by Jia-Jheng Yeh
What is the first place that you think of for Makers’ meetups? A studio full of tools in an old house? An incubator lab with thousands of lines and circuits intertwined? Or a Maker space with various courses and equipment at your disposal? The following is a Maker space in southern Taiwan where countless Makers build their dreams from scratch. As a Maker, you surely do not want to miss it!
Dagang M. ZONE Maker Space
At Dagang M. ZONE Maker Space located at the Pier-2 Art Center in Kaohsiung, the most renowned impressive event is the annual Mega Maker Day. In addition to exhibition areas built upon five different themes— Maker’s Space, Maker’s Amusement Park, Maker’s Academy, Maker’s Bazaar, and Maker Show, there are several parent-child games such as the Self-made Scrap Car, which attracted countless little Makers to assemble and modify their own cars. Participants put in full strength to renovate their cars to win the championship. The game allowed children to have fun and adults to relive their childhood; most importantly, the event brought parents and children closer to each other.
Fablab STMC (Southern Taiwan Maker Center)
Different from Maker spaces set up in bustling urban areas, Fablab STMC (Southern Taiwan Maker Center) is located near Xinying Railway Station in Tainan. Wang Nan-fang, (a homonym that means “to the south” in Mandarin), runs the place and assists Makers in paving the way to their dreams. Courses at Fablab STMC are divided into four categories: Agriculture, Circulation, Vocational Training, and Girl Power. Lecturers and participants are all friends brought together by the same interests. Hsu Yi-Hsuan, admin director at Fablab STMC said, “Although beginners who start from here are not likely to enter the market immediately, they can still build their own stage of innovation with the help of the resources and courses provided.”
Punplace, renovated from a 50-year-old house, allows Makers to let their imagination fun free. Floors are designated for different purposes. The first floor is decorated with Makers’ works on the display, while the second features a co-working space. There are conference rooms on the third floor and a multi-function lounge on the fourth. There are also events to bring enthusiasts together, such as Tuesdays for regular meetups, Fridays for peer learning, and Sundays for hands-on exercises. It is hoped that more creativity can be inspired through Makers’ sharing and exchanges.
A Maker space is where Makers gather together to make dreams come true and exchange ideas. At present, there have been Maker spaces with different themes established one after another in Taiwan. At present, both the private sector and the government have put in an abundance of resources. All these exist for one purpose—helping Makers bring their ideas to reality through exchanges of information and experiences.