Legitimacy, boundary objects & participation in transnational DIY biology

Cindy Lin Kaiying, Silvia Lindtner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

12 Scopus citations


Prior research has stipulated that DIY making appeals to many of the concerns central to participatory design: democratization of technology production, individual empowerment and inclusivity. In this paper, we take this stipulation as the starting point of our inquiry, exploring how it happened that making came to be seen as enabler of participatory values and practices. We draw from ethnographic research that followed a transnational collaboration between DIY biologists, scientists, makers, and artists from Indonesia, Europe and India. The paper focuses on the production of three artifacts, tracing their enactment as boundary objects and experimentation in DIY biology. The artifacts did not only help legitimize DIYbio, but also positioned Indonesia itself as a legitimate participant in international networks of knowledge production. The paper contributes to prior research that has challenged stable frames like West/the rest. It draws out a positionality for PD that opens up making by recognizing its multiplicity crucial to the making of alternative and never stable futures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPDC 2016
Subtitle of host publicationParticipatory Design in an Era of Participation - Proceedings of the 14th Participatory Design Conference; Full Papers
EditorsMaurizio Teli, Janet McDonnell, Keld Bodker, Claus Bossen, Rachel Charlotte Smith, Anne Marie Kanstrup
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450340465
StatePublished - Aug 15 2016
Event14th Participatory Design Conference, PDC 2016 - Aarhus, Denmark
Duration: Aug 15 2016Aug 19 2016

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


Conference14th Participatory Design Conference, PDC 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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