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The 4th annual World Maker Faire is just one week away. A two-day celebration of all things DIY, the event will also occur in two seasons: Summer & Autumn. That’s because Saturday Sept. 21 is also the last day of summer. With this in mind I thought it interesting to look back and reflect on just a few of the notable ‘summer of making’ events that have occurred throughout the city of five boroughs, my home. From the announcement of New York City’s second Maker Week of activities concluding the season to advancements throughout the boroughs in rooftop and urban farming, from hardware startup meetups to emerging arts festivals that increasingly include makers in their lineups, it’s been a great season indeed. And of course what you see below is just a sampling. There’s so much more out there that I can’t even keep track of it all!


Geek Street Fair

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Google’s first Geek Street Fair brought a smile to many kids’ – and parents’ – faces, and MAKE was there introducing kids to LED Throwies. Sadly, I was out of town for this inaugural event, but hope this street fair becomes an annual tradition of making in NYC.


Pop-up making

Brooklyn-based 3rd Ward is currently holding a "Make 'N' Take" pop-up shop in the Chelsea Market in Manhattan. Workshops include making candles, cutting boards, and autoprogrezzione chairs, among other arts.

Brooklyn-based 3rd Ward is currently holding a “Make ‘N’ Take” pop-up shop in the Chelsea Market in Manhattan. Workshops include making candles, cutting boards, and autoprogettazione chairs, among other arts.


NY’s Next Top Makers

These building modules light up and change color as you play with them.

The winners of NY’s Next Top Makers competition will be announced on Sept. 18 at MAKE’s Hardware Innovation Workshop.


Electronic Art at Flux Factory

Peter Edwards aka Casper Electronics.
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Peter Edwards (aka Casper Electronics) and other artist-makers lead a series of workshops earlier this summer under the rubric Make It ‘Til You Break It, educating artists in the field of electronics.


Composting on Governor’s Island

Earth Matter explore "the art and science of composting" and you can encounter this wonderful science on Governor's Island south of the Nolan Green.

Earth Matter explore “the art and science of composting” and you can encounter this wonderful urban farm on Governor’s Island, south of Nolan Green.


Road to Maker Faire Challenge

Road to Maker Faire Challenge New York

Sixty-six makers competed on the first Road to Maker Faire Challenge for NYC, presented by Esurance. The grand prize winner was awarded $2,500 and their project will be on view next weekend at World Maker Faire. Check out all the winners and all competing makers online here.


Urban farming

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grapes grown in LIC

Nestled just a stone’s throw away from one of the largest train yards in NYC is the Smiling Hogshead Ranch. On their 1+ acre of otherwise unused land they are more than capable of producing bountiful and delicious tasting grapes (and other produce).


Dorkbot relocates

Dorkbot NYC relocated north into Harlem after the closure of venerable SoHo arts & technology gallery Location One where Dorkbot was hosted for a decade.

Dorkbot NYC relocated north to Harlem after the closure of venerable SoHo arts & technology gallery Location One where Dorkbot was hosted for a decade. This shot from Sept. 4 inaugurates their “940th season” of people doing strange things with electricity.


Destination Moon arts & music festival

Solar Gramophon, an upcycled gramophone connected to solar batteries by Julius Schmiedel.

Solar Gramophon, an upcycled gramophone connected to solar batteries by Julius Schmiedel.

Wind-powered LED flag by Bart Woodstrup.

Wind-powered LED flag by Bart Woodstrup.

Wirelessly power an LED with this project from Amelia Marzec's New American Sweatshop series.

Wirelessly power an LED with this project from Amelia Marzec’s New American Sweatshop series.

Fully solar-powered arts & music festival Destination Moon took place at American Youth Hostel in Manhattan and included musicians from throughout the northeast, alongside artists & makers investigating wind-powered tech, upcycling plastic bags into social statements, and pedal-powering sound systems.


Urban projection arts

The building at 837 Washington St. can now be seen from the High Line sparkling with light art. This project is by CJ, the same artist-maker who brought this aging clocktower in Queens to life earlier this year using mostly scrap electronics, hardware, and lighting equipment.


Shapeways’ NYC opening & anniversary

 Summer of Making in NYC

From lifestyle incubator to community-driven 3D printing marketplace, Netherlands- and now New York City-based Shapeways celebrated their 5th anniversary in July. Notable during their time in the boroughs, their “Factory of the Future” has gone from concept to ribbon-cutting ceremony with Mayor Bloomberg (using a pair of 3D-printed scissors) to fully-operational printing facility.


Holography on display

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An exhibition of stunning holographic art can be seen at the Holocenter‘s temporary art space in the LIC clocktower through Sept. 28. While on Sept. 21, the final day of summer & the evening of the first full day of World Maker Faire, they’ll be hosting “HoloJams: Experimental Music Night” with J. Stone (Mouthmatics) and other acts (this event is free for World Maker Faire makers with their wristbands):

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Pedal-Power to World Maker Faire

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And what better way to ride out summer than to join fellow pedal-power enthusiasts and bicycle to the 4th annual World Maker Faire on the first annual social bike ride on the morning of Saturday Sept. 21! Participants will get a special commemorative patch, be entered into a raffle, and receive free bike valet.

Nick Normal

I’m an artist & maker. A lifelong biblioholic, and advocate for all-things geekathon. Home is Long Island City, Queens, which I consider the greatest place on Earth. 5-year former Resident of Flux Factory, co-organizer for World Maker Faire (NYC), and blogger all over the net. Howdy!


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