Maker Faire NYC 2013: Are you a Maker?

Please bear with me readers. This will, on the surface, appear as a blatant brag-fest for the hubs, Dr. Kyle. And it is, but stick with me. It’s more that just that. This post delves into what I believe to be at the core of all humans. Wow. I sound all philosophical and stuff.

Remember the trip we made to New York this Spring? Well, I was just a tag-along, but Dr. Kyle was there to capture some interviews at Etsy Headquarters, School of Visual Arts, and other entities for a documentary he was working on to explore the old and the new frontiers of “the maker movement.” He is working with some of his colleagues to create a lab space at our university that will allow students to create in ways that are on the cutting edge of technology. Namely 3D printers and laser cutters. But, as I said before, it is more than just that. The advent of the “maker” didn’t begin with the ability to use a 3D printer to replicate everything from nifty art and models to life-saving replacements for the human body.  It goes to the heart of what a maker is. Someone who uses their creative spirit in any number of ways. In my estimation that is all of us, and it takes more forms than I can list on this blog post. Check out the final product of Dr. Kyle’s (as well as several others’) hard work. It is pretty spectacular, even if you aren’t related to him.

The film made its debut some time back (Dr. Kyle now has his own IMDB page!) but this week he will travel to New York for this year’s World Maker Faire to present it and to discuss what they learned in the process of making the film as well as designing the new Maker Lab on campus. The best part is that our Dude will get to go with him. Not just as a tourist, but they will actually attend the conference together. I couldn’t be more proud or more excited for the hubs and for my budding engineer.  I’m also quite excited that I will have a small part in helping to shape the maker space on our campus as I will be an advisor in the “fiber arts” portion of the space (sewing, knitting, and quilting, etc).

What? Fiber arts? That doesn’t sound very high-tech. Well, that’s just it. The heart of the “maker” mentality. We are all makers, whether we are using wool and knitting needles or a high-tech 3D printer. Or a pair of shears and a head of hair. Or a family. Or an innovative lesson plan. Or a way to use what’s in your pantry to concoct a meal without going to the grocery store. Or…or….

That is what I’ve been pondering lately and that is what is at the heart of this post. I’m intrigued by the idea that we are all makers. What are the ways in which we as humans are makers? Would you consider yourself a “maker?” Are their people in your life, past and/or present, that are? What did they create? Are their ways you’d consider yourself a maker that are somewhat unconventional? I’d really like to hear about them. Like, really. Inquiring minds want to know.

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8 thoughts on “Maker Faire NYC 2013: Are you a Maker?

  1. This is SO exciting; I love it! Congrats to Dr. Dickson, and to you too, Camille! Fiber arts won’t know what hit them. (This is just knee-jerk reaction, not my official answer to “are you a maker?” That one I need to consider.)

  2. Fascinating film! Congratulations to you all! Yep, I’m definitely a maker – “makers gonna make” 🙂 My mediums may be very similar to those of the generations before me, but I think we each have had a unique expression of our creativity. And I love watching my son create with paper, markers, and tape 🙂 And now there is a movement to bring a Maker Space to Denton – it will be interesting to see how it comes together.

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