Technology hasn’t supplanted human creativity. Instead, it’s helping. Maker Faires—combinations of farmers markets, craft shows, and science fairs—are promoting human creativity and blending elements of the past with today’s technology.
Organizers have dubbed the Faires concept “the greatest show (and tell) on earth.” Vendors range from students to professional engineers and artists, and the reach is global. Already this year, Maker Faires have been held in Egypt, Puerto Rico, Spain, Sweden, and the Ukraine. This fall, Berlin will host its first Faire. The concept was born when the creators of California-based Make magazine wanted to bring the tech-inspired DIY projects featured in the magazine’s pages to the general public. Make cofounder Sherry Huss defined a “maker” as “anyone who has a passion for what they do and is willing to share it.”
While surely passionate, many of the items showcased in Maker Faires are somewhat eccentric: art installations created from masking tape, a printer that makes edible pancakes by reading digital files, and a 17-foot robotic giraffe that has visited the White House are a few examples. Handmade soap is made from materials used in making home brews, and a modern wedding dress is hand-crocheted, as it may have been for brides in the mid-1800s.
So, far from being antagonistic to 21st century technology, Makers Faires intertwine the past with the present to delight thousands of visitors around the world. Look for one near you.