Dynamics of Innovation in Makerspaces and Fabrication labs: A Systematic Literature Review

Gautam Sharma, Stuti Haldar | 2023 


Makerspaces and fabrication laboratories (fablabs) have received extensive attention recently due to their potential to drive innovation and entrepreneurship. These spaces provide access to high-tech tools to the people and encourage community building and collaborations around technology-oriented projects. This paper analyzes the existing research on the innovation dynamics within these spaces. Seventy peer-reviewed studies were selected and thematically analyzed from the Scopus and Web of Science databases. The results are analyzed and presented as descriptive statistics and thematic analysis. We found nine significant themes from the extant literature: 1) Collaborations, learning and sharing practices in makerspaces; 2) Motivations and spatial environment affecting makerspace innovations; 3) Physical Resources, experimentations, and knowledge dimension of makerspaces; 4) Diversity and inclusion aspects of makerspaces; 5) Social and economic impact of innovation in makerspaces; 6) Regional innovation policies and maker cultures; 7) Maker movement in different regions; 8) Maker movement and the city culture; and 9) Academic makerspaces and innovation. The paper contributes to the broader literature on innovation dynamics within informal spaces like makerspaces and fablabs.