Off the coast of China, in the waters of the East China Sea, lies an island that is one of the most densely populated countries in the world: Taiwan. Situated on the northern tip of Taiwan is the capital city, Taipei, also known as the City of Azaleas, home to Make: Taiwan headquarters and a rapidly growing Maker community.
In 2010, a group of dedicated Taiwanese individuals learned about Make: magazine and the Maker Faires taking place in the U.S. Recognizing that there are many related communities in Asian countries who would also be inspired by the movement, they began contracting with O’Reilly Media (the former publisher of Make:) to produce Chinese-language versions of Make: magazine, the first issue of which was released in 2011.
With positive response from the community, they then organized the first ever Maker Faire Taipei in May of 2013. This upcoming weekend, on May 30 and 31, they will host the third annual Maker Faire Taipei at the Huashan 1914 Creative Cultural Park Museum.
Make: Taiwan editor-in-chief Kent Chou speaks of the growth of the Faires:
When Maker Faire Taipei 2013 was held, there were not many people who knew about Maker Faire and the Maker Movement. Fortunately, some Makers and exhibitors showed different types of consumer 3D printers and held a humanoid robot battle on the spot. That attracted over 10,000 people in those two days.
After spending a year promoting the Maker Movement in Taiwan, when Maker Faire Taipei 2014 was held, it attracted more than 20,000 people. Many makerspaces and Fab Labs, which were founded during that previous year, came together to join the event. There were also many school teams and teachers who came as exhibitors and visitors. What is also encouraging is that many companies took the initiative to discuss sponsorship opportunities with us.
Maker Faire Taipei has become a place for the Taiwanese Maker community to exhibit and make social contacts, but most importantly, it’s helped the Taiwanese people to discover their own curiosities and to realize what Maker Faire is really about. Also, some members of the Taiwanese Maker community have started to connect to the international Maker community, making Taiwan’s Maker ecosystem much more complete.
Here are select snapshots of people, projects, and moments from the first two years of Maker Faire Taipei:
Kent also gave us a preview of what to expect at this year’s Faire:
This year, many Maker communities have expanded the scale of their exhibits. For example, local Makers, in collaboration with makerspaces and Fab Labs, have constructed a complete “Taiwan’s Maker Ecosystem” exhibit. Schools are also actively involved in Maker Faire Taipei. There will be several university exhibitions at the Faire and not only in the form of school clubs. The Second FabLab Asia Network Conference (FAN2) will be showing their works, too.
We also expanded the whole scale of Maker Faire Taipei by increasing the outdoor exhibition area and adding a forum. In the outdoor exhibition area, we will show some large-scale works. And we have invited many Asian Makers to the forum to share the joy of DIY.
The types of contests held have also increased from three to twelve. All the contests are very interesting and include Hebocon (a low-tech robot contest), a Segway Competition, a Mini 4WD Rally Race, and a drone contest.
Check out this awesome preview of Hebocon:
Other exhibitors who will be at Maker Faire Taipei include:
And lots more! We wish Kent and his team a wonderful third annual Maker Faire Taipei! Our very own digital fabrication editor Anna Kaziunas France will be speaking at the event and providing us with coverage from on the ground. Stay tuned for more!