Yesterday I set foot on the makerfaire’s barcamper for the first time. A giant, colourful 7 meters by 3 van. We turned it into a house. It became a vehicle to tell a story.
It seems like yesterday, but it was already 30 days ago. David and I were leaving for Europe, towards a 7,000 kilometre-journey, 30 days of meetings, more than a hundred interviews, makers, events, maps, tolls and projects.
France was the first to welcome us with its Artilect and the snootlab in Toulouse, open and pro-active. After that, we went to the DIY festival Bordeaux, a shining Paris and its Ouishare house, international, charming and full of good ideas and Genevillier, the fablab of wonders, between enthusiasm, brand new makers and the primary goal of sharing.
Then, our sat-nav took us to Germany, to the FabLab in Aachen, one of the most technological and advanced of its kind, while the FabLab Berlin, which started just over 4 months ago, welcomes us in a bright Mitte, and tells us about the desire to create a place to provide others with the tools and knowledge to make with your own hands what you have in your head.
We fly to Helsinki, and between saunas and design universities, Finland surprises us with its making-based culture at every level, and we enjoy ourselves with Recycling Olympics and cutting-edge workshops.
Then we went to Malmo, Fabriken and the Arduino workshops, an intense experience of creativity in one, homogeneous place: STPLN. Copenhagen is home to the CIID, a school that accepts 20 students a year and teaches interaction design like no other place in Denmark. Amsterdam is our last stop, and we visit the Waag Society, one of the first European FabLab set in a medieval castle in the centre of town and ZM45, a new makerspace come about from the mobile FabLab experiment.
This was our first month of MakerTour.
What lies ahead now is Italy.
We’ll do 12 stops, from Puglia to Trento through Campania, Tuscany, Emilia Romagna and Piedmont.
A tour to discover what the Italian makers produce, what they believe in, what are the goals and dreams of those who had the vision and the courage to open a FabLab, investing in the future, or who simply started doing something to change a part of the world that is in their own hands.
Today we are back on the road. The first leg of our journey will take us to Naples, where the RE-MAKE festival will show us how to re-build with the aim of starting again and try to make a utopia a daily reality.
Hang around to find out all about the other stops.
Look for us, tweet the barcamper when you find it on the streets of your city, let us know what you’d like to invent, invite us to your FabLab, in a hackerspace, in a laboratory; take us walking around your town to try to invent a more smart and interactive place. The makertour is ready to talk about you.