OSLO-SNOW

Before I went to Maker Faire Oslo, I had a pretty good idea what would distinguish this Maker Faire from others. I expected Oslo to be cold and dark in January but I hoped the first Maker Faire of 2014 would be the first Maker Faire in snow. Surprisingly, locals said that the first real snowfall of the winter had just arrived. Choosing a January date for a Maker Faire was a bold decision by the organizer, but one that was driven by the museum’s availability. Norwegians love to ski and some were worried that the new snow might affect attendance. Instead, the snow created a beautiful backdrop for the event, which was entirely inside the Norsk Teknisk Museum, and a crowd of 5,000 showed up over two days to see 50 exhibits and meet 180 makers. The first place to fill up at the event was the coatroom.

Maker Faire Oslo

One sign that Maker Faire Oslo was going to be special was that a local hackerspace, Bitraf, replicated Makey the Robot for the event and then created this wonderful video — “Makey Hangs at Bitraf.”

Our coverage of Maker Faire Oslo includes:

I saw this comment on Twitter from the Miguel, the maker of the PancakeBot, who was there with his two kids:

Congratulations to the organizers, Jon Haavie of the Norsk Teknisk Museum and Roger Antonsen of the University of Oslo.

Jon Haavie and Roger Antonsen

Makey was so popular — just about everyone wanted their picture taken with Makey.

Darth Vader and Makey

I put up this photo on Twitter and asked if anyone could think of a caption. My favorite response was from @phenoptix, with Darth Vader saying

“I used to be quite the robot builder, you know.”

It’s proof that Makey and Maker Faire bring out the best in people. It warms your heart.

More from Maker Faire Oslo

Winter Wonders: Maker Faire Oslo

Winter Wonders: Maker Faire Oslo

Scandinavia's first Maker Faire, Maker Faire Oslo, is set for Jan. 18-19.

DALE DOUGHERTY is the leading advocate of the Maker Movement. He founded Make: Magazine 2005, which first used the term “makers” to describe people who enjoyed “hands-on” work and play. He started Maker Faire in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2006, and this event has spread to nearly 200 locations in 40 countries, with over 1.5M attendees annually. He is President of Make:Community, which produces Make: and Maker Faire.

In 2011 Dougherty was honored at the White House as a “Champion of Change” through an initiative that honors Americans who are “doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world.” At the 2014 White House Maker Faire he was introduced by President Obama as an American innovator making significant contributions to the fields of education and business. He believes that the Maker Movement has the potential to transform the educational experience of students and introduce them to the practice of innovation through play and tinkering.

Dougherty is the author of “Free to Make: How the Maker Movement Is Changing our Jobs, Schools and Minds” with Adriane Conrad. He is co-author of "Maker City: A Practical Guide for Reinventing American Cities" with Peter Hirshberg and Marcia Kadanoff.

View more articles by Dale Dougherty