Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
Care in the (critical) making: Open prototypes or the radicalisation of independent-living
In this paper I would like to 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. I seek to 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. Hence analysing 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 I intend to 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.