This paper critically examines how capitalist, alternative capitalist and non-capitalist ontologies and relations are negotiated in a hybrid makerspace that hosts both for-profit and non-profit entities and integrates community and commercial aspects. Despite a growing body of knowledge on the distinct characteristics of non-commercial makerspaces, few scholars have analysed them in relation to capitalism. This applies even more to commercial or hybrid makerspaces that remain so far under-researched in diverse economies literature. These spaces, however, can be of increasing interest given what we know about makerspaces as hubs of budding entrepreneurship and that some makers avidly pursue entrepreneurial objectives while others are reluctant to even consider commercialising their projects. In this paper, I employ an extended framework of diverse economies that understands capitalism as not only a form of socio-economic organisation but also a cultural and political architecture. Followed by an overview of existing literature that sheds light on beyond-capitalist dimensions of makerspaces, I explore a case study of the Keilewerf, a hybrid makerspace situated in Makers District in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, disentangling how capitalist, alternative capitalist and non-capitalist ontologies of sustainability-oriented makers co-exist and conflict with economic relations, knowledge production and relations with the state.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship and/or publication of this article: This publication is part of the project ‘Crafting future urban economies’, grant number VI.VIDI.195.160 led by Dr Amanda Brandellero, financed by the Dutch Research Council (NWO).
© The Author(s) 2022.