Maker Faire 2010 Recap

This week I’ve been transitioning back to the ‘real world’ after spending the weekend in California and experiencing two full days of Maker Faire. There were so many amazing projects and demos, I was only able to catch a few of them, but what I did see was fantastic. I focused mostly on the soft circuits and wearables side of the event, but was able to catch a lot of other wonderful projects, shows, and happenings as well. Here are a few highlights (with more video coming soon!):

E-Textile: A Wearable Computing Fashion Show

From left to right: Skirt Full of Stars by Shannon Henry, LED vest by Erik Johnson, GER: Galvanic Extimacy Responder by Kristin Neidlinger, Soft Electric Capelet and Sessile Handbag by Grace Kim

The e-textile show was a hit, showcasing some projects involving lights, sensors, and augmented clothing. I snapped a couple of pictures after the show; these are only a few of the projects that walked the runway. I had a great spot in which to view the show, but unfortunately, a large garage door was open directly behind the stage. The light pollution kept those of us in the audience from the full experience of the light up projects. ArtFuture was able to capture a good video of the show and they will be uploading interviews with the designers this week.

Anti/Surveillance Fashion Show

On Sunday, a different kind of wearables show hit the runway – this one based around either evading or inviting surveillance. I really enjoyed the thematic element and the creative ways the designers thought to affect surveillance methods such as cameras, face recognition software, and even watermarking on currency.

eTextile Electronics Materials and Portable Lab w/ Adrian Freed

Adrian Freed gave a great presentation on e-textile materials, sourcing, and applications. He showed a few of his own pieces that involved using e-textiles as musical controllers and introduced his portable lab (which he was even able to bring on an airplane). I was able to capture most of it on video (aside from a few minutes of the question and answer session at the end).

Part 1:

Part 2:

Intro to Soft Electronics

Helping Becky out with her Craft demo. More pics here.

Becky Stern’s demo of electronic embroidery was a lot of fun. I was able to act as an extra set of hands for her while showing the audience how to sew with conductive thread, and passed things around to the crowd to check out. I brought a couple of my projects along with me to add to Becky’s soft circuit examples. Below are a couple of video excerpts (the whole demo was about 45 minutes long).

Working on the electronic embroidery example:

Showing examples of soft circuit projects and sensors:

Meeting the Makers

Nwanua from Aniomagic shows me the Soft Remote kit working with an iPhone

The best part of Maker Faire was talking with fellow makers and tinkerers who share my excitement for creating and experimenting. In addition to watching some fabulous demonstrations, I was also able to catch up with some soft circuit peers that inspire me and with whom I share projects through twitter, facebook, and flickr. Syuzi Pakhchyan of Fashioning Technology, Nwanua Elumeze of Aniomagic, Shannon Henry of Polymath Design Lab, and Lynne Bruning were some of the great people whom I finally got to meet in person.

Here are some more soft circuit/craft/sewing photos from the faire, and I have an album for the rest of Maker Faire over on flickr.


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