movement and connect people over a wider area.


6.3 Findings in Relation to the Literature

The literature review broadly covered what has been documented in regards to Making and collaborative
informal learning. The findings from this research are similar to Kostakis, Niaros and Giotitsas (2014), who
see collaborative spaces supporting a peer to peer learning process like those observed in this study of
initiatives in Dunedin. They suggest that there is a sense of autonomy as well as a sharing of information and
collaboration, rather than an industrial, top down style of organization. This is different from the formal
aspects of learning that encourage cooperation, rather than collaboration and the development of ideas as a
collective (Kostaki et al., 2014).
Each of the Dunedin initiatives show that s
haring, networking and non-hierarchical systems, supported by
community drive, together characterize the informal learning environment in Dunedin. These are similar to
what is seen in large-scale developments associated with the Maker Movement and collaborative learning.
The free or inexpensive nature of all three offerings are important considering that
65 percent of
respondents to the ASG survey said children may be unable to attend tertiary education because it is too
expensive. The inexpensive aspect
supports the view that education should be free, and indeed can be, if it is
freed from formal institutional structures. Such initiatives are
creating an educational transformation.
studies conducted on larger scales in relation to collaboration and informal learning also showed a similar
internal structure. Sheridan et al. (2014)
conducted a case study project researching the informal sites of

Makerspaces. The study found that even though each Makerspace had different activities and participants,
they shared the same key themes. Learning was one of the main focuses and the study also found that these
spaces motivated people in the community to learn. In each of the spaces that Sheridan studied, there were
demonstrations of tools, techniques and process all features that are evident in the DFU, DMS and DSS.
The techniques and tools were different in each of the Dunedin spaces, with the DFU focusing on its non
hierarchical organisation and the open discussion at the end of the lectures. The DMS provides a peer to
peer workshop designed to help individuals to learn from each other, rather than from one person. The DSU
is set up to bring people together in a way that allows them to help each other in their areas of expertise and


interest. These spaces are not all makerspace, but they share the characteristic that Sheridan et. al. attribute
to the Makerspaces that they studied. They describe them as run by volunteers, and they allow people to
choose learning arrangements suit their needs (Sheridan, Halverson, Litts, Brahms, Jacobs-Priebe & Owens,
2014). This is a move away from formal learning that empowers people to inexpensively learn the skills they

[R]esearch in schools tends to create disciplinary boundaries for curriculum, standards, and
assessments. Our work in these spaces suggests that these disciplinary boundaries are inauthentic
to Makerspace practice (Sheridan et al., 2014).

A study by McGiveny (1999) recognised the importance of informal learning and what it can do in the
community for people who may not have had access to it before. Encouraging them to learn in a different
way may lead them to pursue opportunities that might not previously have seemed possible due to their
perceptions of formal learning. In Dunedin, this could lead to the setting up of more businesses with the
skills that can be learned in either the DFU or the DMS, with guidance and workshops provided by the
Dunedin StartUp Space.
Informal learning often started people on a continuing learning path by helping
them become confident and successful learners (McGivney, 1999).

6.4 Limitations of the Research

This research has shown that free learning and inclusive collaboration can provide many benefits to the
community, such as skills acquisition, creative activities, and networking with like-minded people, which in
turn can lead to further opportunities. This study of three cases in Dunedin, although limited, provides a
glimpse into collaborative community initiatives and suggests further related avenues of research that might
be pursued. These include the use of libraries as community Maker Spaces, the use of social networks to
support locally-based creative centres, the increasing range of 3D printing media and the possible creative
and business opportunities that they will enable, and organisational models that are based on collaboration
and flat hierarchies.Possible extensions of the research could involve case studies of other related initiatives


in Dunedin,, or a comparison of initiatives in different cities or in different countries. This would give a better
understanding of the different ways that other geographically connected initiatives interact and deal with
the problems that have been identified in this study.
An examination of projects in other countries would

also highlight the degree to which cultural differences influence the nature of collaboration and the kind of
organisational structures that have been developed to support them. This research focussed on the values,
objectives, structure and activities associated with the case studies. For this reason, only the
founder/organiser of the each of the initiatives was interviewed. Further research could include interviewing
a range of participants of each of these projects to discover the extent of their involvement and the nature
of their experience. Surveying members of the community who are not involved in any of the case study
projects could also uncover the extent of public support and potential demand for these and similar

6.5 Expectations

Some of the results of this research were unexpected. I had expected that the community-based learning
groups would have known about each other and that they would be attempting to learn from each other
about how to operate more successfully. There was no ongoing plan to access further funding by, for
example, applying to community trusts, Pub Charities, the Lotteries Commission or individual
philanthropists. An unexpected pattern emerged in that all of the initiatives had based themselves on other
initiatives in larger cities. There seems to be a missed opportunity for the initiative if the form a network that
connects them in dunedin it could provide many benefits to their sustainability and future developments on
a wider scale. Currently this study was only on a specific area in dunedin but the structure that is emerging
could be developed over New Zealand to connect community groups trying to do the same thing. BY
connecting the initiatives they may be able to gain funding and start reaching a wider audiences, creating
more members and benefiting more people. The Dunedin Public Library could also benefit from the
development around informal learning, it was surprising that they didn't have more of an interest in the
movement as more communities are engage. It was commonly believed to be the libraries goal to inform


and educate the community. Makerspaces and informal learning are linked with already established
community-focused initiatives, such as libraries, museums and universities in other cities. For instance,
libraries and museums have designed Makerspaces to promote creative activity, resource sharing, and active
engagement with materials, processes, and ideas in their collections and exhibits (Sheridan et al., 2014).
This could be an opportunity for libraries to reinvent themselves.

