People 'n' Issues

Mini Maker Faire returns to CT

July 15th, 2016
After a successful inaugural edition in 2015, the Cape Town Mini Maker Faire is back with an even bigger and better event this year.
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Placing a spotlight on DIY and technology, this year’s Mini Maker Faire will bring techies, tinkerers, hackers, hobbyists, crafters, artists, tech gurus, authors and inventors together to engage with the public and exchange ideas at the Cape Town Science Centre in Observatory from 26 to 28 August 2016.

Described as the “Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth”, the Mini Maker Faire is a space where people with a passion for learning, collaboration and creativity can connect. Part science fair, part trade fair, and part something entirely new, the event offers a great day out for people of all ages to interact with amazing creations and experience the exciting world of the Makers.

“Makers across the world are shaking up the way that we think and interact with our environment. They’re coming up with innovative solutions to help solve social problems, as well as some really fun and creative projects – and that’s why we are returning for another year of the Cape Town Mini Maker Faire,” says Alayne Reesberg, Programme Director and Producer of Cape Town Mini Maker Faire, and former CEO of World Design Capital Cape Town 2014.

“Leading on from World Design Capital, we wanted to continue demonstrating and celebrating all of these wonderful projects,” she continues, “allowing people to meet the Makers and learn from them. We enjoy seeing this spark conversations and further action around the Maker Movement in Cape Town.”

The global Maker Movement has its roots in engineering, industrial design, manufacturing and education. It’s DIY on a whole new level, fusing technology and creative ideas with traditional craftsmanship to create and market products, and influence a new wave of manufacturing innovation. The movement empowers people to create, imagine and solve problems differently, calling for collaboration and peer-to-peer idea sharing or a “do it with others” (DIWO) approach.

The Cape Town Mini Maker Faire is based on the model of the original Maker Faire, which launched in San Francisco in 2006, and is a licensed member of what is now a global family with Maker Faires being held around the world. Globally, the event caters to the growing legions of aspiring Makers wanting to participate in hands-on activities and learn new skills. “We want to offer lots of opportunities for hands-on DIY interactions for adults as well as kids,” adds Reesberg. “We want to create an open and inclusive event, which encourages these values beyond the event, and expands the connectedness of the community of creatives.”

More than 60 exciting local Makers will be on show, as well as installations by the Faire’s knowledge partners: PriceWaterhouseCoopers Western Cape, Stellenbosch University’s Launch Lab, the Cape Innovation and Technology Institute and the University of the Western Cape. Exhibits will range from home-grown drones to robotics and Arduino projects, space projects and kit makers to 3D printers, rockets and RC toys, radios to gaming and electric vehicles, as well as a host of handmade craft and fashion projects and some exciting installations of “art cars” straight from the Afrika Burn festival.

In addition, an enclosed drone zone will let visitors test their flying skills, while the PPC Imaginarium, South Africa’s most supportive art and design competition for emerging creatives, will showcase industrial design, fashion, film, jewellery and sculpture all made from concrete. PPC Imaginarium will also host an interactive workshop, together with Cemcrete, where members of the public can learn how to make their own objects from quick-drying cement.

A popular attraction with both kids and their “kidults” at the 2015 Mini Maker Faire was the participative Maker Station, run by Felix Holm and his team at the Cape Town Maker Station based in Woodstock. Designed especially with children in mind, this feature returns again this year with another mountain of defunct appliances that can be upcycled into innovative creations.

Another highlight of this year’s event is a specially curated session presented by renowned style icon and fashion editor, Jackie Burger, now of Salon 58 fame. “Jackie & the Makers” will see Burger introduce and interact with leading fashion designers and artisans who will share their creative journeys and how they bring their uniquely crafted apparel to life. This stylish, sophisticated affair is designed for anyone with a flair for fashion

The second annual Cape Town Mini Maker Faire is sponsored by the City of Cape Town, PPC, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture and Peninsula Beverage Company.  The event will take place between 26 to 28 August 2016 at the Cape Town Science Centre, 370B Main Road, Observatory, Cape Town, one of the support partners of the event. Tickets can be purchased via quicket.co.za. Tickets for “Jackie & the Makers” will be sold as a separate item.

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