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A Little History of the Maker FaireApril 9, 2015

Last week we made a little summary about every Maker Faire in April to keep you posted about what you can find in them. Now, we thought you might like to know a little bit more about Maker Faire History and how it all started.

Make Magazine

Maker Faire is an event created by Make Magazine in 2006. Make is a bimonthly magazine which covers subjects related to do it yourself (DIY) projects involving electronics, computers, science, home crafts or art and design. It was founded in 2005 by Dale Dougherty, inspired by the tinkerer spirit from the mid-20th century and reflected in magazines like Popular Mechanics. This kind of publications helped people to learn new skills and talk about their hobbies, and werethe seed for what years later would become the maker movement.

It launched its first issue in January 2005 targeting readers interested in making things on their own. The magazine focuses on step-by-step projects, but it also includes reviews of books and tools or a teaching section, The Skill Builder, which covers different topics like welding, electronics, robotics or woodworking techniques.

It has a digital edition that gives you free access to projects, articles, news, videos and blogs.

Maker Faire – Bay Area

Just a year after the magazine was published, Maker Faire held its first edition on April 22 – 23, 2006, at the San Mateo County Event Center in California.

It has since grown in scale and has expanded through the US and later around the world. Over the next years a couple of Maker Faires were held in Austin and two more in Detroit. In 2010 New York joined in and have organized the World Maker Faire for five editions. These Flagship Faires (Bay Area and New York) are by far the largest events: last year 215,000 people attended.

In 2014 there were a total of 14 Featured Maker Faires and 119 Mini Maker Faires (smaller and independently produced) in cities from the US, China, Japan, Spain, Italy, Norway, etc.

Bay Area Maker Faire 2015 Web Badge In their own words, it is the Greatest Show and Tell on Earth—a family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement. The event was launched as a response to the increasing community of makers and hobbyists willing to learn and share in hands-on activities. It included workshops, DIY competitions and demonstrations in six exposition pavilions and over 100 exhibiting makers.

But it is not exclusive for people experienced in electronics or engineering, it is open to newbies and children and covers science, art, performance and craft. For instance, on the last edition of the Maker Faire Bay Area you could enjoy performances like the Tesla Coil Music from ArcAttack (video below) or the Life-Sized Mousetrap.

Mr Dougherty has said about the Faires: “It's a pretty simple formula, one based entirely on talking to people who make things, seeing those people do, and nurturing the diversity of ideas that come together in a community space.”

We'll be posting more info on the Maker Faire Bay Area on the next weeks.

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