Although the results of this research are too limited to be applied to other groups providing community
learning or Makerspaces, it does provide evidence of how such initiatives are emerging in Dunedin and
suggests how local developments are linked to more widespread movements. The literature review presents
some evidence that the cost of education is limiting for large sectors of the community and that these
groups could benefit from initiatives such as the DFU, DMS and Dunedin StartUp Space. The case studies
showed how unsupported many initiatives are within the the community, despite the potential for the
community to gain quite substantial benefits from the success of these initiatives.


7.Conclusions and Future Research

The ways that we learn and make are changing. A learning revolution is occurring, which is based outside the
traditional hierarchical formal education system. Learning is becoming more collaborative, more accessible
and more easily shared. New approaches to digital manufacturing are beginning to exhibit the same
characteristics. With the collaborative Internet and the 3D printing technology that is now available, items
that are designed in one city can be modified and manufactured in another using open source software.
These learning and manufacturing changes are resulting in more open, collaborative, informal,
non-hierarchical, networked process and practices. This research has examined how these large scale
changes are influencing learning and making in the local context of Dunedin, New Zealand. Dunedin is
well-placed to take advantage of these changes. It has a strong cultural and arts community. Its recent win of
the Gigatown competition and the recognition of Dunedin as a UNESCO City of Literature will support and
encourage only further innovation, creativity and exposure.

As technological change has advanced, libraries and traditional learning are being re-evaluated, and
innovative methods for effective learning and creative production are being investigated. All three case
studies examined in this research Dunedin Free University, Dunedin Makerspace, and the Dunedin Startup
Space are examples of how large scale technological and social changes are enabling innovation at the
community level. The Dunedin Free University is an academic initiative that highlights the importance of free
knowledge and the ability of non-hierarchical structures to provide access to informal higher education for
those who want it. Dunedin Makerspace is skill- based, providing the community with the tools and
information they need to engage in their hobbies and the ability to learn from, and collaborate with, a wide
range of people. The Dunedin StartUp space, guided by other spaces of this type around the world, focuses
on business education, providing a hub for entrepreneurial activity and open access to the informal learning
environment that it has created.


The case studies had similar objectives, with a shared goal of providing free (or at least inexpensive) informal
learning to the community through non-hierarchical collaboration.
The findings indicated that open sharing,
networking non-hierarchical organisation and a community focus together characterize the informal learning
environment in Dunedin. This is in keeping with what the literature reports is happening elsewhere in the
wider world. The primary difference between the case study subjects is that the Dunedin Free University is
committed to maintaining a more autonomous collaboration,
while the other two case studies were open to
forming institutional links and seeking funding through these associations. The benefits that these initiatives
bring to the Dunedin community and economy could be substantial if they are supported.

The interviews showed that is little networking or collaboration between the three case study projects. The
long term viability of these initiatives is questionable without more support and collaboration between and
beyond them.There is potential for them to jointly adopt a network approach that links them together.
Sharing space is another option they could explore. By extending the support that the Dunedin StartUp
Space currently enjoys, the Dunedin City Council could provide support to the Dunedin Makerspace and the
Dunedin Free University, thus encouraging open sourced learning more effectively and sustainably. This
support could be in the form of funding, physical space, advertising and promotion, and community
networking. The Dunedin Free University doesnt wish to be associated with the Dunedin City Council
directly, but it could be promoted in the libraries in an effort to encourage community learning. This would
enable Dunedin Free University to provide activities for free and yet still allow it to remain autonomous. By
joining a network and, by engaging with the Dunedin City Council and, perhaps, by sharing space, the
Dunedin initiatives could keep their overhead expenses low enough for small amounts of community funding
to keep them viable and enable them to provide inexpensive informal learning and making through
How this could be done, and what models from elsewhere could be followed, suggests an area

for future research.


There is a no previous research in relation to the Maker Movement and collaborative, informal learning in
Dunedin. However previous research, focused on Dunedin's current stagnant economy, showed that the
Dunedin City Council had, in 2013 and 2014, already invested a lot of time into support strategies, which it
recognised were advantageous to Dunedins economy. This support is taking the the form of new job
generation, developing tourism and encouraging new businesses in Dunedin. This commitment has opened
up the city to new and innovative ways of strengthening the local economy and putting Dunedin on the map.
Exploring how the maker movement and open, informal community-based learning could assist the City in
achieving these goals would make sense. The relationship between community focussed creative
production, open educational initiatives and economic growth is another area that is worth researching

If spaces for the case study initiatives were provided in the Dunedin Public Library or University Library, it
would encourage the development of new strategies for using libraries as collaborative community spaces in
the Internet age. Supporting community initiatives in this way would make them more accessible and
provide visible examples of possible alternatives to expensive, traditional, formal education and
manufacturing. Centres for open sourced making and learning are becoming established in locations
throughout the world, many of them in libraries, and Dunedin is becoming a part of the fabric of this broad
based learning/making revolution. Further research could investigate how community based initiative like
the three studied in this research could figure into the future of libraries in our cities, in our schools and in
our universities. Dunedin, with a range of libraries and education providers (all all levels) would be a good
site to base such research.

This research has identified three groups in Dunedin that are working more or less independently to
encourage the informal making/education movement and to demonstrate how it can benefit a community
on a small scale. The community minded individuals and groups that are starting and shaping these
experimental projects could learn from one another and from similar initiatives in other cities in New
Zealand and around the world. Further research could explore how these initiatives could develop a network

and informal learning structure that would enable them to leverage what others have learned, share skills
and resources, and develop models of sustainable practice collaboratively.



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9 Appendix

Appendix A (Ethical Approval Letter)




Appendix B (Ethical Approval and Participant Information)













Appendix C (Maori consultation conducted with the Ngai Tahu Research)