portrait. free hugs shirt. knitting orange scarfAustin Toombs is a PhD candidate in Human Computer Interaction Design in the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University, with a minor in Inquiry Methodology. He holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Ball State University and a M.S. in Human Computer Interaction Design from Indiana University. Austin’s research centers on the intersection between ethics and the design of sociotechnical systems, with a particular focus on the formation and maintenance of maker and DIY communities. Within this framing, he uses care ethics as a methodological lens to uncover the ways in which individuals formulate identities as makers, and how they participate in the community’s overall collaborative infrastructure. In previous research, he has investigated the ecological relationships among self-made tools, maker identities, and the hackerspace through a multi-year ethnography. His current project explores hackerspaces and shared machine shops as the locus of a particular kind of collaborative practice supported by an ethic of care. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the Intel ISTC Social Computing program. He is a member of the Cultural Research In Technology (CRIT) Group at Indiana University.