Tooling up: civic visions, fablabs and grassroots activism

IMG_2068What happens when public authorities take an interest in makerspaces? Who gets empowered by initiatives to give tools to the people, and what kinds of citizenship are envisaged? In this piece written for the The Guardian, Adrian Smith considers these questions in the light of his research into an initiative in Barcelona to open a public Ateneu de Fabricació Digital in each district of the city, and when São Paolo has just announced a similar initiative there. Tooling up publics can reveal more varieties of citizenship than city leaders anticipate.