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Maker Faire, the Bilbao way!

Dear Makers,

A couple of months have passed since we did our first edition. And the more we remember it, the clearer it gets: it was crowded, it was beautiful and it was a shot of optimism for Bilbao! The makers, more than 60 organizations, individuals and collectives, shared their projects, knowledge and Do it Yourself style in heart of the city, at the Maritime Museum, 400 steps away from the famous Guggenheim Museum.

Open source projects like Flone (a DIY kit that makes your phone a flying camera, available on Thingiverse, done by Areacoop during an art Residence in LABoral Gijón) or Craft Camera, a simplified Arduino-runned camera in cardboard with no visor, created by Coralie Gourguechon, member of Tetalab, Toulouse’s hackerspace) stole our hearts. More than 4.000 people visited the Faire. It helped a lot that the Museum is just in a key spot where hundreds of families usually have a walk on saturday and sunday. Their faces when they saw the robots, the live creating wooden sculptures, the drone shows and many more surprises were just priceless.

 The one thousand lettuce robot, by Notonly Arquitects, was a hit for sure. At the end of the Faire, people could take some of them as a souvenir (it was organic lettuce grown inside compressed wood panels) to make salads or sandwichs at home. We also failed on some of the maker-interventions, we couldn’t record people’s faces during the Rope ride because it was too unconfortable for them to have a camera with a 3d printed support on their heads, that’s something to improve for next year (pictures here). The Laundring Machine Orquestra also had troubles: humidity levels due to rain and being close to the river messed up the electronics set by The Lumen Effect on the 20 machines. But, in the last hours, on sunday afternoon, when hope was almost lost, we got to finally hear them playing in harmony (see this video, minute three aprox., we’ll have better quality material published soon).

The inspiring talks during the Faire took place in the Museum’s auditorium. More than 20 fashion and design companies participated in the fashion/tech working session with Paola Guimerans. Also, Varvara Guljajeva and Mar Canet explained Knitic, their open source kniting machine (during their presentation, they quoted a Make Magazine project as the detonator that made them think that it was important to incorporate kniting into digital fabrication, by the way).

Bilbao Mini Maker Faire was simply magical. And, we hope, the beginning, of something that can change the soul of the city in the same way the Guggenheim effect did a decade ago 😉