The Detroit Makers Faire was the main reason we came over to this side of the state, and it didn’t disappoint.
What is it?
Boy, hard to describe. Let me just rattle off a bunch of words that all have an aspect at a Makers Faire.
Electronics. Mechanics. Hydraulics. Pneumatics. Art. Sculpture. Movement. Wonder. Exploration. Mad Scientists. Inventors. Hackers. Imagination. Bootstrapped. Contraptions. Tinkering. Homegrown. Steampunk. Alternative Culture. Alternative Energy. Engineering. Math. Competition. Fun.
I’m not quite sure of the mix - but once you have all of these ingredients in a bowl and have cooked them together you pour the mixture into a shell that’s labelled “Do It Yourself”. Build it. Design it. Change it. Pull it apart. Build it again. But don’t, whatever you do, just go buy it.
In short, Make it.
This event appealed to me on so many levels. As a kid I grew up in a house that could be described as a Maker house. My mom was (and still is) a craftsperson skilled in knitting and sewing. My dad is a DIY’r through to the core. The man built his own house, assembled his TV’s from Heathkit’s , built his dune buggy, restored cars, and assembled a “ham shack” in the basement with enough radios & computers to rival a commercial radio station.
I ended up as a bit of a mix of the two - enjoying working on Jeeps, building custom tandem bikes and quadricycles but also more artistic endeavors like junkyard sculpture. I suppose even my career in web development has aspects of both the mathematical/engineering and creative/craft.
I’m not sure I could design a more interesting event than the Makers Faire if I had the chance to try. We enjoyed riding a group bike, and the large two-wheelers where you are suspended in the middle of parallel wheels and steer by braking one or the other. We watched the life-size Mousetrap game. We listened to the Great American Horn Machine. Watched modified Power Wheels Races. Listened to live music. Played life-size Operation. Picked up an Arduino kit. Learned about hackerspaces.
In short, we had a very full and completely enjoyable day at the Detroit Makers Faire. It’s definitely an event that I’d return to.
Lots of video with this entry - it’s that type of event!