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Making Sense

Making Sense

Collective awareness through open hardware and open design

Making Sense is a social innovation project enabling citizens to become active in capturing, sharing and making sense of data on the local environment, through the use of low-cost sensors and an open platform. The aim is to enable people to develop a more active relationship with each other and the world around them through open hardware and open design. It is a collective awareness platform and community that engages people not only in local issues and their immediate surroundings but also wider and systemic issues, and that connects people across Europe.

Open source hardware, open source software and open design involve the development of technologies and systems (for social change, innovation or another purpose) through the use of publicly shared design and technical information. Central to this is co-creation and design by users, rather than final services and products designed by a private company or government agency. As such, it is about adopting an active, social and responsible mode of sensing, being and acting in the world. 

The last decades have seen the emergence of open source platforms and development environments created and maintained by communities of users, from Processing, a programming language for visual interaction, to Arduino, an open hardware microcontroller. One such open platform, at the centre of the Making Sense project, is the Smart Citizen Toolkit (SCK). SCK is an open platform and development environment for collective awareness.

Three pilots are being delivered in three European cities: Amsterdam, Barcelona and Pristina, Kosovo. Our pilots will be user-driven, involving existing communities of people, and addressing a combination of sustainability areas. 

Making Sense is a European Union Horizon 2020 project by University of Dundee (UK) with Waag Society (Netherlands, Lead), Peer Educators Network and Science for Change (Kosovo), Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (Spain) and the EU Joint Research Centre (Belgium). The Making Sense project investigators at University of Dundee are Mel Woods and Drew Hemment in DJCAD, and Ioan Fazey in CECHR. 

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 688620.

European Commission

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