What is Hacked Matter

Hacked Matter is a Shanghai based research hub dedicated to investigating the process of technological innovation in China. Through a series of immersive events, public programs, online outreach and offshoot publications, we bring together key stakeholders (scholars, makers, artists and entrepreneurs) to explore the rich interconnections between DIY making, product design, hardware manufacturing, and speculative thought.

Established in 2011, Hacked Matter is rooted in a long-term engagement with grassroots creativity in urban China, which began with the founding of Xindanwei in 2009, and its offshoot Xinchejian in 2010. As one of Shanghai’s few international and interdisciplinary research hubs, Hacked Matter focuses on the production of new technologies, the networks of shanzhai manufacturing and the role of China’s maker culture.

What we do

1. Build platforms that enable rich collaborations and long-term partnerships between international and Chinese designers, scholars, manufacturers, and innovators of new technologies.

2. Engage with existing creative practices in China in order to reframe the Western-centric discourse on innovation, maker culture, outsourcing and manufacturing. 

3. Develop a rich theorization of the social, cultural and material aspects of cutting-edge technology production.

4. Conduct Ethnographic Research, Curated Workshops, Public Lectures, Professional Interviews, Open Hardware, Qualitative Research, Publications, Participatory Design Methods, Web-based Outreach, Storytelling, Multi-media recordings, Online discussions


Who We Are

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Anna Greenspan 

is a Shanghai based philosopher who researches and writes about future trends. Anna teaches courses on globalization, urbanization and digital culture at NYU Shanghai. She is co-founder of the Shanghai Studies Society (www.shanghaistudies.net) and maintains a website www.annagreenspan.com


Silvia Lindtner 

is an assistant professor at the University of Michigan in the School of Information, with a courtesy appointment in the Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design. Lindtner’s research and teaching interests include transnational networks of innovation and entrepreneurship culture, DIY (do it yourself) making and hacking, science and technology studies in China, and Internet and digital cultures. Drawing on her background in design and digital studies, she merges ethnographic research with approaches in research through design and critical making. www.silvialindtner.com


David Li

has been contributing to open source since 1990. He is member of Free Software Foundation, committer to Apache projects and board director of ObjectWeb. Over the past 20 years, David has started several open source software projects and contributed to many others. In 2010, he co-founded XinCheJian, the first hackerspace in China to promote hacker/maker culture and open source hardware. He also developed Ardublock, the most popular visual programming environment for Arduino. In the past two years, he has become interested in urban farming and is an enthusiastic proponent of aquaponics, which brings the spirit of open source to farming and gardening.


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