Yesterday, amidst all the rain, and my bathroom remodel and installing a garden, I was lucky enough to visit the local maker faire. You can see some picture here.
I’ve only attended 1 other maker faire (which was equally awesome), but I had a major realization at the TC maker faire. One of the things I admire most about maker spaces is there ability to meet the needs of so many different people. On a side note, I wish that I took pictures of the people I met yesterday and not the stuff I saw.
The amazing power of maker spaces is that you can find starving artists working side-by-side with a diehard Star Trek geek. Yes, there is a debate over the importance of STEM vs. STEAM vs. STREAM vs. blah, blah, blah. When you step foot inside a maker space, all of that becomes non-important.
What matters in a maker space is the desire and passion to create something. Sometimes, you create something in the physical world. Lots of times, you create friendships, connections, and new knowledge in your mind.
Maker spaces have the power to be a great equalizer. They truly bring people together. It is something to behold, to witness a young man asking an older women how she created her project at one table, to turn around and see a young woman ask an older man how he created his robot at the next table. Whether young, old, rich, poor, regardless of racial or ethnic make up, sexual orientation, religious differences, political orientation, none of that mattered. To witness that (in an era of tension) was very moving. The most important tool in a maker space is the people.
A maker space depends on people (lots of people). A maker space for one person isn’t a maker space at all. And in so many ways, a maker space is made up of people being “excellent to each other” which is one item on the code of conduct at the TC Makers / Hack Factory.