Cindy Kohtala

Postdoctoral Researcher


    Research activity per year

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    Personal profile

    Artistic and research interests

    Dr Cindy Kohtala is Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Design, INUSE Users and Innovation Research Group. She studies DIY makers who design, make, invent and innovate in shared community technology workshops (fab labs, makerspaces, hacklabs and other niche spaces), from a Science & Technology Studies perspective foregrounding design and socio-environmental sustainability. She examines makers’ techno-utopias in exacting a ‘new industrial revolution’ and how groupings enact their imaginaries in peer-to-peer organising in their localities. She also lectures and writes about design-for-sustainability, Product-Service System design, open design, co-design, distributed economies and design activism, and she has been involved in several urban activism initiatives in Helsinki.

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
    • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
    • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production

    Education/Academic qualification

    Doctoral degree, Arts and Design, Aalto University

    Award Date: 31 Mar 2016

    Master's degree, Arts and Design, Helsinki University of Arts and Design

    Award Date: 17 Dec 1999

    External positions

    Postdoctoral Researcher funded by Nessling Foundation

    1 Jan 202031 Dec 2021


    • fab labs
    • peer production
    • Design-for-Sustainability
    • open design
    • maker culture
    • digital fabrication
    • grassroots innovation
    • ethnography
    • distributed economies
    • circular economy
    • Sustainable Product-Service Systems
    • Sustainable consumption and production
    • Science and technology studies
    • Symbolic Interactionism


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