Care in the (critical) making? Prototyping as a radicalisation of independent living



In this paper, we reflect empirically on some collective attempts at intervening the ways in which care for and by disabled people is being devised and carried out in Spain in austerity times. We highlight the novelties and challenges of the way in which these projects seek to tackle the current crisis of care through different forms of self-fabrication of “open” and “low cost” technical aids. We analyse them as forms of “critical making” expanding the repertoire of independent-living and disabled people’s rights politics to the experimentation with technological production. Through the deployment of an empirical example of the prototyping process by the Barcelona-based activist design collective “En torno a la silla”, we show how open prototyping constitutes a major challenge for the radicalisation of the independent-living movement’s precepts of control and choice, displaying the matter of care arrangements and making available its transformation.

Sánchez-Criado, T.; Rodríguez-Giralt, I. Mercaroni, A. (2016). Care in the (critical) making? Prototyping as a radicalisation of independent living. ALTER: European Journal of Disability Research, 10: 24-39.

Tomás Sánchez Criado (Munich Center for Technology in Society & Department of Architecture, TU Munich)

Arianna Mencaroni (University of Lisbon)