Skip to main content

Citizen Crowds

We are interested in understanding how citizens organize to transform their communities. We then use this knowledge to design tools that can coordinate citizen crowds to produce collective action and address any community problem. We are teaming up with NGOs, Governments, and universities across the world to understand how different stakeholders come together and then organize them to take action. 

Powering Citizen Crowds for Assistive Technology.

We are currently studying how citizens get together to build 3D printed assistive devices for people in their community who lost a limb. We plan to use the knowledge we gain from these studies to design better workflows to coordinate citizen crowds. In particular, we are working with the e-NABLE community, an amazing group that has thousands of volunteers from all over the world who are using their 3D printers to create free 3D printed hands and arms for those in need of an upper limb assistive device.

photos of 3D printed assistive devices


These  communities generally involve three main actors: (1) the makers of the 3D printed devices; (2) the people who receive and use the device (usually called recipients); and (3) the clinicians who provide medical support to recipients to adopt the device. Our research is interested in understanding how these three actors organize themselves to facilitate the adoption of 3D printed assistive devices. Here, we are also particularly interested in untangling the challenges, bottlenecks, and pain points these three different actors experience.  Understanding such points is crucial to improving the lives of recipients and enabling the large scale adoption of these initiatives where a much larger population can now have access to assistive technology.

You can read more about our research here.

Share your experiences with 3D printed devices and help us improve the process and designs! 

Sign up here:

 logo of enable


Maker Communities (e-NABLE).
Medical Communities (doctors, occupational therapists).