About the Makers' Inquiry


Recently, Makers have been observed in a special way. Students and academics, politicians and managers, enterprises and professionals look for Fab Labs, contact them on social media, meet them at Maker Faires in order to ask them how to develop new products, add innovative technological solutions to existing products, establish more open and less conventional design initiatives, revolutionize the production system, ...

There have been many requests to fill surveys, release interviews, support research and thesis...but the results are not always published or shared. Makers, who are generally open minded people, gladly participate, explain and share information. Essentially they are asked about everything but what do they get back?

The idea of the Makers' Inquiry is simple: it is an open and replicable research format, aiming at exploring the condition of makers who operate in a certain geographical reality. The first edition was tested in Italy during 2014. Then other researchers could carry out the survey in their own countries. Therefore, in this way, it would be possible to extend over time the database and compare the results at international level.

The main concepts of the Makers' Inquiry are:

  1. the inquiry is conducted non only on makers but also on making as economic activity;
  2. makers have been involved in defining the questions;
  3. results are returned back to makers into a suitable form they can use in developing their activities.

Research questions

The Makers' Inquiry explores makers world from several points of view - ethnographic, economic, technological, manufacturing and design – in order to understand how this phenomenon of Makers and Maker laboratories is evolving. The Makers' Inquiry wants to answer these questions:


The data obtained through the Makers' Inquiry is analyzed with the following goals:

  1. to create reports and papers that evaluate the results of the surveys with text and infographic contents, with the contribution of experts and academics coming from several disciplines;
  2. to create an online platform with open tools and data for:
    1. the develoment of surveys
    2. enabling makers, designers self-producers and makerspace managers, to compare, rank and interpret their own activities relative to other makers and designers business models, production practices and processes, skills and competencies.
  3. to provide a benchmark for other countries and researchers.

History of the project

The Makers' Inquiry started in 2013; here below you can check its updated history.

Join the project

The project is open to the participation of other researchers and makers: read more about joining it or just its discussion on the Contact page.