Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Scenes from Maker Faire New York 2010

 Makers from all over the Northeast trekked to the old World's Fair grounds and the New York Hall of Science in Queens to build, learn and experience the do-it-yourself ethos of the Maker Movement this past weekend at the Maker Faire. Surprises were around every corner, like the human-powered Gerbomatic above.

Brooklyn was strongly represented by the Madagascar Institute,whose motto is “Fear is Never Boring.” They created oddly powerful carnival rides, like the Jet Ponies, propelled by jet engines that shot real flames at the rider behind. Signs said "Ride at Your Own Risk." More about them below.

 The cool thing was the makers were there to explain how they made their inventions. The Cubinator above, which won a blue ribbon, not only spoke but solved a Rubix Cube puzzle in 10 - 23 seconds depending on how you mixed up the cube. Also there were tents full of do-it-yourself- technology everybody could play with, with all the chips and soldering irons provided.

 We were totally taken by the various 3-D printers. You just design your solid using a CAD program or buy a program for some object you want to make, then you manufacture it using the printer.( It's not that it makes flat objects that you need to glue together, it actually fabricates the solid 3-D item.) The above printer is a small one that fabricated the chess pieces and small items you see next to it, but larger printers at the Faire made much larger items.

 The "Boxy Lady" is a mobile homeless sleeper / street kiosk / vacation cube made from recycled wood. It won a “Best In Show/Editor’s Choice Award” from Make Magazine’s judges in the Tiny Housing category. Check out the Relaxshax blog.

 And then there was a totally bizarro Chariot Race hosted by Make Magazine and the Madagascar Institute. Golden men and women provided pomp and pageantry before and during the race, which soon disintegrated into madness.

Let the mayhem begin!

 The warriors driving the black bird with bugged out eyes pass in front of the Swimming Cities Oceans of Blood fish projectile chariot.

 Madagascar Institute's Das Kraken accelerates with all of its tentacles flying. Swimming Cities Ocean of Blood engages in sabotage! A battle ensues with lots of collateral damage. Tentacles everywhere.

 Swimming Cities Ocean of Blood throws pieces of itself onto the other racers to knock them out of the race. Pieces of chariots litter the field and smoke fills the air. Someone has a bloody elbow.

Swimming Cities Ocean of Blood won an Editor's Choice Award from Maker and Best in Show for their fish chariot. We think someone named Joseph from Madagascar actually won the race. (You can see a video of the race here.)

Photos copyright MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.


Anonymous said...

How do you do everything in one weekend? Dumbo Arts Festival, Atlantic Antic and the Maker Faire? You must go through the stuff very, very quickly.

mcbrooklyn said...

It was a hell of a weekend. Started at DUMBO art festival on Friday and more Saturday. We love this festival so we spent a lot of time there. We were only able to go to the Atlantic Antic for a few hours Sunday morning so we didn't try for everything. We went to the Maker Faire Sunday afternoon till closing, and definitely could have spent two whole days there. Bummer that it was the same weekend as the DUMBO art fest, also worth two whole days. Hope next time it comes around it's not on the same weekend!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the explanation--each of those events was a full day (at least for the Arts Festival and Maker Faire). Holidays on the 2 prior weekends bunched up all the fun stuff.

My first time at the Arts Festival, which was amazing and way cool, and so busy. Did you make it to Tableau Vivant at Powerhouse Books? A top reason why Dumbo is way different than Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill. You never know what you'll accidentally find.

mcbrooklyn said...

Didn't make it but now that I've looked it up I wish we did. For all interested, here's some information:
Totally agree about why Dumbo is different -- although a Brooklyn Heights neighbor went off her meds once and walked naked into Cranberry's for coffee.