DiDIY and Creative Society


The phenomenon of ‘digital Do It Yourself’ (DiDIY) has much to offer to creative society. By ‘creative society’ we mean the levels of creativity in society – which are vital for both personal well-being and economic growth. The rise of online communication has meant that for many years now creative people have been able to share ideas, have conversations and inspire each other via the internet.

This has led to informal networks – often exchanging pictures, music and video over social media – and more systematic platforms for collaborative work and open innovation. Today, new tools for fabricating and cutting materials from digital recipes mean that new opportunities for making objects are being unlocked. Previously hard to manufacture items or unusual forms can now be output quite simply and shared globally. Whether this is a kind of novelty or a meaningful transformation remains to be seen.

Digital DIY builds on the principles of the Arts and Crafts movement, and other pre-digital thinkers, and may have a far-reaching impact upon society by contributing to a change in the orientation of citizens from a ‘sit back and be told’ approach towards more of a ‘making and doing’ culture.

DiDIY technologies offer the potential to build stronger connections between hands-on creative practices (atoms) with networks of thinking and shared open design processes (bits) – which is why we talk about ‘atoms–bits convergence’ (‘ABC’). These ‘ABC’ technologies can bring changes which at first seem to be about simply ‘how we make things’, but are also about ‘how we do things’ in society.