Community Makerspaces

Matthew Rimmer
5 min readFeb 12, 2021


Remaking the Maker Movement

QUT Faculty of Business and Law

Wednesday, 3 February 2021

10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Z1064, Gibson Room, Level 10, Z Block

QUT Gardens Point Campus

Session 3 — Community Makerspaces (1:30 pm — 2:30 pm)

1:30 pm — 1:50 pm

Tool Libraries: Innovation Hubs for Economic Degrowth

Sabrina Chakori, Brisbane Tool Library Inc.


Founded in 2017 by Sabrina Chakori, the Brisbane Tool Library enables people to borrow tools, camping and sports gear, party appliances and other equipment saved from landfill. The Brisbane Tool Library work aims to build a degrowth (postgrowth) economy, by creating sustainable communities through sharing resources and skills. The Brisbane Tool Library is the first tool library, or “library of things”, in Queensland, and the first and only one in Australia to be located within a public library, in the State Library of Queensland.

In this seminar presentation, Sabrina Chakori will introduce economic degrowth principles and community-driven circular economy models. Tool libraries are innovation hubs that could profoundly transform the economy. Tool libraries help to reduce the ecological footprint of its members, while saving them money and space. Moreover, by implementing structured sharing systems, these hubs contribute to a re-localisation of the economy and a reduction of inequalities in urban areas. Tool libraries offer an alternative to the current productivist and consumerist growth-driven system. By recreating the commons, society can achieve a more socially just and ecologically sustainable society.


Sabrina holds a BSc. in Biology (University of Geneva — Switzerland), a MSc. in Environmental Economics (The University of Queensland) and she is currently finishing a PhD research that explores food packaging reduction in food systems within a degrowth economy. Her study is an interdisciplinary research between the School of Agriculture — Food Science and the School of Business of the University of Queensland. Sabrina is a passionate systems modeller (systems thinking, system dynamics, network analysis). She believes that systems methods are crucial to understand and tackle current socio-economic wicked problems.

Sabrina is convinced that to solve the interlinked social and ecological crisis we need to change the roots of our economy, shifting away from the growth-driven system. To translate into practice her knowledge and vision, in 2017, she founded the Brisbane Tool Library, a social enterprise that based on a circular economy aims to reduce household consumption.

Sabrina worked in different countries, including Kenya, Mexico, Ecuador, Australia and across Europe. For more than a decade, she has been advocating for a more environmentally sustainable society, leading numerous collaborations, including an initiative with Queensland’s Environment Minister to introduce the law banning single-use plastic bags.

Founder, researcher, keynote speaker, and most of all activist, Sabrina is fully invested in creating systemic change that would build a more socially just and ecologically sustainable economy.

1:50 pm-2:10 pm

DIY and Making in Low Socioeconomic Communities

Dr Dhaval Vyas, The University of Queensland


Based on three years of ethnographic work in a variety of makerspaces around Queensland, I am going to discuss four values associated with DIY and making in low socioeconomic communities. These are 1) Making to improve living; 2) Making as carework; 3) Meta-making and 4) Making as therapy. These values add to the ongoing discourse of DIY and emphasize the importance of Makerspaces for local communities.


Dr Dhaval Vyas is an ARC DECRA fellow and Senior Lecturer at the University of Queensland. He works in the area of Human-Centered Computing. His research focuses on designing IT tools to support marginalised communities in Australia. Dhaval has a PhD in Human-Computer Interaction from University of Twente, the Netherlands and Masters in Computer Science from Lancaster University, UK.

2:10 pm — 2:30 pm

Open Prosthetics: Intellectual Property, 3D Printing, Medical Innovation, and Disability Rights

Professor Matthew Rimmer, QUT


This paper considers the role of open innovation makerspaces in the development of prosthetics. In terms of its methodology, this project has relied upon qualitative interviews with key figures in the maker community, as well as field visits to makerspaces. This paper in particular been informed by interviews with open source 3D printing practitioners in the European Union, seeking to address public health, access to medicines and research tools, and disability rights. Part 1 of this paper focuses upon MSF relying upon 3D printing in a refugee camp in Jordan to provide prosthetics for those from the region with disability needs. Part 2 examines a medical 3D printing project run Thomas Maal and Lars Brouwers at Radboud University in Nijmegen in both the Netherlands and Sierra Leone. Part 3 explores the Careables project in Belgium. It focuses upon legal considerations in respect of privacy and data protection; intellectual property; product liability; and medical regulation. The conclusion considers the wider scope for open licensing in respect of 3D printing in the fields of prosthetics and medicine. It also makes recommendations for the expansion of disability rights in respect of intellectual property law.


Dr Matthew Rimmer is a Professor in Intellectual Property and Innovation Law at the Faculty of Business and Law, at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). He has published widely on copyright law and information technology, patent law and biotechnology, access to medicines, plain packaging of tobacco products, intellectual property and climate change, Indigenous Intellectual Property, and intellectual property and trade. He is undertaking research on intellectual property and 3D printing; the regulation of robotics and artificial intelligence; and intellectual property and public health (particularly looking at the coronavirus COVID-19). His work is archived at QUT ePrints, SSRN Abstracts, Bepress Selected Works, and Open Science Framework.

Rimmer is currently working as a Chief Investigator on an ARC Discovery Project on ‘Inventing The Future: Intellectual Property and 3D Printing’ (2017–2020). This project aims to provide guidance for industry and policy-makers about intellectual property, three-dimensional (3D) printing, and innovation policy. It will consider the evolution of 3D printing, and examine its implications for the creative industries, branding and marketing, manufacturing and robotics, clean technologies, health-care and the digital economy. The project will examine how 3D printing disrupts copyright law, designs law, trade mark law, patent law and confidential information. The project expects to provide practical advice about intellectual property management and commercialisation, and boost Australia’s capacity in advanced manufacturing and materials science. Along with Dinusha Mendis and Mark Lemley, Rimmer is the editor of the collection, 3D Printing and Beyond: Intellectual Property and Regulation (Edward Elgar, 2019). He is also engaged in fieldwork on makerspaces, fab labs, tech shops, Maker Faires, and hackerspaces; and has been conducting interviews with members of the Maker Movement.

Session 3 — Community Makerspaces (1:30 pm — 2:30 pm)

Sabrina Chakori, ‘Tool Libraries: Innovation Hubs for Economic Degrowth’, Remaking the Maker Movement, QUT Faculty of Business and Law, 3 February 2021,

Dr Dhaval Vyas, ‘DIY and Making in Low Socioeconomic Communities’, Remaking the Maker Movement, QUT Faculty of Business and Law, 3 February 2021,

Professor Matthew Rimmer, ‘Open Prosthetics: Intellectual Property, 3D Printing, Medical Innovation, and Disability Rights’, Remaking the Maker Movement, QUT Faculty of Business and Law, 3 February 2021,



Matthew Rimmer

Professor of Intellectual Property and Innovation Law, QUT. #Copyright #Patent #Trademark #plainpacks #Access2meds #SDGs #Climate #IndigenousIP #trade #TPP