By Jia-Jheng Yeh
Maker Faire is an event first organized by Make: magazine in the United States in 2006 to promote its magazine sales, and it has been held in more than 140 cities around the world and participated by over millions of Makers. It celebrates crafts and creations and encourages idea exchange among Makers through all kinds of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects. Maker Faire takes on the unique style and culture of the country where it is held, and the following are the various features of the Maker Faire in different countries!
Maker Faire started out at San Francisco Bay Area in the United States, aspiring Makers to participate in hands-on activities and learn new skills. With everyone encouraged to participate in learning, the U.S. puts great emphasis on self-performance and the integration of subcultures into all kinds of creations. For instance, Burning Man, an event held annually in the United States at Black Rock Desert, Nevada, has grown quite popular over the years.
Maker Faire Tokyo is where many Japanese and international Makers show what they have made and share what they have learned. Makers put their innovation into a vast variety of works, such as giant tanks or small analog computers. Different from the Maker Faire in the United States, creative works in Japan are often integrated with elements of animation. For instance, ST-01 is a life-like humanoid robot that shows the transformation of characters in flat animation into small robots that can dance and wave hands. With this innovation, the public can be introduced to a 2D world.
In 2011, Fullon Publishing introduced into Taiwan the international Chinese version of Make: magazine and obtained exclusive rights to hold the Maker Faire in Taiwan. Maker Faire Taipei has been held annually since 2013, becoming a prominent Maker carnival with the longest history and the largest scale in Taiwan. Take Maker Faire Taipei 2019 as an example. The event consisted of seven different exhibitions, such as STEAM, AI Robots, and Maker’s Forum, etc. Outstanding talents from Japan, South Korea, Switzerland, and several other countries were invited to share their work and experiences. Through connections and interactions among Makers, Taiwan can be seen by people across the world and innovations can thus be more encouraged.
Participation in Maker Faire every year has long been a great project for many Makers. Although Maker Media, the company behind Make: magazine and Maker Faire, has ceased operations and laid off its entire staff in 2019, the Maker spirits still exist. People across the world can continue to exchange ideas through the Internet and online communities, create better works, and pass on the torch of Makers!