The largest metropolis on the Mediterranean Sea, the culturally robust city of Barcelona is a shining jewel of art, fashion, science, tech, commerce, and more. It’s also home to an ever-growing maker community, set to celebrate the fourth annual Maker Faire Barcelona this weekend, on June 17 and 18. The main event will be held at the Pavelló Italià, while the sister conference will be at the Caixa Forum.
The three Faires that preceded this one were Mini Maker Faires, but this year, Barcelona is stepping up to a full-sized featured Faire with the enthusiastic support of the Barcelona City Hall and many research centers participating in the event. Last year’s event, hosted at CosmoCaixa, Barcelona’s science museum, drew 6,000 attendees. The recap video provides highlights:
The Barcelona Community
Aside from City Hall, Maker Faire Barcelona is collaboratively presented with support from Sonar+D, Fab Lab Barcelona, SokoTech, Fira Barcelona, and La Caixa Foundation. This year’s Faire will feature 100 makers, 20 demos, 70 speakers, and 30 workshops. We spoke with two of the main organizers, Mariona Aloy Ciller and Tomas Diez, to gain insight. When asked what makes the Barcelona maker community unique, they pointed us to this on the site:
Barcelona is one of the most international cities in the world and has been the home of creative minds like Picasso, Dali, Gaudi, and Miró, to name some of the most well-known among many others. It’s also a city of architecture and design, where many young students spend time learning from the city itself. Almost every street or plaza is a piece of art and innovation. Barcelona, and especially Poblenou, is also known as the Catalan Manchester for its history in the textile industry during the XIXth century. It’s even one of the first cities to implement electricity in its streets. Many writers, scientists, artists, architects, innovators, and creators have found in Barcelona a place of inspiration, as well as a home, and have been part of the construction of one of the most exciting cities in the world.
Barcelona has embraced the digital revolution as the host of large events such as the Mobile World Congress, the Smart City Expo, Sonar, and IAM, among others, which bring thousands of visitors to the city every year to celebrate digital innovation and creativity. Maker Faire Barcelona is not just another Maker Faire, or another event in the city, it is the celebration of a new vision for a productive city that is a world capital in design, innovation, architecture, urbanism, and creativity.
During the last 10 years, Barcelona has been consolidating its position in the world of the Maker Movement. Since 2007, it has hosted the first Fab Lab in the European Union, which is a world reference in the Fab Lab Network, coordinating programs like the Academany, Fab Academy, or the Fab City project. In 2014, Barcelona hosted one of the most important events in the world of cities and technology: The 10th International Fab Lab Conference (FAB10). The city also hosts a public network of Fab Labs (Ateneus de Fabricació) that are serving as a new service for any citizen to experience the potentials of digital fabrication to transform the city productive model and empower neighbours at Les Corts, Nou Barris, or Barceloneta. Barcelona completes an ecosystem of Fab Labs, makerspaces, companies, startups, associations, and cooperatives that are looking into a different future, a future in which citizens are the owners of their own destiny, and in which collaboration is one of the key values to make it happen.
This is the fourth edition of Maker Faire Barcelona, an event that aims to bring together Barcelona’s creative and innovation communities, and to understand them as part of an ecosystem that holds the potential to transform how we will live, work, and play in our cities, through the democratisation of technology. Come celebrate with us at a weekend of workshops, conferences, demos, presentations, and interactions.
Show Preview: 10 Fantastic Projects
Maker Faire Barcelona offers a full lineup of diverse maker exhibits, presentations, workshops, and demos, as well as an amazing conference taking place concurrently, featuring such influential people as Indy Johar, Nervous System, Nadya Peek, Eric Pan, Dale Dougherty (Make: magazine and Maker Faire founder), Pontus Westerberg, Mara Balestrini, Francesca Bria, and Usman Haque, to name a few. Maker Faire Program Director Sabrina Merlo will also be at the Faire and can be reached via Twitter @sannmer.
There’s even a pre-opening event scheduled for Friday, June 16:
Here is just a small sampling of the wide variety of projects that will be at Maker Faire Barcelona this year, to whet your creative appetite.
Circatronic: Boris the LionBot
The brainchild of Oriol Aubets, Boris the LionBot is the star of a circus that even animal rights activists will love. Aubets has spent the last two decades performing, writing, and directing in theatre and cinema. Circatronic is his first solo theatre project. The main motivation is to talk about present and future technology in a comic environment using robotics and digital tech. Aubets and Boris have performed around the world with their steampunk show.
Institut de Física d’Altes Energies (IFAE)
In this activity by the Institut de Física d’Altes Energies (IFAE), 3D printing meets cosmology. Come touch the early universe with your hands. Hear the cosmic microwave background (CMB). Learn all we know about the universe by studying the echo of the Big Bang. IFAE conducts experimental and theoretical research at the frontier of fundamental physics, namely in particle physics, astrophysics, and cosmology. They also work at the cutting edge of detector technology, putting their know-how toward the service of more practical goals.
DECODE (Decentralised Citizens Owned Data Ecosystem) is a leading EU research project on blockchain technologies applied for data sovereignty, involving the cities of Barcelona and Amsterdam and development organizations such as Dyne.org, Thoughtworks, Thingful, and Arduino. We all know that data is the new oil, and companies are making good use of our information generated out of digital interactions. DECODE wants to help citizens, governments, and companies to establish a more equitable distribution of the value of data. Learn to be the owner of your own data and decide what to do with it.
Could crowdfunding be rooted on values of collective benefits, ecology of production, social economy, openness, civil rights? Also involving public state and civic makers, rather than becoming another mean to concentrate wealth? The answer is Goteo! Come and learn how to launch your own crowdfunding campaign on Goteo.
Meet Oval, the first digital handpan, a revolutionary percussive digital instrument that allows you to play infinite sounds. Experience the beauty of the handpan with Oval and come play one at Maker Faire.
Making Sense empowers citizens through personal digital manufacturing, co-designing, and deploying of environmental sensors. Citizens become empowered through open-source technologies to take political action in the city. There will be an on-going activity at their booth aimed at creating awareness about our environment and make sense of environmental data. Visitors will be able to experience data from different locations in real-time and visualize them in a creative way.
The TicrThing is a dedicated device that displays the Bitcoin price in a local currency, providing a realtime Bitcoin market display. In an ever-changing market, knowing rates in real time helps you get the best trade values.
Aquapioneers is on a mission to reconnect urban dwellers with nature and food using the magic of aquaponics. By combining an aquarium and a garden using digital fabrication, Aquapioneers has created a compact and efficient aquaponics garden that allows you to grow your favorite herbs all year round in the middle of the city.
BounceyBox is a Bluetooth-enabled portable sound system, handcrafted with selective materials, built into vintage objects (luggages, cases, furniture), and powered with high quality amplifiers and drivers. Just plug in or pair with your phone or laptop, and you’ll be ready to party anywhere, anytime!
El Recetario, a project of Makea Tu Vida is an open content repository, composed of user-contributed “recipes” for the construction of objects, furniture, spaces, and systems from reused and discarded materials. Each recipe contains the step-by-step assembly instructions, which detail the ingredients and tools used, as well as the knowledge and techniques necessary for its construction. El Recetario allows you to document not only the construction processes, but also to link them to a context, a community, and a history. (Pictured above is the Mobile Workshop Table project.)
All the information you need to join the celebration at Maker Faire Barcelona is on the website!