If you think about it, the Makers Movement has its own history behind it. It was in 2005, in the classrooms of the Interactive Design Institute in Ivrea, Italy, that the first Arduino board was born. For those unfamiliar with it, this is an Open Source microcontroller that has opened the doors of electronics to thousands of designers and creative. Its story has spanned the world and returned to Italy in the form of the pages of a degree thesis.
The title is “Arduino – La rivoluzione dell’open hardware” (“Arduino – The Revolution of Open Hardware”) and it is a little different from the usual thesis. You can read it entirely online (from his site), as if it were a long article. It is beautiful; it is clear the author, Andrea Nepori (@camillomiller) comes from the Academy of Fine Arts of Carrara’s three-year Multimedia Arts course. Here’s why we think you should stop by and read it…
Andrea not only tells the story of Arduino, but paints a portrait of the Makers’ universe. You don’t get every single detail, but the pages touch upon the motto that defines the new industrial revolution in a clear image: “If you can’t open it, you don’t own it”.
Retaking control of objects and reconstructing them according to one’s own needs: this is the goal of the Makers, but to reach it, one must immerse oneself in an ocean of ideas and learn something new. Andrea’s pages are a great starting point, because they explain what there is to learn about the Arduino board designed by Massimo Banzi, David Cuartielles, Tom Igoe, Gianluca Martino and David Mellis (the entire team is shown at the top of the first page).
This is the entrance to a vast world. Click on one of the links in Andrea’s thesis and you will find yourself in an article from Wired Italia where Massimo Banzi provides his own definition of the Makers movement. Carry on reading and you’ll find it hard to stop.
The Makers “are not nerds; in fact, they’re pretty cool people who are interested in technology, design, art, sustainability and alternative business models. They live in the online communities of Open Source software and hardware, and dream of inventing something they can produce themselves, living off their own inventions. During a period of crisis, they invent their own work instead of finding a traditional job”.
Photo credits: David Cuartielles / Arduino