From Material Culture to Maker Culture

From Material Culture to Maker Culture

Klaus Staubermann
National Museums Scotland

From Material Culture to Maker Culture: how museums bring the past to life, Dr Klaus Staubermann (National Museums Scotland)

Things, or objects, found in museums often appear dead. It’s the responsibility of the historian or curator to bring them back to life (in some instances literally). But how do we do that? Exploring archival sources, speaking to practitioners and, of course, exploring the ‘things’ themselves are essential ways for understanding them. But how can we move further and open up the hidden contexts and comprehend the tacit knowledge embodied in them? This talk explores familiar and new ways to access and understand things, thereby marking a shift from previous concepts of ‘material culture’ to more comprehensive concepts of a ‘maker culture’.

Klaus Staubermann holds a PhD in the History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Cambridge and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology at M.I.T. He held posts of Curator of Science and Medicine and Lecturer in the History and Foundations of Science at Utrecht University and Head of the Berlin Astronomy Museum and Planetarium before becoming a Principal Curator, Science and Technology, at National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh. His research interests are in artefacts, practices and skills and their history.