Hi. I’m Catarina Mota and this is my research notebook.

I’m a PhD candidate at FCSH-UNL (Portugal), a fellow of the National Science and Technology Foundation of Portugal (FCT-MCTES), and a visiting scholar at ITP-NYU. I’m also co-founder of openMaterials (a research group focused on open source and DIY experimentation with smart materials), of altLab (Lisbon’s hackerspace), of fabriCulture (a project dedicated to promoting open source digital fabrication and maker culture in general), and a member of NYC Resistor.


There are no technological revolutions without cultural transformation. Revolutionary technologies have to be thought of. This is not an incremental process; it is a vision, an act of belief, a gesture of rebellion.
— Manuel Castells in The Hacker Ethic

My PhD research focuses on transparent, open and collaborative models for the creation, development and distribution of physical products. For this purpose, I’m studying social, cultural and economic aspects of the open source hardware movement; ethics and practices of the maker, hacker and DIY communities; participatory practices of on and offline platforms for collaboration; and the recent phenomena of the democratization of innovation, manufacturing and product design made possible by public access to digital fabrication technologies.


I support the Open Source Hardware Definition v1.0

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