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Every city should have a Maker Faire

ScreamGrab of a Maker Faire Guest

There’s just over a month to go to the Maker Faire Rome: while we wait for the programme of the events, it’s definitely worth talking a bit about why it’s important to gather the makers, fabbers and artisans of the new millennium together in the same place. The show and the fun resulting from ideas and objects found at the exhibition are undoubtedly a good reason to want a maker faire on your doorstep, but there’s more.

The real reason is that every town needs a place with a pool of ideas and hands ready to implement them. It is these events that bring together a critical mass of people large enough and determined to produce something. Call it change, call it innovation, call it what you want. The important thing is that it is something real.

An example? In the United States someone is rebuilding the city of Detroit – hit by a harsh crisis over the past five years – and it’s starting from the people. As Matt Haber says in Meet the Makers: Rebuilding Detroit by Hand, there are tons of activities, such as the Ponyride workspace, aimed at bringing people who make things together.

And it wasn’t by chance that the Maker Faire Detroit took place at the end of July: a great chance to mix local brains and ideas. The same happened on the other side of the pond at the Elephant & Castle Mini Maker Faire in London. The event attracted 1,500 visitors that explored 70 creative projects ranging from liquid pixels to sensory tunnels.

Ideas also have the advantage of being contagious. The educator/maker Phil Shapiro proposed that 50 schools that are being closed in Chicago, get turned into makerspace. The higher the number of makers in cities, the greater the opportunity to see new projects being made, as well as opportunities and networking. The idea can also work in Rome. That’s why we’ll be there in October.

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