Over the summer, we announced a new partnership with South Korean media outlet Bloter & Media to publish a Korean version of Make: magazine and produce Maker Faire Seoul, now in its sixth year and taking place this upcoming weekend on October 21 and 22 at Seoul Innovation Park. The very first Korean-language version of Make: magazine was published in 2011 (at the time by Hanbit Media) and the first Maker Faire Seoul was hosted in 2012.
Last year’s Maker Faire Seoul featured 150 maker teams exhibiting their projects to roughly 5,000 enthusiastic attendees. The community support has increased with every passing year, and this year is expected to draw even more of a crowd. Here’s a walkthrough of last year’s event, to give you an idea of the scope of projects.
We’re excited about the fresh approach that Bloter & Media will be taking this year. SangWon Yu, the Maker Team Leader, gives us more background on the partnership:
Bloter & Media has been dedicated to reviewing new digital products and internet services, and analyzing internet business and breaking tech news for more than 10 years. In addition to media, Bloter & Media is organizing educational business and conferences related to the tech area. In that context, Bloter & Media has long been interested in the Maker Movement and came across the news that the Maker Media was looking for a new partner in Korea. Bloter & Media contacted Maker Media to discuss the partnership and they entered into a license agreement in mutual trust.
We also spoke with the director of Maker Faire Seoul, Hee Jung, who has been involved with the Maker Movement in Korea since the beginning and transitioned over to Bloter & Media to continue. She offers a unique perspective of the Korean maker community:
The word “maker(메이커)” is used with the same meaning as in English-speaking countries. In fact, Korea was one of the first countries to adopt the meaning of maker as it is now. In 2010, Hackerspace Seoul opened, where I met many community members. The idea was spread through Make: Korean magazine and Maker Faire Seoul. Last year, about 80 maker-related events were hosted in Korea.
Korean people are highly sensitive to new ideas and issues, especially with IT. We are not “big” compared to other countries, yet new ideas are always tested and adopted enthusiastically. Koreans are really quick on technical issues and naturally “couching” the next generation of makers (Dale Dougherty explains how new members to the community need couches).
It’s a shame that things are not as open as they should be to the public; things are happening individually at the moment. Korean makers would like to go global. Korea is probably the most frequently visited country for Asian makers. We set up maker workshops for Japanese and Chinese makers often, and Korean makers enjoy traveling to other Faires as well.
Kart Adventure by the FabBros.
What can we expect to see at this year’s Maker Faire Seoul? Hee Jung shared that DIY vehicles are an emerging theme this year, so we’ll be saying an array of maker-made wheeled creations rolling around the Faire. There will be even be a mini track for the DIY kart racing game “Kart Adventure,” organized by the FabBros., YongHyung Kim and SungIl Jung, who incidentally won 2nd place at this past Maker Faire Bay Area’s Game of Drones. Think of this competition as the Korean version of the Power Racing Series.
Maker Eunny and Simple Animals
Korean maker Daeun Jeon is traveling the world to attend Maker Faires. She has gone to 10 Faires this year as maker exhibitor with her Simple Animals project and is ending her amazing journey at Maker Faire Seoul.
Smart Calorie Cup
Three students from Soongsil University’s Electronic Information Engineering Department — Choi Hyung-seok, Song Dong-hyun, and Kim Hye-ri — have created a calorie-counting cup. Using a variety of sensors to gather data that is then sent to an Arduino, the cup calculates the calories it contains and the type of beverage it holds, using their pre-populated database as reference.
These projects, along with many more, await you at this year’s Maker Faire Seoul. For all the information you need to attend, check out the website!