top of page

Departmental Seminar - 3D printing and creative labour (dis)empowerment: A case study of Hong Kong startup

19 April 2024 at 3:00:00 am

3D printing technology makes DIY (do-it-yourself) easier, faster and much cheaper. Drawing on a nine-month ethnographic research at a Hong Kong cross-media creative startup, I observed how 3D printing offered an intra-organisational platform for all company members to demonstrate their individual creativity and exchange technological knowledge and skills. My study reveals that, on the one hand, the autonomy in making 3D prototypes supports the scholarly arguments for individual empowerment and labour solidarity. On the other hand, at this startup, 3D printing reflects a strong organisational hierarchy that is based on an individual’s existing work experience and skill set. This is contrary to the Silicon Valley startup culture, where workers at all levels require rapid changes in skills. This paper analyses the convergence of organisational cultures between East and West in a contemporary Hong Kong startup. This convergence creates opportunities for worker solidarity, but it also reinforces existing power hierarchies.

About the speaker:

Holy Shum is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Hong Kong. Her PhD research focuses on new technologies’ impact on transforming cultural and creative industries and the practitioners working in them. Along with her PhD studies, she takes a keen research interest in popular culture, social media, and postcolonialism. Her work has been published in the European Journal of Cultural Studies, Global Media and China, Media International Australia, and Social Transformations in Chinese Societies. Before her PhD studies, Holy worked as an advertising copywriter and marketer.

Departmental Seminar - 3D printing and creative labour (dis)empowerment: A case study of Hong Kong startup

Date: 19 April, 2024

Time: 11:00AM – 12:00PM

Venue: CJT-9.29

Speaker: Ms Holy Shum


bottom of page