Several months ago, at the Wellington Web Meetup[WWM] (http://www.meetup.com/wellingtonweb) I presented a talk on Making Things Happen. My goal was to inspire like minded folk to join me in my efforts to build a strong, coalesced community of digital creators (Makers) in NZ. Digital creators broadly speaking, describes those who like to design, create & manufacture using the tools now available to us in the digital age. There are those out there with a design back ground who think about making all the time, but then there are those out there who never studied design, but yet somehow look at objects all the time and think, “I could have made that!”,” I think I could make that a little better if..” or ” I want to see what happens if I..”. I don’t believe there should be a disconnect between those groups, and that the cross over between then seems be haphazard. Wonderful creative alliances are left to chance.
Creating a social, face to face or online meeting place would help bring these connections to reality.
All of us feel the sense of achievement when we create something, we feel connected to the end result and we understand more about ourselves and needs afterwards. We won’t stamp out consumerism by telling people its “wrong”, but giving people the opportunity to create something as functional as an off-the-shelf product but with the personal connection will, over time, steer people away from the current consumption model.
As technology progresses, so too will the availability of tools. For now – some of the tools that spring to mind are personal computers, CNC cutters, laser cutters, 3d printers, embedded computer systems. The list goes on, the tools are less significant when the aim is to facilitate making and get people “doing” rather than “consuming”. But it is worth recognising that the proliferation of these tools is turning every-day people into designers/manufacturers/creators/makers. Removing the financial limitations of manufacturing that existed before gives people more opportunity to explore what is possible, rather than simple take what they are given.
But this portal isn’t about ending anything – its about Making. Creating. Doing. Sharing.
It has been 3 months since the talk at WWM and here are here is the portal I’ve set up to cater for said community. In the last few months I’ve met countless people who are making cool stuff, pipelining cool projects or looking for others with the resources to help them realise a dream. I will profile some of those people on this site, I will document their projects so other s may learn and I will invite anyone who likes to contribute to this site. It is only when you begin to scratch the surface that you realise how deep the maker movement goes. There are those who see personal fabrication as a future industry that may very well be a new ” industrial age”. Some even recognise personal fabrication as mankind’s opportunity to step away from mass manufacturing and move towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly demandufacturing( creating objects to meet the demand of individuals rather than general “markets”).
But before we get caught up in the philosophy of it all, I’d like to focus on how we #makeThingsHappen! I’d like to grow the community so we know what cool stuff is going on out there, I’d like to bring people together so that unimagined cool projects kick off.
If the above strikes a chord or if you have any thoughts on this then please feel free to get in touch or leave a comment.