Imagine. Make. Believe. Over 25,000 makers and visitors discover the joy of invention at Maker Faire San Diego

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Makers, creators, hobbyists and innovators of all kinds thronged Balboa Park this past weekend, October 6-7. Tech enthusiasts, crafters, tinkerers, food artisans, science clubs, artists and more came together to show their creations, while attendees glimpsed the future and learned to become makers themselves.

Beast de Religiosa, a.k.a. Zap

“Maker Faire is all about learning and having fun with interests you already have, and the joy of discovering new passions you never imagined before."

Makers, creators, hobbyists and innovators of all kinds thronged Balboa Park this past weekend, October 6-7. Tech enthusiasts, crafters, tinkerers, food artisans, science clubs, artists and more came together to show their creations, while attendees glimpsed the future and learned to become makers themselves.

“Maker Faire is all about learning and having fun with interests you already have, and the joy of discovering new passions you never imagined before,” said Cody Nelson, Maker Faire San Diego event producer.

Maker Faire San Diego was organized into 12 different zones, including the Science and Technology Zone, Human Made Zone, Robotics Zone and the Comics and Cosplay Zone inside the future Comic-Con Museum. Featuring makers celebrating pop culture, visitors delighted in lightsabers, Batman, Star Wars characters and costuming.

Other inspirational makers filling the Comic-Con Museum space included Sprite Lights, a wearable, programmable LED matrix “patch” utilizing patterns, colors and animated artwork, and DIY Animatronics—Jarvis the steampunk robot and his maker demonstrated mechanisms available for builders of all skill levels to build their own animatronic robot.

Visitors were encouraged to “complete the circuit” by exploring all 12 zones. The Robotics Zone, held inside the San Diego History Center, presented inspiring projects like the PVC Power Chair, an open-source, low-cost pediatric power chair that San Diego dad, Dylan Vaughn, was inspired to build for his son when he was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy. Not previously a robotics enthusiast or inventor of any kind, Vaughn’s success proves anyone can discover and pursue a new passion. “I only started learning about robotics in the last few years,” said Vaughn. “When designing this chair, I’ve tried to keep material and processes as simple as possible so anyone could find the parts and have the skills to build it.”

Visitors quickly learned to expect the unexpected in the Natural History Museum’s Antiquarian Curiosities and Techno Fun Zone. Maker Simone Weinstein taught the art of taxidermy from start to finish, from learning how to skin an animal through the process of mounting it.

Mexico was well represented among the 250 local and regional makers, including El Garage Project Hub, based in Mexicali. Located in the Mexicali Pavilion in the Nat, El Garage brought Desierto, migración y frontera (desert, migration, and border), a world map mounted on a large cork sheet, with which people traced the history of their family’s migration route. Additionally, participants learned about the confluence of technology and the ancient world, making technological devices that native Yuman tribes used for their daily subsistence.

Crowds thrilled to the larger-than-life spectaculars, like returning star Robot Resurrection, the towering 30-foot tall, fire-breathing, articulating sculpture made from 90% recycled materials and reclaimed airplane parts. Newcomer Beast de Religiosa a.k.a. “Zap,” an LED-lit, fiery, praying mantis made of lightweight metal with moving parts fascinated visitors, while others got hands-on, manipulating Unfolding Humanity’s stunning 11-foot moving dodecahedron designed to contrast humanity and technology.

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WEBSITE: http://sandiego.makerfaire.com
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/SDMakerFaire
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/SDMakerFaire
INSTAGRAM: https://instagram.com/sdmakerfaire/

ABOUT MAKER FAIRE: Maker Faire is an award-winning, family friendly event celebrating technology, education, science, arts, crafts, engineering, food, sustainability, and more. Maker Faire has become part of pop culture, a place for experiential marketing, debuting new technologies and inventions, and celebrating geekdom. Maker Media produces two annual flagship Maker Faires, partners with museums to produce Featured Maker Faires, and works with communities to license Mini Maker Faires around the world http://makerfaire.com/.

HISTORY OF MAKER FAIRE: 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 entry to becoming a Maker and this 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’s not just for exhibiting what’s new in technical fields—Maker Faire features innovation and experimentation across the spectrum of science, engineering, art, performance, and craft.

ABOUT THE BALBOA PARK CULTURAL PARTNERSHIP: 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 http://www.bpcp.org.

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Elisabeth Handley
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