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My friend, Willow Bay, has a brief piece on The Steampunk Workshop called “Why I believe in maker culture.” Snip:

All the things I do in life (which, admittedly, is a lot) are about Doing. I’m up to my eyeballs in Stuff to Do and up to my elbows in What I’m Doing because I love it, and because I so adamantly believe that Maker Culture is a healthy response to an unhealthy pop culture. Here’s a glimpse at why I feel this way.

When you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Which is to say, you use the tools you have to solve the problems at hand. Tools and technology do, of course, range everywhere from a wrench to language to roads to electricity. And when your tool is the mindset of a maker, any system at hand looks like something to be tinkered with and improved upon.

Willow is also the director of a relatively new makerspace in Seattle called Jigsaw Renaissance. I love the first paragraph of their About Us page:

So, here’s the idea: Ideas. Unfiltered, unencumbered, and unapologetically enthusiastic ideas. Ideas that lead to grease-smeared hands, lavender sorbet, things that go bang, clouds of steam, those goggle-marks you see on crazy chemistry geeks, and some guy (or girl) in the background juggling and swinging from a trapeze.

What is your feeling about the concept of “maker culture?” Is there such a thing in your mind? It it a fad or something more significant and enduring? Has becoming a maker and participating in things like Maker Faires, hackerspaces, Dorkbots, or other DIY festivals and activities, changed the way you look at the world?

Why I believe in Maker Culture

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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