Living Library and Blind Film Critic Foster Learning at Maker Faire San Diego: Social Experiment Promotes Understanding Through Connection

Share Article

Maker Faire San Diego is coming to Balboa Park October 7-8, 2017 with the mission of entertaining and educating the innovators, the creative and the curious. Inquiring minds will not want to miss The Living Library, and The Tommy Edison Experience.

Maker Faire San Diego

We are building bridges while others are building walls

Maker Faire San Diego is coming to Balboa Park October 7-8, 2017 with the mission of entertaining and educating the innovators, the creative and the curious. Inquiring minds will not want to miss The Living Library, and The Tommy Edison Experience.

Based on the Human Library, The Living Library at Maker Faire San Diego is a collection of people from diverse backgrounds and experiences who will be on hand to share openly and candidly about their lives. Storytellers include survivors of trauma, students with special needs, and members of the blind and disabled communities. Each storyteller is an open book, ready to answer questions like, “What’s it like to be you?”

“One of our goals is to help re-humanize people from marginalized communities,” says Dr. Mel Ganus, director of Quality of Life Experiments, who is bringing The Living Library to Maker Faire San Diego. “It’s an experiment in making human connections. We are building bridges while others are building walls.”

YouTube sensation Tommy Edison, the Blind Film Critic, is famous for answering questions about what it’s like to be blind. At Maker Faire San Diego he will host a workshop where he’ll give makers a unique marketing experience by interviewing them about their projects in order to get them to clearly articulate who they are and why they do what they do with the caveat, “Explain it to me like I’m blind.” Maker Faire San Diego attendees are invited to come meet Edison and watch the fun.

Kirk Adams, president of the American Foundation for the Blind, will also be in the book collection. “This is an opportunity I don’t want to miss, a chance for people to ask me questions they’d never feel comfortable asking if they met me on a bus.” On Sunday, Adams, who has been blind since age five, and his colleague George Abbott, blind since birth, will be presenting their unique perspectives on Maker Faire San Diego, and their visions of increased inclusivity.

The Living Library will be located in the Museum of Man. Event-goers will have the opportunity to “browse” the various storytellers and ask the burning questions most are uncomfortable asking in everyday social interactions.

“Our Living Library aims to improve understanding of other perspectives and connections between people of different ages, cultures and abilities,” says Dr. Ganus. Other storytellers include elders in their 80s and 90s facing the ends of their lives, members of our veterans community living with injuries and PTSD, and our own makers, with stories of how they discovered their passions for doing what they do.

Advance tickets are available now with savings of up to 20%. Your ticket provides access to the entire Maker Faire San Diego footprint, including general admission to these museums and exclusive outdoor venues:

  •     San Diego Museum of Man
  •     The Old Globe
  •     Japanese Friendship Garden
  •     San Diego Model Railroad Museum
  •     San Diego History Center
  •     Fleet Science Center
  •     San Diego Natural History Museum (theNAT)
  •     Outdoor Zones 1&2
  •     Spanish Village Artists Guild

PRESS MATERIALS: Photos and logos

Balboa Park Cultural Partnership is a nonprofit organization through which 30 arts, science and cultural institutions in Balboa Park collaborate to achieve shared goals. By helping these groups achieve greater organizational efficiency, innovation and excellence, it seeks to contribute to the vitality and sustainability of Balboa Park. For more information visit

The San Diego Makers Guild is a nonprofit that is committed to fostering the maker community and to promoting, showcasing, and encouraging adoption of making by individuals and public and private institutions, with the goal of advancing education, innovation, commerce and lifelong learning. Our vision is to help develop San Diego into a nationally known maker city. Learn more at

The first Maker Faire launched in May 2006 in the San Francisco Bay Area and was quickly followed by Faires in Austin, Detroit and New York City, as well as others around the world. Technology has lowered the barriers to becoming a Maker and this has launched the Maker Movement, which fuels Maker Faire. Maker Faire was designed to be forward-looking, showcasing Makers who are exploring new forms and new technologies. But it is not just for exhibiting what is new in technical fields - Maker Faire features innovation and experimentation across the spectrum of science, engineering, art, performance, and craft.

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Elisabeth Handley
since: 07/2013
Follow >
Maker Faire San Diego
Like >